My last date of formal employment was 30 September 2015. Today, it’s been 2 weeks of freelancing. My estimated freelancing income for October 2015 currently stands at RM3360 (nett). I’m aiming for RM4k.
I’m not finding enough resources out there for people who made the decision to quit their jobs to freelance slash run a business. At least, not enough resources on how it actually feels like. So I decided to document my own transition. On a personal level, this is making me aware of some aspects of my personality that I have not realised before. In a sense, I am answering ‘If you could do anything with your life, what would it be?’ by actually living it.
Here are my 10 thoughts on being a full-time freelancer, 2 weeks in:
1. I worry more. A lot more. It’s not as bad, but I still have panic attacks over this major life decision of moving away from Kuala Lumpur. Before all this, I tend to worry more about the long-term – how to make sure I’m financially okay when I retire. Now I worry about more immediate things – my next paycheck, overspending on lunch, missing opportunities, things like that.
2. Not working (in a formal employment) is unexpectedly expensive. This should have ben obvious, but basic office necessities that I took for granted like printing costs and internet adds up a lot to my budget, which I’m supposed to trim.
3. Operating my own business was a dream come true and honestly one of my life’s bucket list. Now that I’m doing it, I regret to say that I don’t enjoy it that much? No, that’s not accurate. I like the process, all except the sales bit. I don’t like doing sales – but I admit that’s probably the ego talking.
4. Being a solopreneur is lonely AF. As a natural introvert, I thought I would like the solitude more. It turns out, I miss the office chatter and the conversations with colleagues. I’m now working from Starbucks for the ambiance and random company. I’m planning to join a gym.
5. I do look forward to do a personal finance comparison between stable paychecks and irregular paychecks, though. As a PF enthusiast, I’ve always read tips on budgeting on irregular income so the nerdy part of me is excited to apply those tips.
6. We’re all creatures of habit, and I’m trying to establish a daily routine that would maximize productivity. I know what to do, but implementation is hard. In an ideal world, I’d wake up early (always featured in the ‘Habits of the Rich’-type articles), do a morning workout (ditto), check emails sparingly, create/write often and without distractions, go for networking opportunities, etc. I’m trying to be the best version of myself.
7. Endless searching. Search for work. Search for customers. Search for opportunities. I feel like I’m just looking for something all the time. So it implies that something is missing all the time. It’s not a nice feeling. Frankly, it can be exhausting. The other week my eyesight got blurry because I spend too much time looking at computer screen. Eep.
8. Waking up when I feel like waking up is nice, though. It’s a luxury. The downside is that I sleep whenever I feel like, and usually that means late mornings and late nights. Bad habit.
9. Because my schedule is so unscheduled, I make others’ schedule more of a priority. Especially if they work Mon-Fri, 9-5 – yeah I’ll meet you after work time, let me switch my own (self-prescribed) work time to another slot. I’m not sure how I feel about this yet, takes getting used to.
10. Biggest change: weekends doesn’t feel like weekends anymore. Like, I can’t relate to TGIF anymore. Weekends are also work days – there’s no rest days unless I remember to fit in some time to rest. This means that my brain is working 7 days a week. I’ve only discovered this recently, but I regret to say that at this point, I can’t bring myself to give myself a day off without feeling like I’m slacking off? Working on being okay with rest days – I know it’s important.
All in all, the past 2 weeks was pretty eventful. My spending reflected it. I predict that my October budget review will be interesting to dissect. There’s a sudden spike in Starbucks. Eeeeepp.
Permanently caffeinated through Kotak Koffee and Starbucks, until next time, y’all.