Are you a freelancer working at home? I am. And you know what? Sometimes I get lonely! Every freelancer that I’ve ever chatted with about this has the same sentiment. Whether you’re a writer, social media manager, or graphic designer, we all need interaction with people. But it’s about more than feeding our soul with a little socialization. Getting out there and speaking with someone face to face has other benefits.
It’s easy to get into a freelancing rut. You get up in the morning, (maybe) get ready for the day, and suddenly leaving the house becomes an enormous effort. It makes sense to stay at the home office most of the time. You can:
- Wear what you want
- Eat at home
- Not be judged by how many times you have to go to the bathroom in an hour
- Ditto for how much water you drink in an hour – hydration is important!
- Get focused
- Be productive
However, getting out of the house has its fair share of benefits:
Get out of your head. It’s so easy to internalize when you’re at home by yourself. I was talking with a freelance graphic designer, Sarah Rochel, last night about taking criticism. She mentioned that you almost have to hate your own work so that you don’t get attached to it. You also have to tell your ego to take a hike. But even the most confident and experience freelancer can get down when it seems like the criticism is piling up over the week. We’ve all had those weeks!
Self employment is a lonely gig. So get out there and talk with other freelancers. If you don’t know anyone, head to your local coffee shop and find someone who is obviously working on a project. Strike up a conversation by asking that person what they’re working on. Here’s the interesting part. They are likely at a coffee shop to run into people. If they had some work they really needed to crank out, they’d be in their office. So get chatting!
Make connections. I was working at a local coffee shop yesterday, Duluth Coffee Company. I ran into someone I’ve done a couple of projects with and we began filling each other in on our recent projects. I told her about a new business I’m thinking of purchasing and how worried I was about finding seasonal staff. She gave me some insight that will not only take that task off my shoulders, but it’ll save me a huge amount of money on worker’s comp insurance! My point is, you never know who you’re going to run into and the helpful information they’ll have for you.
Treat yo self! If you’re hitting a creative wall, nothing works better than doing something for yourself. Go for a walk, take yourself out to lunch, wander around some shops, get a massage – anything! You can’t take care of others until you take care of yourself.
So, now that it’s Friday and everyone is taken care of, I’m going to head out the door and see who I see, learn what I learn, and let the crazy of the week melt away. That’s how you survive in the freelance world!