Before You Plunge Into Freelancer World

Before You Plunge Into Freelancer World
February 5, 2015 CuteCoco

“What?! So you just hang around here until the school finish?” my friend, sits in front of me almost choked as I tell him how I spend half of my day every day. Yeah hang around from 8am to 1pm is too much of time!

His kids and my kids go to the same school. His youngest daughter is K’s classmate, and both of us were classmates in college. He has spared his valuable time to sit with me over coffee one morning after dropping our kids to school.

“Well..not everyday…” I tilt my head weighing whether or not I should tell him about the times when I have to go to the bank or to shop for my handmade planner stuff or to ship some orders. But it just sounds the same because those don’t take my time more than two to three hours max.

I glance my pink laptop bag and think whether I can tell him about what I actually do. But to many people, freelancer world is as far as planet Venus from the Earth. So I just point out that pink bag and tell him that I carry my laptop too, as if it explains the whole thing.

On another day…

My phone rings while I am squeezing my brain over few printable planner designs. I am also working on the blog and shaping up my social media plan. “Where are you dear?” I hear a soft voice asking for my whereabout on the phone. It’s my best friend’s mom who also work at the kids school and has helped us with the admission. “Sitting at KFC, having breakfast” I cheerily reply to her question with my eyes stuck on my laptop screen. The pancake is half eaten and the coffee is still full but cold. She laughs lovingly, “aah the joy of being unemployed”.  Sure. When you hear someone telling you that she is having breakfast at a fastfood chain 9am in the morning you will think the same too. For office workers, mostly, 9am is the time for morning meeting, briefing, sitting upright in front of computer catching up with deadlines.

work from anywhere

Being a freelancer and being unemployed are basically two things alike (or should I say the same?) in most people opinion.

As a freelancer who is currently working hard to catch my dream, I see the time I spend for designing, marketing, selling and networking as investment. To others, it’s a waste. Not that I care.

I know in my circle there are a lot of awesome freelancers and I am sooo thankful to know them and to be able to learn from them. There are probably some of you who are interested to taste the water too. Before you actually jump you probably need to know the 7 things most new freelancers don’t realize:

1. Freelance means hard work

You are on your own. From planning your budget, crafting your strategy, finding clients and to actually work for one. There is no one will boss you around but that also means you highly depend on your time management skill. You actually work twice harder than those who sit at the office do the work that has been assigned to them.

2. It’s not a holiday

People may think you have a lot of time. If you work on social media marketing field or online marketing in general, someone will take a peek into your laptop and think you are just playing around on Facebook. Friends will ask you to hang out as now they know you don’t have office hours that tie you down. Do understand that when you are not working for a client you should be working in getting one. So it’s obviously not a holiday. Never was. Never will.


3. You still need to wake up early and dress up

Even when your client is located at a place with 12 hours time difference you still need to wake up early and dress up. Being in pajama the whole day invites laziness. Remember,  you have two important things to do everyday: work for your client and find new future/potential clients.

4. It’s better to work from home rather than in a coffee shop

Here’s what I always do: calculate the average of my income per day and then compare with how much I have to spend in a coffee shop to work for it. If the number is good (my income is bigger than my expenses) then working in a coffee shop is privilege. BUT, if it is the otherwise, it is always better and cheaper to work from home.

5. Sleepiness is tempting

When I work from home, I feel sleepy by midday. The bed is just on the next room. It would be easy for me to close my laptop and tuck myself in for a nap. The thing is, when I wake up later I will realize how much time I have wasted and regret my bad decision for giving in to the temptation.

To avoid the same mistake, whenever sleepiness sink in I think about my office days when midday is always about making a cup of coffee, walk around the room and small chat with a colleague. That is exactly what I do, what you should do when you feel sleepy during the day.

6. Your family and friends may not understand what you do

So forget about your good intention in explaining what you do in details. Just work hard. When the money comes in they will automatically understand.

