Freelance is hard work. Your hours are often long and you are often unrewarded for your work until much later, if at all. One of the big things that I have struggled with several times is the fear that I won’t be able to pay my rent this month or that I won’t even have fifty bucks for groceries. As freelancers it is very easy to find our wallets light and ourselves in dark places.
I’m going to keep this post less humorous than usual because I just really want to drive home a point. Whenever I have found myself in these moments of financial crisis I tend to lean toward trying to do every possible thing to make money and those things are often not related to my craft. Not long ago I attempted to donate plasma and drive for Uber in order to pay my bills. Both situations proved difficult as somehow even though they were both set up for people to make easy money there were roadblocks in my path in every direction. The plasma place kept screwing up my blood sample used to determine my eligibility and Uber kept having trouble receiving the required documents.
I sought guidance from my best friend and collaborator, Ben Davis of Ben Animates. (Check him out. He’s amazing) He told me to stop trying to find other ways to make money because all it’s doing is distracting me from Plan A and he was right. I was spending a lot of time with these other money making ventures I completely stopped working on my own projects. That night I emailed some clients and reached out to some potential clients and the next day I was back to work and getting paid.
Fast forward a couple months and a couple more financial woes (taxes, am I right?) and I needed help again. This time I stuck to my guns and kept doing business as usual. Writing daily, promoting my work, and creating new content and low and behold someone contacted me to rent a piece of my equipment. (A side business I run is renting out gear that I am not using to help supplement my creative projects) I didn’t give up on Plan A and Plan A rewarded me.
The point I’m trying to make here is that as a freelancer you will more than likely find yourself in the scary position that you’re not going to make it through the next month. Work will temporarily dry up and until you really learn how to manage your money you will be starring at an ever decreasing bank account total. What’s important in these situations is to keep on working. Keep on doing what you do and doing what you love. The money will find you. This is not to say you can just sit back, relax, and suddenly money will fill your wallet. You have to work. You have to trust in the process and in yourself and the clients will call, the opportunities will appear, and you will be making money again in no time.