There is no doubt that there are many ways a person can earn money, whether it is by working a ‘normal’ 9-to-5 job, picking up odd jobs or working online. On this site, we really promote the idea of earning money online, because it is an approach that has worked very well for us, and because often the online environment provides opportunities that are not present in the job market. The truth is, when you work online, you carve out your own job, one that didn’t exist before. That means you can’t get fired, and if you are smart, your business will keep growing over the years. To wrap up my series about freelancing, I want to talk a little about the lifestyle involved in being a freelancer who works online.
The online environment is always running, and there is the potential for you to attract work regardless of the time of day or week. This is particularly true when you have a base of regular customers, because sometimes people find that they have left something to the last minute. I have a general rule of at least 24 hours’ notice for any order, regardless of how big or small it is, and I try to minimize the amount of week I do on the weekends. However, I learned pretty early that having rules is great, but being flexible is even more important.
For example, I have some regular clients who pay well and normally have work that is relatively easy to do. If one of those clients comes to me with an order when I am already bogged down, or gives me only a few hours’ notice (it has happened!), I will try to meet the order if at all possible.
Because keeping a good client happy is more important than a few hours’ sleep, especially when I can sleep in the next day if I need to.
Keeping some kind of schedule
A lot of people in online business follow an approximate schedule each day. They might make some changes on a day-to-day basis, but overall, there are a lot of similarities. With freelancing this is a little more tricky, because it is difficult to predict when orders will come. I might have a week with five small orders, and then the next week has ten big ones. Clearly, my schedule for the second week is going to be very different from the first one.
Keeping a schedule in this situation can be challenging, but it is worth the attempt. For example, I normally start working at the same time each day, and work about six to eight hours, depending on the day and the deadline, then spend the evening doing my own thing. However, some days, like tomorrow, I have so many orders that I have to work from the moment I wake up until long past when I would normally sleep.
Very intense days are no fun, but they do tend to pay well, meaning that I can afford to take one day completely off if I feel like it.
Honestly, working online, whether it is freelancing or a different type of online business, is different. It takes a while to get used to the change, and you have to be careful not to be slack. After all, there are no easy and fast ways to make money online.