Freelance life 2021: Successes and some failures

2021 has been a busy year, a fun year and a challenging year as a freelancer. There have been successes…and some failures.

A rollercoaster of a year (I like rollercoasters mostly) Photo by Jack O’Rourke on Unsplash

January kicked off at a cracking pace which was encouraging and while there have been a couple of quieter spells it’s been my busiest year yet.

Am I closer to ironing out the peaks and troughs? I have had spells of working weekends which I want to stamp out but, yes, I think the workflow is getting a little bit more even.

As well as a lot of repeat business, I’ve added to my stable of clients and a new service: Podcast hosting.

It’s giving me a broader base from which to draw work. And when the workflow does start to quieten I find myself feeling less anxious about it. Which is definitely a success.

Part of that is having a better understanding of marketing and putting the work in on that side of the business. Consistency is the key and that’s something I’ve definitely got good at.

Failure to launch

I did a podcasting course at the beginning of the year with a view to starting my own podcast. The course was fab but I haven’t managed to launch the podcast yet. Which is one of my failures this year.

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Freelancing, self-discovery and the best feeling

I didn’t find freelancing, freelancing found me. After being made redundant from a job I’d had for 20 years, I didn’t know what I wanted to do.

Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash

But then people started asking if I could help with things like writing, training and moderating and so I stumbled into self-employment.

It wasn’t something I’d ever considered or imagined I’d end up doing. There was no planning, no expectations, I hadn’t stopped to think about what it would be like – or whether I was suited to it.

Like learning to run my own business it has been a voyage of self-discovery and continues to be.

I’ve learned a lot about myself, my strengths and weaknesses. There are times I’m burdened with self-doubt, feel overwhelmed and that I don’t really know what I’m doing.

It can feel lonely, isolating and scary at times.

Finding your own way

There is no one to pick you up when things go wrong or don’t work out, so you learn to do it yourself. There is no one to take over when you are struggling, you have to find your own way through it.

It requires strength, resilience and persistence and I’ve got more of that than I realised. At those times I thought I would flounder I’ve surprised myself. I’ve developed a new level of confidence.

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