It’s been one year since I quit the security of my full time job, set out to travel Europe and had no idea what would be waiting for me when I returned. With a bit of luck and a lot of connections, I’ve been able to make freelancing a full time position but not without learning quite a few lessons (and mistakes) along the way.
Lesson #6: Explaining it to the outside world.
Freelancer. Remote worker. Digital media specialist. Social media advertiser. I’ve said them all. And most times when people ask me what I do, I stumble over my words because I don’t know how to quite explain it.
“Basically I work every day of the week to make some money so I can pay for CrossFit, buy Lu doggie donuts and still travel all over the world with my husband. Ya dig?”
So let me give you some advice: pick a title and say it confidently. Half the people won’t know what you’re talking about and say “Wow! That’s really cool” and then change the subject. Then the other half will ask you some follow up questions which is where you can speak to your hearts delight about your clients and big projects you’re working on plus everything in between.
Aside from the confusion, you’re going to have people that think you’re insane for going an unconventional route. “Is it sustainable? When are you going to give up and get a real job again? How will you ever progress?” I’ve gotten it all. But honestly, who the fuck cares? You do you and you fucking shine. Plus, this is one more opportunity to prove all of those haters wrong and that yes, you can make a full time business out of freelancing.
I think it’s important to note that freelancing was never my dream – I had always imagined myself being a powerhouse director of marketing at a large agency or Fortune 500 company. It’s an unconventional role to take on that just happened to fall into my lap. While no two stories are the same, I want to share the lessons (and mistakes) I learned along the way to inspire that person who isn’t loving their 9-5 or the adventurer that wants to travel full-time but needs some supplemental income to know that with some time, patience and hard work, freelancing can evolve into something great.