Hooking Your Freelance Self Up With Some WOWPosted: August 28, 2008 | |
Below are a few things that could have saved me some major hassle, not to mention temporary insanity meltdowns, when I started on my home office-in-a-box/freelance business.
It’s my hope that these words of wisdom (WOW) will also benefit those of you adjusting to life as solo entrepreneurs:
- Invest In Your Physical Space: Part of the reason I settled into more of a makeshift office scene from the get-go was because freelancing for me was a temporary gig and not part of my long-term plan. Only, the more time that went by and the more I found myself with freelance work, the more I discovered that idle objects such as a proper desk, lighting, and file cabinets were critical to providing me with an organized environment suited for doing work. And whether or not I wanted to admit it to myself, uncomfortably slouching over my laptop sitting on the couch 12-18 hours a day still qualified as me working and earning money so why not invest in a home office that acknowledges that? And saves me from a future of bad posture?
- Time Tracking Widgets Are a Gal’s Best Friend: The more clients and accounts I worked on, the more things got complicated so I started looking for the best tool to track and log my hours. To find the best tool, I posted a question on LinkedIn’s Q&A forum and while I got some pretty interesting feedback and networked a bit (always a plus) with respondents, I ended up finding the Harvest app through my Yahoo widgets. I can access the widget and start logging hours when I start working, juggle multiple accounts for single or multiple clients, and can later import all this info into a handy, dandy invoice. Harvest does this all on it own and saves me the headache of needing to go back and count hours. While it’s always recommended to do your due diligence just to keep track of your hours, Harvest helps out in a pinch!
- Keep Your Support Crew On Speed Dial (or Gmail Chat, Facebook, or Twitter): It’s important to stay upbeat and positive and who better to keep it real than your intimate crew of like-minded entrepreneurs. I have a group of a few gals and we Gmail Chat or Twitter ourselves into sanity (in the form of silliness) throughout the day, sharing our tales of woe and elation as we try to meander ourselves through the ups and downs of our freelancing lives.
- It’s Ok To Do Group Events: As a freelance writer, networking isn’t always my bag, but it’s a necessary evil for those of us trying to drum up business and it helps facilitate us continuing to do what it is we love to do. I was at a loss for finding pertinent, relevant events (Mediabistro wasn’t a broad enough group for my technology tastes) until I came across Gary’s Guide. Simple in its interface, it lists all major networking events for technology and entrepreneur meet-ups for 11 metropolitan areas, including New York, Boston, and San Fran. I always find an event on there that’s interesting and potentially a good hook for my line of work.