My First Year As Full Time Freelance Contractor: This is what I have to say
My first year as a full-time freelance contractor has been hard and scary as hell. Although my work life has been great, the financial rewards have been scary. I have to give kudos to my husband. He’s been very supportive and hasn’t killed me. But has been hard.
Now that I’ve got that out the way, this is what I have to say. This is not the first time that I’ve tried to move into freelancing, but this time I was practically thrusted into it. Partly because I knew what I should be doing was helping people. Secondly because of health issues. The idea of returning back into teaching in public school was not an option.
That meant, I HAD to become a freelancer, contractor, sometimes both. I’m probably the only person who’s a freelancer that this has happened to. As I listen to different guest on my series of podcasts, most were working, decided they could run their own company. Or, they were doing things as a side hustle and then it turned full-time. I even heard one podcast where a guy got fired and car taken before he realized he should be freelancing with his talent.
It really is a process.
But in my case, it has been due to health reasons. I’ve had to adjust my way of interacting with people, especially very active children. Although, if you’ve read my other posts, I am an introvert, which on the one hand has been exciting, on the other hand it has been difficult.
I have keratoconus, which is a distortion of the lens of the eye. Most days are cool, I function pretty well like everyone else. But other days it can be difficult to wear my contacts. Therefore, I have to rewet, or even take them out for a couple of hours to let my eyes rest.
I must also monitor how long I sit at the computer. Most importantly, I do not want to be accidentally or or purposely hit in the eye. And as a public school teacher, this could be a GREAT possibility. So, now you see why I’ve been thrust into the freelance world. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not mad at all.
Now that I’ve been in this space for a year, I have learned so MUCH! I’m a huge podcaster. So, I listen to a lot of people, who generally give the same advice.
I’m probably the only person who’s a freelancer that this has happened to.
I’ve posted to my other business adventures on social media, blogging, and applying to freelance writing platforms, but this year has things have really sunk into place.
Now, it didn’t start off this way. It is still a process. Everyone says it’s a process. It really is a process. I started as a customer service representative trained for 6 weeks to sell Apple products. The training was great! My first time completely at home working in my office.
Then when it came to going onto the ‘floor’ to actually take real calls from customers, AND sell them additional products that I would be rated on, I lost it. Luckily, in the meantime, I had applied to a company to teach adults English as A Second Language online.
Although the hours are very flexible, I quickly found where I really belonged. After 2 days on the ‘floor’ I quit selling Apple products. Not that the product is bad, I actually love Apple products, but I just could not do well in that space. I don’t know what happens to me when I’m put in a selling position.
Anyway, I jumped full-time into teaching ESL online to adults. This is the best job I’ve ever had. Did I mention it is so flexible? Yeah, I think I did. I have met so many nice people from Brazil, all over Asia, Middle East and Europe.
This is how I got to where I am now. However, I wasn’t really monitoring world events and how it would effect my pay! Chinese holidays that coincide with South American holidays can cause a 75% reduction in pay. After I recovered from that month, (which took me 2 months) there was the World Cup! DANG! I’m still recovering from that one.
I think I skipped over the podcasts that mentioned monitoring your finances that can be a result of cultural events. Now that I know, I have worked other forms of payment into my portfolio.
I’m getting better at selling. I HAD TO. I just closed with 2 clients the other day. And thanks to the podcasts I’ve listened to about pricing your services and not backing down, I got what I wanted, with both of them. (smile).
I was shaking in my ‘flip-flops’ but it worked. Am I where I want to be financially? NO. But I know the momentum is there for the better. I’m still learning and again, it really is a process.