What to know if you’re thinking about going freelance

Choosing the times you work is most peoples dream, and with flexible working and freelancing roles on the rise, more and more people are becoming able to take the reins on their own working life.  According to The Trades Union Congress (TUC) more than 1.5 million people in the UK work from home now, and it’s the younger generation who is driving this movement. But it can be difficult to motivate yourself if you’re your own boss, how do you concentrate when there are so many distractions at home? We asked someone who’s being doing it since day dot…

We spoke to Alix Holdaway-Salmon, freelance hair and make-up artist and ultimate #girlboss about working for yourself, the pros, the cons and the things they don’t warn you about. Anyone thinking of going at it alone, take note…

How did you know that freelancing was for you?

For me personally, as a young child I knew I always wanted to be my own boss and work for myself so I think having that want and belief is so key.

I had a few part time jobs when I was younger and even then being trapped into when you ‘had’ to work and when you ‘were allowed’ to take time off etc was enough for me to know that I didn’t want someone controlling me like that my whole life.

Were you ever worried about job security?

I’m a huge believer of if you don’t like something then change it. We are so set in our ways and that there is security in having a job but in reality there is no job security anymore so I would say now so more than ever is the best time to take that plunge.

Most of the time fear or doubt are the only things that hold people back.

Of course there are some months where I think OMG where is my income going to come from but that’s actually why I started my business in the network marketing industry alongside freelancing as for me it gives me that security without trading time for money – like most do when they are self employed – yet it still gives me total ownership of my time/life.

What about not making enough money to live?

I believe if you are passionate about what you have to offer and you have a drive to succeed, you can make it happen. Success doesn’t happen overnight and neither does building a business. Consistency and persistence is so key.

Fear is what holds people back and the negative side of ‘what if’. I’m quite a visionary person so I like to think that I see the bigger picture and look for the positives over the negatives. Of course there was that doubt but there’s no harm in trying, and what if it does plan out the way you wanted, and more?

 

Is it much harder than you thought or easier?

I would be lying if I said it was easy.

It is difficult. I think mainly because it’s up to you to make it happen. You don’t have anybody shouting at you or the worry of under-performing and losing your job etc.

For me now, both my businesses have developed and I have new visions of where they will get to. I am [very] motivated and determined, I have such a drive that it’s not hard to motivate myself anymore because I really know my purpose and why I do what I do.

So for me … digging deeper into your reason for why you started and how you can serve others (and making sure that means something to you) is vital when working for yourself.

What were your concerns?

The unknown, and [having] confidence in whether I had the ability to make it work.


What do you wish someone had told you about before you started working for yourself?

Personal development. This is something that I am now so passionate about. I believe most success is down to the mindset and your own personal growth, and you can’t succeed without it. Everyone is different but it’s so key to never stop learning or growing personally. If you don’t grow, you’re limiting yourself and what you are capable of.

The other thing is, and I hear it so much now so I try to advise people, a lot of people want to go freelance because they feel like it’s going to be easier and give them a better lifestyle. It’s not easier. You have to motivate yourself (as previously mentioned). There is no sick pay or holiday pay [for example] and if you don’t work, you don’t make money!

It certainly gives you more choice and freedom/flexibility but [you] also need an income to support that, so I think it’s key for people to understand really what it is that they want in their life. If they want complete time freedom as well as financial freedom, being freelance won’t necessarily mean that, [because] you still trade time for money, but building your business to create a passive income stream will. I wish I was a bit more clear on that [before I started out] and that somebody had spoken to me more about creating passive income into my life which, again, is why I started my second business and now I’m in the process of building my freelance business into a passive income stream too.

How important is it to have a group of like minded business owners to talk to?

KEY!! A lot of people won’t understand what you do or will be trapped in an employee mindset. The more you can surround yourself with like minded people, the more it will impact all areas of your life. Not just business.

If you hang around with people who moan and winge you will get caught up in doing the same. The same as if you surround yourself with positive go-getters, you will strive for more yourself.

I also believe that you learn from others. So it’s good to hang around with people who are where you want to be so you can learn from them and do what they have done.

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How difficult is it to motivate yourself to work?

As previously mentioned I feel that if you find your purpose and know why you’re doing what you’re doing, and how you can serve others and benefit their lives, then you want to get to work!

If you aren’t feeling that motivated, your why and purpose isn’t strong enough.

How important is routine?

Sometimes with hours being all over the place a routine can be hard to stick to. I have found recently how you start your mornings is key. A recommended book for this is The Miracle Morning.

Something that also works for me is scheduling my diary the night before. If I am working on things at home, scheduling what I’m doing at that specific time really helps to keep focus. Figure out how long you can focus for and then give yourself a break. So I may schedule 30 mins of something work related, then give myself a break to do washing, clean up or have breakfast, so that you don’t get bored and can maximize your work time efficiently.

The best things about working for yourself?

  • Freedom
  • Choice
  • You have complete control over the outcomes (if you want to triple your income each year you can absolutely do that)
  • It’s up to you
  • Satisfaction/pride
  • Confidence boost
  • Seeing your success and knowing you achieved that
  • Showing what’s possible/being evidence for others
  • No limit to time off for holiday
  • Choose your hours
  • Choose your jobs
  • Choose who you work with

When asked if Alix would ever go back to full time work in a corporate company, her answer: ABSOLUTELY NO WAY!

A bit more about Alix:

Alix Holdaway-Salmon is a freelance hair and make-up artist, and also works as a business coach for an internet marketing company in the health and wellness industry. To contact Alix, you can view her Facebook here, or follow her on Instagram here.