I wrote a book about freelancing! It’s called “Freelance in 30 Days” and you can buy it here.
This book aims to get you excited, inspired and absorbing insight into what it takes to go freelance, attracting your first clients, standing out as a high-profile freelancer, and building a valuable pipeline of new business for your freelance consulting business.
I believe you can make it as a freelancer. This freelance book will help you along the way.
Here’s a bit about the book in numbers:
100 days to write and publish the whole book
10 interviews with freelancers included in the book
3 convenient formats – PDF (for Mac or PC), EPUB (for iPad, iPhone, Android, and ebook readers), MOBI (for Kindle)
I can already see wrinkles appearing by the minute…
To celebrate, I’ve been whisked away for a surprise trip and I’m writing this from the cosy bedroom aboard a boat. One of the advantages of freelancing is that you can take a trip whenever suits you and you can work while you’re there, if you’ve set yourself up for mobile working.
I’ll be writing more about travelling as a freelancer and how to make it work in the coming weeks. This year I’ve been to Japan, India, Germany, Spain , and the US, all while still running my freelance consulting business.
While I’m on this particular trip, I’m planning to put the finishing touches to my book, Freelance in 30 Days.
And to celebrate my 30th birthday, I’m giving you a present (that’s how generous a guy I am!)
From now until December 30th, I’m offering 30% off the normal book price. Simply enter the code ‘happybirthday’ when prompted.
The book itself is being published later this week on December 19th, but you can preorder it now. And I’ll be sure to tell you again when the book itself has been published so you can get yourself a copy.
It would be a lovely birthday present if I could sell a few copies of my first book, but an even bigger present for you if you buy the book, follow the advice and then make the transition from employed to self-employed. That would be worth celebrating for me.
Ok, I’m off to open some birthday presents, but don’t forget – it’s 30% off Freelance in 30 Days until the 30th to celebrate my 30th (just use the code ‘happybirthday’).
This is the tenth in a series of interviews with freelancers, telling us their stories on how they went freelance. The aim is to help others who are thinking of becoming freelance learn more about what it takes, as well as get advice and inspiration so they can get the confidence and understanding to find out if freelancing is right for them.
What made you decide to become a freelance HR consultant?
It was an epiphany moment. I had always been an employee of a company but over the past 5 years took on fixed term roles for a range of different companies from small manufacturing to international media.
The crunch point came when I was offered a permanent (very well paid) job at a global finance organisation and had the lightbulb moment; what if I went it alone? I could potentially work with a range of different companies and cultures and even create my own way of working.
From that moment on I could not stop thinking about my idea, it took over most daily thoughts and I decided that if I couldn’t stop thinking about it, I owed it to myself to give it a shot- if anything to take back control of my sanity!!
What steps did you put in place before you went freelance?
With hindsight, not enough. Once I decided to create my business, which was whilst I was still in employment, I began looking into how to set up a limited company. I was put in touch with Companies House and used useful resources such as the GOV.UK website.
I also visited the local library and read up on business start ups, networking and finance. I also read a lot about entrepreneurs to get the confidence that I could do it too.
I started networking whilst I was still in full time employment as well. I simply googled business networking in my area and found out about some of the most popular events, to see if I could start talking to other companies about the business I was setting up, ahead of time.
How did it feel before you went freelance?
The day before I left full time employment, it felt exhilarating. I practically bounced in to the office on my last day, knowing that from that day on, most things that happened in my career were of my doing and influence.
No other feeling compared to imagining being your own boss.
It was also terrifying – no other feeling is as worrying as being your own boss!
How does it feel now you are a freelance HR consultant?
I would say on the whole I feel very positive. I think in every freelancers career there are highs and lows, particularly when you start out.
You face concerns about where you will get work from, whether your rates are competitive etc but once you start to build up your client base and understand how people like to work, it becomes more interesting and rewarding.
For me, it’s a passion that I can’t flick the ‘off switch’ to. I’m also a perfectionist so can’t rest until I feel like something is as good as it can be, and love that I get the final say in what “perfect” is!
What are the positives of freelance life?
Freedom – I can start my day at 6am if I can’t sleep and be done by 2pm to enjoy the rest of the day.
Job satisfaction- you get a real buzz from winning a new client or setting up your own website. Everything you do that you have never done before gives you a kick.
Although at times it can be hard, once you’ve learnt a new skill you feel an immense proudness, it’s a great feeling.
What are the negatives of freelance life?
It can get lonely. I’m quite a sociable person and at times I have felt very isolated.
All of a sudden the people that you used to connect with, you don’t seem to make that connection anymore because as an employee, it is difficult to understand how much there is to think about when setting up your own business.
You no longer just do your job, you’re the Finance Director, you’re in charge of marketing, HR, you have to be a jack of all trades and enjoy that.
Any advice for others looking to go freelance?
Be kind to yourself and make sure you celebrate the small things. If you’ve just set up your first company Twitter account or written your first article – congratulate yourself because without a team of people around you, you need to make sure you are your own biggest supporter.
Finally, toughen up- people may try to put you off, to take business from you or perhaps put your ideas down but so long as you remain professional, positive and open to feedback, it shouldn’t impact you or your business.
Thanks for taking part, Soraya, and for sharing your tips and advice. Make sure to check out her website at lovehr.org.uk and follow her on Twitter at @lovehrltd.
There are loads of free freelance invoice templates and generators out there, but which ones are the best for you?
Do you want a slick, professional looking invoice for your freelance business, but will be encouraged to sign up to other premium freelance services?
Or do you just want to generate a basic looking freelance invoice, using an editable invoice template, without being sold to while you create your freelance invoice?
I’ve looked through the options available online to help you create a professional looking freelance invoice – for free.
(Where possible, I’ve listed if the invoice generators are completely free or if a paid freelance service is behind the site. If I’m wrong in any case, or you’ve spotted one I should add, then let me know!)
One of the free invoice generators that doesn’t seem to be trying to sell you another service, Invoice To Me lets you create and send professional looking PDF invoices online. Plus it automatically calculates taxes and totals for you.
Simple and free, with no advertising or attempts to upgrade you to a paid service, which is quite refreshing after looking through the others.
A freelance invoice generator that’s so good, it even makes one of their freelance clients “not hate invoicing”.
Much the same as the other freelance invoice generators, but you can upgrade to the full Paydirt app and it will help you to track payments, accept credit cards, and be automatically notified of late invoices.
A great feature is that Paydirt can create invoices in 47 currencies and 16 languages. Need to send a Rechnung, or a Facture? Paydirt has got you covered.
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