8 rules for a successful freelancer

    My last post - " Disadvantages of freelance ", found a significant response from the audience of the Habré (37k views, 380 comments). At the end of it, I promised to write a new post on the topic “How to Become a Successful Freelancer”, to maintain balance in the Universe . In addition, several messages about a new post flew into private messages, on the contrary. I mean the good points of freelancing.

    Well, said - done. And I started to write. First, I wrote out all the topics that relate to the work and life of a freelancer. Then he broke them into subtopics, each of which can be disclosed in a separate post. As a result, only the main topics turned out to be 20, in each of which 3-4 subtopics. That is, about 60-80 posts, if you disclose each nuance separately. This is either a whole book, or your blog, or youtube channel.

    I already had my own blog, but video content is a completely new phenomenon for me. Therefore, it was decided to take up the experiment with YouTube, and to kill two birds with one stone - to make a post about successful freelance and learn how to create a video.

    This post was born from a script to
    the video
    with the same name. By the way, how this video was created is, in itself, a separate fable. I’ll probably tell about this backstage in a separate post, because I didn’t think that it takes so much time and energy.

    Actually, under the cut, the edited transcription of the video.

    So, 8 rules of a successful freelancer , which I and my friends follow. Each of us has 10+ years of freelance behind our backs. During this time, we have developed our own rules and principles, which everyone has come to independently. As usual, through stuffing cones and stepping on a rake. In freelance, you get it all yourself because you work for yourself. There is no one to push or push you.

    Here are the rules for a successful freelancer:

    Rule number 1. Self discipline

    Self-discipline includes:

    • Designated work schedule
    • Schedule
    • Stay in touch with the client when not working (always online)
    • Stick to the terms
    • Always reply to customer messages and calls
    • Warn in case of delays or force majeure when you cannot work

    Self-discipline is the foundation of the success of your freelance career. You will not have an uncle manager who will stand above the soul. There is no driver in freelance. All your freelance activities should be built on responsibility and self-discipline.

    Rule number 2. Monitor the health

    A successful freelancer monitors his health. Independently. First of all, this means that it is not processed, monitors the load on current projects and does not forget to relax.

    In no case does it fade. When he feels very tired - the freelancer is resting.

    Also, to monitor health means: eat well, get enough sleep and exercise. You can start with walks, then gradually move on to jogging.

    If you don’t want to go to the gym, let the gym come to you (you can arrange it at home).
    For example, for myself, I bought a barbell and a dumbbell. The best way to distract the brain from mental stress is to exercise.

    Rocked - and you can continue to work.

    Rule number 3. This is a convenient workplace and fast hardware.

    You should not have discomfort and stress during the work. For me personally, I need a large table where you can place two monitors, a laptop. Comfortable chair, comfortable "keyboard". And of course, the fast iron that Winda or Mac fly on.
    Rule number 3 is a personal convenience that you organize yourself.

    Rule number 4. Great communication

    Not everyone is given to be a god of negotiations or a super salesman, but you need to be able to talk with a client.

    Even if you're a nerd or a beard programmer in the last stage. Anyway, the ability to communicate well is a skill that customers love and which will allow you to take large orders with high rates. And also build trust. Trust relationships are also the basis of long-term and stable work with the customer.

    Rule number 5. Only quality!

    The fifth rule of a successful freelancer is quality work. Is always. More often, customers get uncovered hack that does not meet the requirements and expectations. A qualified freelancer is now a rarity, for which good money is paid.

    (The statement is taken from the experience of the customer on the freelance exchange. Among hundreds of applications worthy - 2-3, and those - a pig in a poke. I heard the same thing from my customers.)

    Rule number 6. Safety bag

    Every freelancer, sooner or later forced to look for a new order. Or take a timeout.
    In this case, we need time and money to somehow stretch out before we find a new stable customer.

    Therefore, rule number 6 of a successful freelancer is to always have an airbag.

    You can postpone the stash starting from the first project. A little bit, a little bit, and when over time the amount of your savings will be significant, you can invest it and live on a passive income from a percentage of investments.

    (By the way, one of my freelancer acquaintances receives 50% + of the monthly income from investing in a trader. His plans for the next 2 years are to fully live on passive income. Accumulate assets and avoid liabilities - remember, right?)

    Why else do I need an airbag?

    In addition to waiting for the time needed to find a new order, a “pillow” will be needed when we want to pause our freelance activities. To go about their business, either go on vacation, or start your project. It could be a month, two, three. As far as finances and pillow size allow.

    Second moment. When we have money, we work with clients more confidently. When we don’t have money, we take up any work, lower the rate, carry out any finishing touches , and generally work on a nerves , because we are dependent on this money. Because we really need them now and we have no stock. Therefore, rule number 6 is to have and grow an airbag.

    Rule number 7. Delegation

    The next rule for a successful freelancer is delegation. That is, to give other performers part of their work.

    This is especially true for routine tasks (like data entry), tasks in which you do not have enough qualifications or they are outside the scope of your specialization. There are times when it simply does not work out (for inexperienced).

    Many freelancers are afraid to get bullshit as a result, or basically do everything themselves, or just a toad presses to pay for part of their work.

    There is some truth in this approach, but if you are afraid of everything, your income will not increase.

    In any case, if you want to scale, take more orders and earn more - learn to delegate. Learn to find artists and give them part or all of your work. At the same time, carefully controlling the result and the readiness to finish the masterpiece.

    Rule number 8. Ongoing training

    And last but not least. Rule number 8 - Continuing education.
    In freelance, like nowhere else, you need to be able to learn quickly. Each new order is a new subject area, new tools and technologies, a new team (even if it is one customer).

    If you are young, the brain quickly assimilates new information. If you are experienced, then most likely you are moving within your stack of technologies and skills. But you still have to study. Constantly. Himself.

    Summary. Do not stand still, constantly improve your skills. Learn new things. And ultimately you will become a universal soldier who knows everything and replaces the whole department.

    In custody

    Perhaps, for some, the rules seem obvious and captain's. But when I started, I didn’t have any routine, I worked horribly, at three nights and at dawn. Windows terribly slowed down on the Duron 800mhz 64mb ram. Although there was money to deliver brains or take a computer more powerful.

    I then sat in a wooden chair, earning a stoop. About communication and responsibility - it’s better to keep silent altogether. She was almost gone. The only thing that was was the desire to learn. To constantly improve.

    Therefore, I hope that the post will be useful for beginners and going to freelance.
    And an experienced freelancer - will analyze everything in his place and take something into account.

    Thanks for attention.

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