KEEPING THE FAITH WHEN YOU WORK FOR YOURSELF (BUT HAVE NO WORK COMING IN)

THAT fear you feel when you have no work coming in?

I know it well. Very well.

I’ve been freelancing for six years now, making money from my blog for the last 18 months or so and still, I fear THAT fear.

When work is quiet. When my inbox is manageable. When my bank balance looks piteously low or I’m in the red.

I’ve been there more times than I count on all my fingers and toes. And yep, I’m totally with you, it sucks.

It’s a horrible feeling, especially when you’re first starting out. You think you’re doing something wrong. You think you’re going to be skint forever. You will probably – more than likely even – decide you’re going to give up, ditch your dreams and go and get a ‘proper job’.

But don’t! Please don’t.

Because trust me, this working for yourself game? It’s all about the highs and lows. The peaks and troughs. Some days you’re flying high, punching the air with joy, feeling that you’ve got this s**t down.

Other times? You will feel so dreadful, so despondent, so worried, so anxious, so unhappy, that you will question everything and wonder why the hell you ever chose to take a big ol’ leap of faith and go and make a living on your own terms.

This is when things get tough. And this is EXACTLY the time when you must ‘keep the faith’. To help you do just that, here are some things to think about when your work (and money) situation looks bleak.

This is how I  have learned to ‘keep the faith’ when every bone in my body is screaming “God damn you Kate, why couldn’t you just stick with a normal bloody job?!” ;-)

PRINTS

I LOOK AT THE BIGGER PICTURE

When I have a bad hour or a bad day, I force myself to think rationally and to see the bigger picture.

What I’ve achieved so far, what I’m working towards, what I’ve overcome. I remind myself that this working for yourself malarky is not a race, it’s just life!  There is no finishing line, no sprint to win, as working for myself is something I intend on doing forever.

And if I’m really struggling? I make myself read my testimonials page, have a gander at past praise from clients or I revisit the lovely emails I’ve received from readers. This always reminds me to be proud of what I’ve achieved so far and helps me feel a whole lot chirpier.

 

I MAKE MY OWN GOOD FORTUNE

I’ve stopped saying, “I’m so lucky” when something good happens in my work life, because it’s not luck at all! It’s fortune. And the thing with fortune is, unlike luck, you create much of it yourself. When you work for it, that is.

Because fortune doesn’t come to you. No, no, no. You have to create it, look for it and hunt the b****r down!

I’m a firm believer that opportunities are always out there, you just have to keep looking for them. So I do this all the time, but particularly when things are quiet.

I approach people. I work on my PR. I come up with new ideas. I search and I dig and I knock on doors and I carve out my own path.

When you work for yourself, you have to keep trying and persisting. Even when you don’t feel like it. And especially when nothing is coming from it. Because it always pays off in the end.

 

I (TRY) TO USE MY TIME WISELY

When work is quiet and I have time on my hands, I use those extra few hours to get stuff done. You know, those little jobs that always need doing but you never seem to get around to?

As I’ve said before, I’m not a lover of lists (bar this one!) but I do, when things are quiet, make myself knuckle down and get those pesky jobs finished. And I also make a short list of do-able objectives and try and crack on with them, as best I can.

Not only is this brilliant at keeping me out of mischief, it also helps me get s**t done!

So to give you an example, January was very quiet for me work wise (as I expected) so I got down to business and created my first newsletter, which I am loving writing! I’ve been meaning to create one for the past 12 months so you can imagine how chuffed I am.

Having quieter work times is NOT a bad thing, if you use your time wisely and creatively.

 

I ENJOY SOME TIME OFF

Us self employed folk don’t have the luxury of having our holidays paid for, so when work comes in, we take it! Even if we feel like having a day off.

So when it’s quiet, instead of stressing, I use the opportunity to take time off, to enjoy my life! Sure, I still feel guilty (as fellow bloggers will know, there’s always so much to do!) but I do it anyway.

I’m my own boss. I make my own rules. I work my own hours. I do what the hell I want within reason. But sometimes, when it comes to being self employed, you have to – where possible – go with the flow a bit.

