I will spare you the jokes about how different 2020 was and cut right to the chase; starting my own business became a necessity really quickly, which meant virtually no time to fit in a learning curve. So I picked up knowledge as I went, creating a little list of 5 things I’ve learned since freelancing that will hopefully be helpful, or at the very least entertaining to read about.
1. Freedom is Nice
2020 life threw lemons at us all like it was a bully in middle school over-zealously playing a game of dodge ball. Not the least of these lemons being the loss of normal freedom in terms of leaving our houses and spending time with loved ones. This was a great reminder to not take everything for granted, and enjoy the freedom of actual normalcy when it (hopefully) returns. But more than that, I learned that working for myself offered its own beautiful freedom in the form of making my bedroom double as my office, setting my own hours, and knowing that I could (to some extent) pick and choose my clients. Freedom is nice.
2. So Much Learning!
Literally everything! I’ve found myself Googling polyhedron, doing deep research into types of chair legs, and hunting down synonyms for a word that didn’t have the right aesthetic. Most of my work has been in the mid-century modern furniture world, which means a lot of time is spent figuring out exactly how to describe a table so it doesn’t sound like all the other tables out there. I’ve written about people, museums, embroidery, cushions, and lights, and discovered a whole world of people absolutely head over heels for what they create.
3. It’s Pronounced Hue-Gah
Speaking of learning. It has come to my attention that the much-loved interior design lifestyle of Hygge is, in fact, pronounced hue-gah. And I’ve been nervous to say it in public ever since so as not to sound like a snob. But I’m also not sure I ever said it out loud before learning its proper pronunciation in the first place. That’s all besides the point. Never has a revelation stuck with me so much.
4. Know Your Worth
It’s hard starting out in the freelance world because people ask you how much you charge and you don’t want to scare them off so you say $12 an hour. Completely forgetting that you went to (and paid for) college and an editing certificate. You’ve done your research, you’ve paid your dues, you’re worth way more than that. It’s not a mistake to try and obtain and retain a client at a starting point, but after that, know your worth.
5. College Did Not Prepare Me
This may come as no surprise to anyone who has ever attended college, but college does not adequately prepare you for life. Not even a little. Sure, you scoop up knowledge and some skills, but then you’re dumped into the real world and if you forgot to learn how to float, well then too bad. There are so many pitfalls, plot holes, and overall dumbfounding situations that no amount of book learning or essay writing will ever prepare you for. When I entered college, freelancing was nowhere on the radar. But here we are.
I guess what I’m trying to say through all of this is that, no matter what, curveballs are thrown and, through it all, you can rest assured that we are all learning as we go. So brace yourselves for a part two. 🙂
Comment with five things you’ve learned recently!