NOTE: I'm at an-home freelancer who gets my projects via email, as versus a freelancing handy(wo)man who needs reliable transportation to get to his/her gigs. Therefore, I'm writing from that viewpoint where I don't require a car to do my job. Now, I do need a vehicle to get to the grocery store for weekly purchases ... unless I go the more European route and walk/bike there daily. Which is always an option.
So, what are some of the telltale signs of an entrepreneurial bent?
- You can always think of another (better) way to do things.
- You have no problem sharing these ideas (whether solicited or not). Ha!
- You are never bored.
- You are self-driven.
- You have many interests.
- You are determined, persistent. Other people may call you stubborn. Embrace it!
- While having $0.83 as your bank balance for three weeks is not optimal, you have food enough to last you. Your mantra is: I have enough for today. I have a roof over my head. I have clean clothes to wear. I have hot water. I have a working stove and a full pantry. My favorite flip-flops haven't worn out yet.
- While having $0.83 as your bank balance for three weeks is not optimal, even though you tend to be a worrier, you are surprisingly calm and peaceful. You know another project is coming shortly. You just don't know exactly when. And you are okay with that.
- While having $0.83 as your bank balance for three weeks is not optimal, it doesn't stop you from seeking out new clients or starting another stream of income. Like me, I'm an Indie author who copyedits to help pay the bills. And, at the start of this my second career, I worked at a pizza place for nine months to tide me over.
- While having your car die in your garage is not optimal, you realize it's better than having to tow it home (as you can't tow it to the repair shop yet because you can't pay a mechanic to fix it, no matter the cost). You choose to pay your quarterly estimated tax to the IRS instead.
- If freelancing is your gig, it's best to have a roommate (with a working car).
- If freelancing is your gig, it's best to have a freelancing roommate whose "bad" months (short on money) are not the same "bad" months you encounter. Like for me, working in publishing, my slow months each year are October through December. Some years all three months are slow. Other years just one of those three months is slow. It's a surprise as to which month. Stock up on canned goods earlier in the year to compensate for this period, like canned meats (tuna, salmon, chipped beef), canned soups, canned fruits, canned veggies, rice, pasta, beans, grits, oatmeal and the like.
- Freelancers must be better at dealing with hopes that have not yet materialized in this physical world. And still hoping for these things years later if needed.
- You must be able to give up short-term wants and conveniences for the long-term needs that satisfy you, that keep you out of a job or an environment where you are not appreciated and where you would just stagnate and die a slow and painful death. For instance, in my legal assistant days, I would go to the movies weekly and pick up food on the way home (instead of buying movie theater snacks). As a freelancer, I can't remember the last time I went to a movie in an actual theater. I may have gone in 2015, but it's probably a safer bet to go with 2014. Or 2013. You decide what's more important to you.
- Some months you will have no money coming in. And yet you don't freak out.
- Some months you have one lone $35 deposit. And you forge ahead regardless.
- If you are a die-hard freelancer (you know your purpose in this life; you have a set of ethics you live by; you have a manifesto, a creed, that you won't violate), then you turn down projects that aren't a good fit for you, even when your car has been dead in the garage for more than two months now, even when you haven't enough money to pay your mortgage yet this month (and it's the twenty-fifth of whatever month), and you still rise to defend your choice to be a freelancer against the naysayers who are determined to change your mind (even after all the years I've done this). Ahem.
- On the flip side, at least with my hands-on business, you have two consecutive months where you earn more than enough to pay your monthly bills but had to work 230 hours or more each month to make all the deadlines. Phew! Those are hectic times. And I love 'em.
Denise Barker, Author, Blogger, Copy Editor
Books that Build Character(s)
When you give someone a book, you don’t give him just paper, ink, and glue. You give him the possibility of a whole new life. Christopher Morley
The best inheritance you can leave your kids is an example of how to live a full and meaningful life. Dan Zadra