7. Networking is one of important tasks in your job description

Freelance world relies so much on how wide and big your network is. From the precious network you will be able to find potential clients or have a good promotion for the service/work you provide. There is always an opportunity peeking from the crowd. Therefore even though you work from home you need to go out sometimes, hang out and be around new people.


In the end, I would say that being a freelancer is not everybody’s cup of tea. So do your homework, learn more about it before you take a leap.


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Comeback every Thursday for Back to Work Guides for Moms with me :)



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Comments (24)

  1. Ratna 6 years ago

    We’re in the same shoes, Dear ^_^

    • Author
      CuteCoco 6 years ago

      Yes! *high5

  2. Indah Juli 6 years ago

    Nice quote: being a freelancer is not everybody’s cup of tea :)

    And, although a freelancer, I’m still wake up early and dress up 😀
    Like people working in the office.

    • Author
      CuteCoco 6 years ago

      True mak, because it does affect our mood for the day.

  3. Maya siswadi 6 years ago

    Being freelancer need self-regulated skill 😉

    • Author
      CuteCoco 6 years ago

      Yes and I still have a lot of homework in that department haha..

  4. ratusya 6 years ago

    Hi mbak.
    Agree with you #6, even I’m not the real freelancer. I’m just moody online shop owner. Hehehe.
    They thought that I was playing stupid game over and over. Also my tab is glued into me wherever I am. In fact, I receive order and order to other parties then coordinating with them.
    Life is not easy.

    Your blog is so nice, mbak :)

    • Author
      CuteCoco 6 years ago

      I can feel you mak haha…thank you for visiting!

  5. Euisry Noor 6 years ago

    Thanks for sharing, Mak. The points of being freelancer you shared were so true. I am interested in this kind of job too, but I guessed I’m just starting from the zero. I need to learn so much from people like you :)

    • Author
      CuteCoco 6 years ago

      Everybody starts from zero…if you really love it you will find your way. Just keep the spirit up and alive! :)

  6. Titi Alfa Khairia 6 years ago

    Wow your blog is interesting and full of information that i need to learn as a newbie freelancer. i need to learn more from you

    • Author
      CuteCoco 6 years ago

      Thank you mak :)

  7. ulu 6 years ago

    kalo freelance sama part-time beda ya? saya soalnya part-time di banyak tempat tapi mengaku2 freelancer kalo ada yg nanya profesi. hehehe

    • Author
      CuteCoco 6 years ago

      kayaknya mah sama2 aja yah hehe…

  8. Jade Ayu 6 years ago

    whoa.. thanks for sharing mak. hopefully i could be freelancer one day. now, just own onlineshop and blogging sometimes makes me think “so little time so much to do”. hehe..

    • Author
      CuteCoco 6 years ago

      to own an online shop and blog is really time consuming indeed mak.

  9. ei 6 years ago

    Wow…. to be a freelancer is one of my dream. But until now I still dunno yet whether my formal skill and experiences was popular enough to be hired as a freelancer or not.
    Anyway, thanks for sharing 😉

    • Author
      CuteCoco 6 years ago

      Just do your best mak, there is always people out there who are looking for freelancers whose skill might match with yours. Semangat!

  10. Ety Abdoel 6 years ago

    Nice information. It’ s important for me. I wanna be freelancer to. I am one of newbie freelancer. Point 6 is one thing that i faced. It’ s hard for them to understand what i am doing.

    • Author
      CuteCoco 6 years ago

      Yes, forget it lah mak…just move forward hehe they will understand eventually..

  11. Nita 6 years ago

    Baca post ini jadi tertarik untuk jadi freelancer.. untuk mulainya gampang gak Maak? khususnta btaru job yang terpercaya *terkepokepo

    • Author
      CuteCoco 6 years ago

      hmm banyak2 networking aja dan pe de kalo kita bisa kasih servis yang oke..

  12. Thank you for the insight on freelancing. It takes a lot of discipline to be your own boss. Sounds like you have a good handle on that.

    • Author
      CuteCoco 6 years ago

      Oh I try hard every day to boss me around haha..

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