I feel like I've been hired by Dateline to write this exposé (related: if you are a Dateline producer, have your people call my people--we'll do lunch).

我感觉我自己像是为Dateline 来写这篇文章的(如果你是Dateline的制作人,让你的下属联系我们——我们可以一起共进午餐)。

Time and time again, I hear from folks who are freelance-curious (nothing wrong with exploring new lifestyles) who think working for yourself amounts to a walk in the park. Literally, more walks in the park than actual work.

Let me break it down for you, and bring your dreams of money-fights back to reality...

Myth No. 1: You can work from home in your underwear! 

Reality: The only reason you're working at home in your underwear is because you're so busy you haven't had time to get dressed...in four days. And now, your mother is coming over to visit and you also realize that you haven't done dishes or even bathed in the last four days, either.


Myth No. 2: All freelancers make a ton of money!

Reality: Hold off on buying that 157-ft. yacht for a few minutes. Sure, you can charge decent money as a freelancer, but those rates also need to cover ALL your expenses, including MacBooks, iMacs, iPhones, Apple Watches, and even a few non-Apple products (like software, a desk, a chair, an internet connection, website hosting, a mailing list, etc., etc., etc.). You also need to think about insurance, savings and investing, and paying a large chunk of your hard-earned cash money to the government.
现实是: 先等会儿再买下那个157英尺的游艇。无疑,做自由职业者可以有一份体面的工资,但是那也得用来支撑你所有的支出,包括苹果电脑,iMacs,苹果手机,苹果智能手表,还有一些非苹果的产品(像软件,桌子,椅子,宽带,虚拟主机,邮寄名单等等等等等)。此外,你也得考虑保险,储蓄,投资,还有把你辛苦挣来的大把血汗钱上缴国家。

Myth No. 3: No more bosses means no more stresses!

Reality: Know how you get hired by clients who give you money and expect work? Well, those people are your new bosses. And instead of having one boss, you've now got ALL OF THE BOSSES. They all want your time, your attention, and for you to reply to their 14 emails right now. Even though you're your own boss (think Mona from that show in the '80s), you still have to answer to a lot of other people.

Myth No. 4: You now have free time all the time!

Reality: Sure, technically you can brush off work on a Wednesday to day-drink in your underwear and binge on Netflix. Really, though, if you aren't working, you aren't making money. Which is why most freelancers will work more than 40 hours a week to avoid working 40 hours a week for someone else.

Myth No. 5: Your work can't even be considered work anymore because it's so awesome to do!

Reality: Until someone monetizes Netflix-binging as a career, working for yourself still means a whole lot of work. Especially in the beginning, you'll have to work harder than ever because you aren't just responsible for doing the work, you're also responsible for FINDING the work. That takes time. Sometimes a METRIC TON of time. Seriously though, someone please find a way that I can monetize binge-watching TV series on Netflix....

▶ 如何进行高效能时间管理?

Myth No. 6: No more red tape or corporate bureaucracy!

Reality: All the administrativia that goes with working for a company will now be replaced with you having to do ALL OF THE JOBS. Payroll, accounting, legal, sales, marketing, and project management...all on top of the work you are getting hired to do.

Myth No. 7: Now you can be that lone wolf you've always wanted to be!

Reality: Loners and introverts can be drawn to freelancing, with visions of sitting alone all day, listening to Sigur Rós and not having to talk to anyone. Unfortunately, clients like to communicate with you, and building your brand and awareness of your services requires lots and lots of connecting. You can't just sit in your fortress of solitude and watch streams of work flow your way.
现实是:带着能够独自待一天,默默一人听着Sigur Rós的愿景,独行者和孤僻家一定憧憬自由职业。不幸啊,一方面客户想要和你交流,一方面建立你自己的品牌,提升你的服务需要很多很多的沟通。你不能只是守着你孤独的堡垒,让工作流擦肩而过。

Myth No. 8: Freelancing is great for people when you can't hold down a job!

Reality: Many folks are drawn to freelancing because they don't want to work for the WOMAN, MAN, or ROBOT OVERLORD. But if you're too flaky to hold down a job, then you're going to be way too flaky to work for yourself. There won't be anyone looking over your shoulder to make sure the work is getting done. There'll just be pissed off clients who don't want to pay you because you bailed on the deadlines they gave you.

▶ 如何进行高效能时间管理?

Myth No. 9: All you need is a website!

Reality: Too many new freelancers think that their portfolio website is a money-printing machine. All you need to do is set it up and watch the money roll in! This couldn't be further from the truth--if the right people aren't finding your website, trusting your work, and understanding the problem that your services solve, your site will sit, collect dust, and never be Google's BFF.

Don't get me wrong, working for yourself can amount to the most awesome and rewarding choice you'll ever make. But only if you do it right (and by "do it right," I mean, "put a ton of work into it").




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