If I was to start my freelance journey now, what would I do differently?

Lots probably!

Jo Driscoll


Photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash

I’ve already written about how I fell into freelancing after being made redundant, but what would I do differently if I was currently in full-time employment and thinking of making that leap?

Save, save, save!

Yep, I’d be squirrelling away money at every opportunity. The biggest problem I’ve faced in my freelance career is the cash flow and lack thereof. I had to strike out with no savings in the bank, a mortgage, and other debts. It was not a good start. If I was able to plan my journey, I’d ensure I had enough money in the bank to see me through at least six months of no income, a year ideally.

Money will ebb and flow unless you are lucky enough to gain a steady income from the off. Most won’t. I can’t emphasise enough how stressful life can get when you have no money coming in, it’s not fun at all. You only realise how expensive life is when you can’t afford it.

The other benefit of having backup savings is that it will allow you to take a break between quitting your job and starting up. There’s a period of about a month where you’ll find yourself destressing from your previous job and settling into your new freelance role. And then, of course, it also means you have money in the bank for unexpected things like sickness or other life stuff. Or you might just want a holiday.

Plan, Do and Start

Plan what I’m going to do, get everything in place, and then get started.

Having a plan helps keep your focus, even if it’s just a one-liner — I’m going to sell my services as a freelance content writer. Plans change so you need to adapt but having an ongoing plan will serve as a reminder if you start feeling lost.

With the benefit of time before going freelance, I’d try and use my time wisely. I’d get my website and social media up and running. I’d sort out admin stuff such as invoicing software, a bank account, and contract templates. Once you have all the housekeeping setup, it’s time to get cracking.

Unless your workplace has some kind of clause in your contract that means you can’t sell your freelance services while you work there…