Welcome to Freelance Friday! Each Friday, I’ll share something Freelance-y that I learned during the week that will help other freelancers or entertain cubicle-queens. Thanks for reading!
Here’s a secret I’m afraid to share because it will encourage everyone I know to become a freelancer. But hey, this is the internet, and sharing is caring.
One of the greatest fears I had before freelancing was how to make a lot of money. And it turns out the answer is the same as the rhetorical question, “How to eat an elephant.”
The answer to that question is to eat it one bite at a time. And the same rule applies to replacing or exceeding your salaried income as a freelancer. In other words:
You don’t need to make $50K to replace your $50K salary.
I worried about this for the two years or so leading up to the moment I was laid off. I’d take on the occasional writing project or paid blog post, getting $50 here or $200 there. It never seemed to make sense that I could make $50K doing it, though, so I stayed confused.
The question kept popping up: “How do you get people to just give you money? Like, ‘Hi, I’m Sarah, money please?’ and then a check for $50K”.
The truth is that that doesn’t happen unless you work for someone else (or you’re TMF Project, of course). Everyone else (freelancers, at lest) makes money a few hundred dollars or a few thousand dollars at a time.
So, if you want to maintain your cash flow as a freelancer, focus on the first $100 or $1,000, then do that 500 or 50 times.
It’s that simple.
If you’re stressed about making your $10,500 payroll for the month, don’t look for a $10,500 project. You’d be hard pressed to find someone who wants to make a quick decision about $10,500. Instead, look for five $2100 projects or ten $1050 projects. Chunking your income on a day to day basis will keep you focused on your daily tasks (“your daily bread,” if you will)– not on staring down a $50K giant that wants to destroy your ability to sleep at night.
Of course, this just applies to my situation. If you have a bigger, better business in a different industry, you won’t be as worried about this. (Though I hear that every level has its own cash flow problems…).