Multiple Streams of Income: How I’ve Managed Freelancing
It’s been a while since I’ve had even a moment to update you here, but today I am finally able to sit down and write a bit about something that has been on my heart to share for some time:
Multiple Streams of Income.
Since graduating uni a few short months ago, I have experienced drastic changes that have been both challenging and wonderful. I’m engaged… went from moving back in with my parents after years of living with my best friends to soon moving into what will be my first home with my almost-husband… I went from working in customer service, full-time minimum wage, to freelancing for multiple clients as a writer, barista-ing at a professional coffee roaster’s, teaching tap and hip hop to kids ages 6-11, and having one almost full-time client whose office I am in for half my working hours of the week.
It’s been absolutely stinkin’ FUN, and absolutely stinkin’ overwhelming.
I have had extremely high “highs,” as well as some scarily low lows, as I’ve navigated what this season of my life looks like. I’ve wrestled with my calling, I’ve dreamed more than ever about house decor, and, ultimately, I’ve become more confident than ever before in my life.
I have really and truly loved having multiple streams of income, and getting to do so much of what I love and what I am gifted for, but there have been challenges too.
Today, I am sharing my top tips for managing multiple streams of income.
Keep a strict calendar.
I’ve always used a planner, and love using them, but I used to schedule my time only vaguely. In my current season, I absolutely MUST write everything down by the hour, or else I am bound to affect someone else in a negative way. Part of the service I provide as a freelancer involves my time efficiency, and I am proud to say that I always complete projects prior to their deadline. It is so important to me to be timely with my projects, as well as completely courteous of my clients’ time.
Figure out how you want to manage your invoices, and keep them organized.
This is definitely a skill I am still working on. My invoices are organized to ME, but if someone else looked at them, they would probably freak out a little bit. I do have a record of all my payments and invoices, and keep them in one place. Freelancing can mean that it is difficult to budget accordingly, because your income can change extremely drastically from one month to the next. This is why keeping a record is helpful, in order to understand your average income, and establish an estimate based on how much work you will complete in the next month.
Stay on top of the “little things.”
For me, this means planning my dance lessons well in advance (and writing them down!), mapping out everything for each of my writing projects from research to creation to proofing, and keeping track of when I need to do personal things, like errands and other tasks. Staying on top of these things, aka planning them and writing them down, helps me to avoid stressing about when and how I’m going to get everything done.
Don’t take on any projects or clients that don’t align with your values.
This is huge, and it’s one of the beauties of freelancing: LEARN TO SAY NO. No client whose morals don’t align with yours is worth money. Your craft should not just be about your income: it should be a source of joy, and, most importantly, a valuable service. But no one is serving anyone when they disagree with the morals or content.
Establish your boundaries, and maintain open communication with clients.
Setting boundaries in terms of your working hours, discounts, rate increases, and amount of communication with clients is so important– and these need to be communicated with your clients, too. Maintaining open and flexible communication is important, but, as the contractor, the boundaries you set must be respected.
Remember– life is not about money.
When you work for yourself, it’s all too easy to get wrapped up in the income, the excitement of an increasing rate and increasing volume of clients, and the fact that you’ve MADE IT as a freelancer in first place. But, if there is one thing I have learned since I’ve started doing this, it’s this: I want this to be about excellent customer service and excellence in my craft, as well as making genuine human connections.
I don’t think freelancing is my calling, but I am grateful to be learning about it and growing in it in this season while God has me here. And it gives me nothing but joy to share what I’ve learned, in the hopes of helping any freelancers or aspiring ones to find their rhythm and love what they do, too.