Freelancing: Tips for Surviving the Ebb and Flow
Freelancing is a roller coaster, anyone who’s done it for long enough will tell you this. Your bank account balance will fluctuate wildly, and in order to weather the inevitable downtimes, you need to develop some coping skills and do certain things in a smart manner in order to keep yourself sane and to ultimately survive and thrive.
- Save up at least 3 to 6 months of salary before you go freelance, this will help you weather the first or second year in particular, which when you’re first starting out will probably give you the most downtime. It’s a long journey to build and keep relationships with clients, and so you need as much financial security as possible to weather this period.
- When you do have money, save some, always. This is for taxes at the end of the year, as well as for your own retirement. It’s best as an LLC to save about 1/3rd for taxes, and a bit more for retirement if possible. Unfortunately freelance isn’t the most lucrative of careers, but it does give you a lot of other perks.
- If you can afford it, hire an accountant. This is a good idea because having someone you can count on who knows changing tax laws and has a lot of experience helping small businesses is always good. Taxes can be overwhelming for individual freelancers.
- Get regular exercise, I exercise five days a week, and it helps so much in keeping me sane and happy in the good and the bad times.
- Eat healthy. This is another given really, but eating healthy is good for a creative functioning brain, and a happy healthy body.
- If work is slow, develop some ideas to find work. Put together an e-mail list for potential clients or write up some scripts for cold calling potential clients. E-mail old clients, scour craigslist. Any of these strategies can work.