Before my current job I spent quite a few years freelancing as an SEO and have always wanted to write a post about the experience. This isn’t a guide to going freelance, but it does discuss some points that I think anyone considering taking the leap and working for themselves should think about. A lot of people consider being your own boss and working from home the ultimate dream; getting up when you want and taking the odd day off when you don’t feel like working. The reality couldn’t be further from the truth. If you do decide to go it alone you’ll find yourself working twice as hard as your counterparts with ‘proper jobs’. Be prepared to be up early, work late into the night, work weekends and deal with problems when you’re on holiday. In short, there is no such thing as true ‘time off’. Added to that you’re going to have to quickly learn how to run a business and suffer the mistakes when you make them.
There are also some immense benefits, but not in the way that most people expect. One guarantee is that you will come out the other end with a work ethic that I don’t think you can develop in any other way. If you’ve had to deal with being in a situation where you do the work or face earning no money; suddenly most day to day issues simply won’t be a problem anymore – you’ll just fix them because it’s what you’re used to doing. Not being tied into a particular role also means you can develop in the way that you want to, when you want to. If there’s a training event you feel you need to attend you can; if you decide to spend time developing a new skill you can. (more…)