7 drawbacks of being a freelancer

As I wrote on Tuesday, there are definitely benefits to being a freelancer.  But, I wouldn’t be honest if I didn’t say there were also drawbacks.

First, it is all up to me.  Whether I make money, whether my business is a success — it’s all on my shoulders.  That adds a bit of pressure for sure.

Second, I can’t get away from my boss.  She follows me on vacation and everywhere I go.  She always sees when I slack off and play a game of Solitaire instead of working like I’m supposed to.

Third, I don’t have coworkers to bring in doughnuts or other treats.  Since my dog is my only coworker, I’m the only one doling out treats.  Of course sometimes he brings in things like mud and leaves, but those aren’t nearly as tasty as doughnuts!

Fourth, I have to keep track of the business side of things.  That means math.  I don’t like math, which is why I’m a writer.  But, with spreadsheets, I am able to stay on top of incoming and outgoing funds without too much work.

Fifth, I don’t get sick days.  Of course there are days when I’m sick, but since I have no one to cover for me, I end up working when I don’t feel like it.  I work ahead, so sometimes I can take some downtime.  But, usually I have to at least check e-mail and maybe make a call or two.

Sixth, I don’t get paid time off.  My mantra to my family when I first started freelancing was that “If I don’t work, I don’t get paid.  And sometimes even if I do work, I still don’t get paid (referring to working on pitching myself and my services).”  That is still true.

And, finally, the biggest drawback to being a freelancer is the uncertainty of it all.  My work has an ebb and flow to it.  For example, at the end of November and beginning of December, work slowed down to a crawl.  Just when I was ready to take time off to start getting ready for Christmas, I got in a few article assignments and a couple of new copywriting projects.  The Christmas cookie baking had to wait until the weekend before Christmas.  It just happens like that.

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  1. Mike Ashby wrote:

    Stacey, Here is a “doughnut” for you….brought in to your office. Just a note to let you know how gifted i think you are. Sometimes we find ourselves wondering if we are making any difference, just a reminder you are. Thank you for sharing your gift and and taking the risk and ride to freelance. Keep it up!

  2. stacey wrote:

    Thanks for the “doughnut” and the encouraging words! This is definitely a great start to a workweek.