So if things are quiet, take time off. If things are busy, work around the clock (if you wish).

I don’t know why but I always find that if I work with the quiet times, rather than against them, the universe (or whatever) has a funny way of returning my positivity with more work than I can handle, not long after.

So keep the faith my friends. Good prosperous times are on their way. (I can feel it.)

————–

With love,

Kate

Lips

 

 

 

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12 Discussions on
“KEEPING THE FAITH WHEN YOU WORK FOR YOURSELF (BUT HAVE NO WORK COMING IN)”
  • I completely agree, as ever, with you, Kate. I have spent hours in the past worrying about where my next project was coming from, being in a very – very, very, very – slow burn industry. Once I had to take a step back from my business for personal reasons, however, I gained a different perspective; I realised I was perhaps scaring people off with my desperation to secure work.

    Saying ‘no’ to people and projects when I returned to work was actually empowering. I decided that life was too short and I was only going to choose projects that were fulfilling, and involving people I wanted to work with. Funnily enough, despite my fear that this would narrow down my enquiries even further, it’s had the opposite effect.

    Because I now value my help, people value me. Because I’m not available 24/7, people see me as someone in demand, which boosts my appeal. And because I decided to work with those clients I knew would be a good fit, rather than anyone who crossed my path, I was able to give them more attention, which in turn made them refer others to my door, so impressed they were with my personal approach.

    If I ever stray into desperation, or feel the need to market myself on a generic basis again, please slap me!

    • Ah Diane, I bloody love this! Amazing! So many good points here, absolutely with you in terms of valuing yourself. You HAVE to. (There’s a blog post here!). And of course I will. ;-)

  • I couldn’t agree more! As a freelancer it can be easy to put yourself down and feel like you’re sometimes just ‘chasing dreams’. But as you say, if you knuckle down and use your downtime productively good things will always come your way in the end. Positivity is key. I’ve just recently come across your blog – loving it! x

    • Thanks so much! (So chuffed!) And yep you’re right, hanging on in there and keeping positive is the key. Freelancing is never easy but always worth it I reckon! x

  • Great post Kate! And wise wise words! I bloody hate January…I always feel like a massive loser and worry that I’ll end up eating out of the bin.
    A great thing I always do is NOT look forwards in my diary and panick but look BACK through my diary and see all the work that I did. It’s much more reassuring and shows me that it usually always works out. And if not, there’s plenty of nutrients to be found in the bin!😂
    Love this! Will tweet xx

    • Ah my love, we all feel like that. December, January and August are my hellish months usually, but hey considering there are 12 months in the year, that’s not so bad! And I love your tip too. Thanks love. x

  • I woke up this morning, and was just thinking about this when I saw your post. This is so true, yes sometimes I feel I have done so much but yet still my bank account at times does not reflect it, and it can be so frustrating and you feel like giving up. I find it hard especially when you have children and have to make sure their needs are met. Inspite of this, yes we go an and spend time wisely and find creative ways to cope. Thanks for sharing and love the tips and the comments from others too,

    • Thanks so much. You’re so right, it can be very frustrating and disheartening at times. I have those days too! But I know that for me, I’ve never regretted it. Even when it’s been deadly quiet. The life I have now is a million times happier and more fulfilling. Keep on keeping on! X

  • This is brilliant lovely and perfect day to read it for myself. January was hard for me very quiet working for myself I sometimes panic when I don’t have a lot in the pipeline ahead. Great tips and things to keep in mind. Thank you so much.

    • We all panic, sometimes I think it’s good to remember that and also to remember that when you’re having quiet month, things will pick up! X

  • Keep at it! It’s such a brave move going freelance and it takes a particular kind of character to keep your head down and keep going when it’s not smooth sailing. But more good days than bad days, right? And just remember what it was like to sit in an office all day working for someone else …

    • Hell yeah! I’m never going back to employment Tim. Have been my own boss for 6 years nearly and that isn’t changing ;-)

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