As I type this, I’m sitting in a local cafe. I’ve just had a sausage toastie and am sipping a delicious cup of tea.
“What? You’ve quit your job and taken the plunge into running Indelible Think full-time, Matt?”
Sadly not. You see, I had three days holiday this week, my first since August, and what better way to sample some of the delights of working freelance?
So, I decided to pick three things I’d be able to do if I quit the day job and worked for myself.
Those three things were:
- Attend A Networking Event
- Do Nothing, and
- Work Anywhere
Let’s get started, shall we?
1. Attend A Networking Event
Wednesday, Freelance Day One: I’d barely got three hours into my first day off and I’d booked a networking event at a local pizza restaurant. It was free and advertised itself as ‘laid-back‘ and ‘friendly‘ which is always better than ‘tense‘ and ‘sadistic‘.
Networking events are a regular occurrence in many places, but most of them locally seem to take place between 10 am and 2 pm during the week meaning I can’t attend.
This week it fitted in perfectly.
I was nervous. I was, typically, the first to arrive, and for the first fifteen minutes, I was incredibly quiet. Put me on the phone, get me on Skype or email me and I’ll chat for hours, but face-to-face I can be shy at first.
However, they were right, it was laid-back and I soon started mingling.
The lunch lasted two hours, but it passed in a blink of an eye.
I handed out business cards. Explained what I do. How I can benefit a business and I made some excellent contacts.
One guy even wants me to email him regularly so he can mention me to his clients when he’s on the road.
Okay, the event didn’t give me work straight away (nor did I expect it to), but it was my first networking event in almost a year and gave me a shot of confidence.
Although I can’t make them regularly, I’m looking at attending another by the same people in April.
Conclusion: Working for yourself gives you so much time to attend events like these. Meeting people, talking about your business and sharing a laugh is so much more satisfying than cold-emailing businesses and hearing nothing.
2. Do Nothing
Thursday, Freelance Day Two: I don’t need to be a freelancer to do nothing. I’ve made it an art form (in my spare time, not when I’m working for a client, I must stress).
However, one of the perks many freelance workers talk about is choosing not to work if they don’t have to. So, on day two, I did nothing.
Nothing at all.
I watched two films and the GB Women’s team playing China at Curling in the Winter Olympics. I drank coffee. I drank tea. I even had eggs for lunch. Rock ‘n’ roll.
Not that I’d do this often once I work full-time for myself. But, well, it was a good excuse to lie on the couch all day and do nothing.
Conclusion: Maybe a bit of a cheat. Taking time off is for winding down but doing nothing when I knew I could have been working felt a little more satisfying.
3. Work Anywhere
Friday, Freelance Day Three: I have a confession. This is the one I’ve been looking forward to the most. As mentioned at the top, I’m typing this in a cafe. I’ve had a naughty breakfast and business people surround me.
To my left are five guys having a business meeting. There are a couple of others with laptops and two guys in suits have just walked in with expressions that say: “We’re the bosses. We can’t be arsed sitting in the office this morning, so why don’t we just go out?”
Now, working in a cafe is great. The music is fab here. So far, we’ve had The Smiths, REM, The Manics, Oasis, Stereophonics, Travis and The Killers to name just a handful.
My kind of music.
Okay, if I were writing for a client, I wouldn’t be here. I can’t write with noise. Even to my favourite musicians. The business chat in the corner would distract me and I’d be trying to listen in to what the two business guys are saying about their staff.
Oh, and the Wi-Fi is a bit dodgy.
However, knowing I can work in a place like this, if I chose to, is incredibly freeing. I feel relaxed. If I want to come and blog and sample a relaxing atmosphere on a Friday morning, this is where I’d be.
But where I want to be is at home. Working for a client with my head down and powering through.
Mornings like the one I’m having now would be a treat, and what a treat.
Conclusion: I’m easily distracted, so working in a cafe wouldn’t work for me daily. I need quiet when I’m writing. However, for a treat or a day when I’m blogging or researching, I could see myself working remotely.
Working freelance isn’t for everybody. Nor should it be. If you’re a freelancer, let me know what perks you indulge in, as well as the cons.
Meanwhile, I’m always looking to work with people. I want to jack in the day job and work for myself full-time. If you want to know the benefits a professional writer can bring to your business – contact me today.
I promise I won’t spend my time lying on the couch watching Spider-man.