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Freelance Freedom: What To Do As Soon As You Earn A Steady Self-Employed Paycheck

Estimated reading time: 5 mins

 

You’ve toiled and trod your way through the myriad of difficulties that comes with the freelancer life. And once you’ve acquired the relevant freelancing tools, and finally built up a decent paycheck, is it time to relax? Part of being a freelancer is about that inability to stop, but after a while, you’ve earned so much money that you need to reinvest it back into your life. All these late nights and early mornings are finally paying off, so what should you do as soon as you get that steady paycheck?

Fix Up Your Home (And Home Office)

Going freelance could mean putting a lot of things on the back burner, or at least, the credit card! Now is the opportunity to fix up the things that you have been meaning to do for so long. If there’s been a leak with the roof, get some scaffolding up, and plug the problem. Once you are finally turning a regular wage, it’s time to put that money back into your workspace. If you’ve been working at home for so long, it’s now time to invest in a proper home office. In one respect, you may have found your flow, but if you’ve spent three years working at the kitchen table it’s now time to set up a proper working space so you can focus. It’s now time to differentiate between your work life and your home life, even if they are under the same roof!

Invest In Yourself

Because freelancing can involve a lot of dedication to the cause, those late nights may have started to take their toll. But as a freelancer, you can’t rest on your laurels. The two facets of investing in yourself are to do with your health and happiness, and also your development. As a freelancer, you need to be acquiring new skills each and every time; this is what will make you competitive in the market. And the great thing about being self-employed is that once you start to earn a regular wage, you can pay for the courses that you want and claim them as expenses. But you also need to remember how to invest in your abilities to work smart instead of hard. You might have learnt the hard way about staying up for 15 hours to get a blog done, when you could have dictated the entire thing in a fraction of the time. Learning to invest in yourself is about balancing your work and your home life and now maybe the opportunity to think about making your work easier, but still maintain that quality.

(Finally) Learn To Balance Your Work And Life

Part of improving your working style means that you are able to balance your work and home life. Being self-employed means that you don’t have holidays, or if there’s an emergency, and you have to give up work for the day, you don’t get paid. And while there’s a feast and famine approach to being a freelancer you still need to find out the right balance for the benefit of everybody else in your life. Freelancing can mean that you are putting your work above anything else. If something comes in at the last minute that needs doing and you can’t turn it down, and this means you’ve got to miss your child’s concert or you are cancelling yet another meet up with a friend, this won’t work in your favour in the long run. It’s far better for you to balance your work and your life by establishing your priorities. Most of us feel that the priority is about earning money, but when we have a decent amount of money behind this, do we need to focus on the same volume of work that we once had?

Prepare For Dry Periods

Earning a great paycheck as a freelancer can mean that we breathe easy and not worry about money anymore. But one of the greatest lessons in freelancing is that there could very well be a dry period around the corner. This means that preparing for dry periods becomes an automatic habit. But for those people who feel that they don’t have to worry about money anymore, you might think that being frivolous for a little bit is okay. But what you need to do in these scenarios is to invest some money into the things that will keep you going during rough patches. It’s always worth having a rainy day fund especially if there’s a month or two where you aren’t earning. But also, if you are someone who rents a property, now might be the ideal time to purchase somewhere. Your monthly outgoings will be less because you won’t have to pay rent, but you’ll also have more money to save as a result, as well as the added security of your own home. Preparing for dry periods is also about making those lifestyle choices and sticking to them. Another lesson learnt as a freelancer is that you can eat beans on toast a lot, and while we’re not saying you should continue to carry on in this vein, there is nothing wrong with having a day or two where you live a simpler life. You can call this a stoic philosophy of sorts, especially as entrepreneurs like Tim Ferriss embrace this simplicity on occasion.

Earning a paycheck as a freelancer is a lot of hard work. But we have to remember that we can’t take things for granted. Whether you have been working hard to build up a business, or you are involved in the creative arts, that feeling of stability may never come to you. Even if you have a decent amount of money in the bank, you may have learnt the value of being a freelancer early on. And when you find a decent paycheck as a freelancer, the most important thing to do would be to make the most important purchases for your developments. This is why why it’s about fixing up your home, investing in yourself and also realising that work isn’t everything. You have finally got to the point where you earn a decent wage, so make it count.

 

About the author /


Simon is a creative and passionate business leader dedicated to having fun in the pursuit of high performance and personal development. He is co-founder of Applied Change, a Business Change consultancy based in the UK. Simon is also an Ambassador for Gloucestershire business. Simon is an Associate Member of the Chartered Institute of Professional Development.

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