Yes as I’m writing this, I’m seething with anger, disappointment and frustration. If truth be told, I’m sure I’m not the only one who experiences this. When I hang out on freelancing groups on Facebook, I read similar stories. It does bring out the worst in me.
I’m not one to handle their emotions well. In contrary to what most people think, I think there’s value in acknowledging what you feel and using your emotions to fuel you and your passion. Some say that there’s a need to “manage” one’s emotions. In reality, what they really meant was to suppress it. After going through depression for a while, I say, who gives a shit about what others think? If you can’t deal with it, don’t even bother trying to understand what I’m going through.
Don’t belittle what I do
I got derailed there for a bit so let me go back to the real question here. How did the people around you react when they heard that you’re doing freelancing?
In my experience, finding a job and actually working from home is surreal. I never knew this is possible. I’m happy, satisfied and at ease. I love challenges. So even though there’s no need, I aimed to exceed what my salary was while I was still in the corporate world. When I did exceed it, my aim was to get the same result for the following months. There are good months. There are off months and so I’m still working on being consistent. Experiencing freelancing for over a year, I can conclude it is a stable source of income. You may not get the same payouts every month but you can be assured there will always be work.
What I hate though is the way people react upon hearing I work from home. People seem to think that it’s “easy”. Working from home is someone’s idea of a vacation. I mean, come on! Give me a break. Do you live in the 90s? Technology has done nothing to change how judgemental people can be. We’re in the modern age yet some still are homo sapiens in their notions. Just because you don’t understand how it’s possible to earn online and while at home, doesn’t mean it is “easy”. It’s far from it.
It takes passion, courage and determination to succeed. The same thing happens in freelancing. If you don’t know what it is you’d like to achieve, I assure you, you will find yourself sucked in by comfort before you can even start to earn. Did I just throw away my 12 years of experience in the BPO? The hell no! I used it to my advantage. You can still tap on your skillsets in whichever niche you decide to pursue in freelancing.
Live your life they say
There are also those who would try to lure you to drink, have fun and yeah, spend money because they think you’re always available. While it’s true that I get to decide my own work hours, it’s the discipline that sets successful freelancers apart. No, I don’t consider myself successful but it’s my aim.
I can drink whenever I want, as long as there is no pending work. I can have fun, as long as there is no client waiting on my feedback. You see, just with anything else, you need traits and value add to prove why clients should hire you. If clients don’t see this in you, why would they choose you?
Let’s be honest here. It’s also a sign of maturity. I’ve gone through fun times. I’ve experienced how to party. I know what it’s like and spent my younger years doing them. I’ve grown tired of it. Now that I’m married, 33 years of age and a mother, why would I choose to go drinking all out versus spending time with my loved ones? Once in a blue moon, I’ll give myself a break but I see no point of doing it every week. Again, that’s just me. What works for you, works for you. Just as you shouldn’t give a damn about my choices.
Listen, don’t just pretend to
It’s understandable for those not within the freelancing world to not understand what we do. I get it, it’s new. It takes getting used to. But it doesn’t hurt to lend an ear. The disadvantage of working at home is that you don’t always get a chance to work for a company or team. It can get lonely. So allow us to vent out when we can. Allow us to tell you stories although you can’t relate. Allow us to share our world with you. If you truly care about what we do, show it. There are various ways you can show support because we need it.
We undergo pressure when we don’t meet deadlines. We feel tired when there’s a ton of work that we need to accomplish. Naturally, we also get pissed when things don’t go as planned. Freelancers undergo the same things you do. There’s nothing different about what we experience except the environment. Value what we do because we deserve it.
To all freelancers out there, feeling pissed, tired, disappointed, angry and hurt by people they love – persevere, stand tall, chin up. There is nothing to feel ashamed of. Even though there are people who won’t value what we do, value yourself. Give yourself a pat on the back for persevering and doing your best. Don’t give up just because people tell you to. Don’t doubt what you can do just because they criticize you.
Let your passion drive you forward.