Wow. What a night!
This is what I proclaimed when walking back to my condo with two of my best friends after an entertaining night out on a Wednesday night. It was the summer time to be fair, but I was still out gallivanting on a week night. I don’t regret it for one second because the summer of 2012 was one of the best summers ever (2011 and 2012 came close).
The only problem with going out on Wednesday nights was that I always had work to do for Thursday mornings (6am to be specific). I had just started a new freelance writing gig. I had to have two articles published every Thursday at 6am.
The logical thing to do would be to complete the articles in advance so that I could enjoy myself the evening before. Well, that was the logical thing to do, but it wasn’t what I did. This is what leads to today’s topic.
What are the biggest issues that all new freelancers will face?
Getting work done.
Getting things done isn’t easy. How are you supposed to get anything done with the season finale of Dexter on the same weekend as two UFC shows? It beats me!
I recently wrote about getting things done as a freelancer. It was ironic that I could write that piece because many years ago I was horrible at getting anything done. My biggest struggle when I started freelancing was with getting anything done at all. I faced this issue all throughout school.
How can you overcome this problem?
I’ll share my top tips for getting work done:
- Set a daily goal. Scrap the to-do list and any other arbitrary tip. At the beginning of your day set a goal for what you want to do. Today I wanted to write 2,000 words because I had been slow the previous week. A daily goal beats a lame to-do list that includes cleaning your kitchen.
- Create a specific time to get work done. When will you work? Set a time where you kill the distractions and get straight to work. No joking around here!
- Work with your body’s natural rhythm. Screw everyone that tells you when you SHOULD be working. How can anyone know how your body operates? Only you know the answer to this. I say that you work with your natural rhythm. I can’t tell you when your body works best. Find that time and leverage it. For me this happens to be in the middle of the night. Not ideal. It works though.
That’s how you can get things done when you’re first starting off with freelancing.
Getting paid is the fun part. We all love to see money coming in. We love to pay down debt and save up for major expenses. We all like money!
The tricky part is ensuring that you’re getting paid consistently.
Why’s getting paid so confusing? Because new freelancers are not used to asking for money. When you have a job all you have to do to get paid is fill out your direct deposit forms once and then for the rest of your employment you’ll get paid at the exact same time. As a freelancer this all changes. It’s a whole new ball game!
How can you crush this issue?
Well, simple, you ensure that you get paid. My simple system for getting paid is as follows:
- Set a payment schedule. How often will you get paid? When will you get paid? You need to set this with your clients. I prefer to go the end of the month route because I know that at the end of every single month I’m going to get paid. This is up your discretion and what you guys decide on mutually.
- Set a payment method. How will you get paid? In person, cash works. Online, everything is Paypal. Until a competitor trumps Paypal, we have to deal with their crappy service fees.
If you can overcome these two hurdles as a rookie freelancer, the future will be bright for you. I promise you that!