The life of the self-employed

I have been freelancing since I came back from my big trip . When you are self-employed, staying busy doesn’t always mean that you are working on a gig. The line between work and life outside of it becomes blurry when you are doing it all by yourself. From figuring out Obama care and lining up your health insurance to casually browsing the web and reading about a new company looking to expand their brand, it’s all work.

Being self-employed is not a matter of working less hours. “Work smart and work less” doesn’t necessarily apply to me at this point. I am still growing my name (and my business) and since I am one of those lucky (and delusional) people that believe that work is play, I’m not even sure that my goal is to scale down on working hours. When I’m not working on a big all-consuming project, I spend around 20 hours per week looking for and bidding on projects. My goal is to have 10 hours of billable work every week and then the remaining 10 hours, are usually dedicated to working on content that I’m not yet being paid for. As long as I can pay my bills, this is not a bad breakdown of a regular 40 hour work week.

I have figured out a formula that keeps me interested and flexible. I go around the lake anytime I feel like it and I am rarely not able to make time for a trip.  I see music shows or movies at the theater on a weekly basis because I believe that they contribute positively towards my creative stamina.

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Broncho @ The Independent

There is always room for growth. If I were to cut my bidding hours in half (from 20 to 10), and turn half of that time into billable hours, I would have an ideal situation. My work week would look like this:

10 hours of bidding + 15 hours of billable work + 10 hours of “seed work” + 5 hours of experimental work

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To me, the breakdown above is the epitome of a balanced independent work life. My secret is to be proactive and open to new opportunities. With that said, I’m off to take a call for a part-time gig as a transcriber. Wish me luck!

PS: Signature photo by Connor Radnovich / The Chronicle and photo above by Danny Ortega.

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