Eeking out a living while having time to devote to your craft can be a juggling act. There are only so many hours in a day and finding the time and energy to work on side projects can leave you uninspired at best. But before you hang your “aspiring” hat on the shelf there are ways to find time to freelance while still maintaining your day to day. And with dedication and some sleepless nights you can grow your part-time passion into a full-time life.
A little story: About six months ago, I had the amazing opportunity to design a blog for a good friend. Little did I know then that my obsession with blogging and WordPress would burgeon into a full fledged part-time freelance business. While my day job is in the same industry, my side business is done in the daylight of weekends and under the moonlight of late nights. Sure, I sleep a lot less than before and miss out on a lot of choice reality TV, the time I spend freelancing is contributing to building a business for myself and I wouldn’t imagine spending it any other way.
The moral of this small tale is that freelancing on the side is a viable option and when you have an immense passion, the reward will far exceed the commitment. While I literally jumped head first into part-timing, I’ve learned a few lessons.
Make time for what you Love
There’s never enough time and guess what; there will never be enough time unless you make it. Your unfinished novel, your baking business or your sketches will continue to lay dormant until you make the decision that they are worthy of your time. Deciding to freelance on the side will require a lot of sacrifice but dedicating it to doing something you love will make all the difference.
Use Time Wisely
So we’ve established that time is not your friend and running an operation of one you have to manage your time wisely. With a day job you won’t have the luxury of working on projects and you will become a pro at squeezing time out of every moment. Morning commutes are spent typing ideas/notes into my Blackberry. Lunch breaks have officially become “Freelance Power Hour”. If there is an available moment, I try to get something done, even if it’s just replying to an email.
Organization is your Best Friend; Caffeine is a close second
Essentially you are Clark Kent by day, Superwoman by night! In order to keep track of invoices, client communications and your sanity, organization is going to be your best friend. Channel your inner Virgo and make a vow to be organized to a fault. Also, the belief that entrepreneurs don’t sleep is the truth. You heard it hear first. Grab a cup of coffee and join us at the freelancers’ table.
Give yourself a day off
Even with all of the restless nights, you have to make time for yourself. When going from your 9-5 to your 5-12am, it’s hard to turn off from work mode. But setting aside a day to decompress and unplug will rejuvenate you when you sit back at the desk. Taking off will also stave off burnout, which can happen when you’re pulling double duty.
Set A Goal Date
I can’t mention freelancing part-time without talking about the end goal that every part-timer dreams of. Deciding to leave the “stability” of a day job to pursue your passions full-time can be scary. But by building up a clientele and sustainable business on the side will make the transition much simpler. Set a “Leaving the Nest” date and use it as motivation, just remember to leave the comfort of your job on that day.
Are you a part-time freelancer? What are some of your thoughts on freelancing on the side?