As more people start working for themselves, myths about freelancing and freelancers seem to persist.
“Oh, you get to sleep all day!”
“It must be so cool to work in your PJs and never have to get dressed!”
“So…you mean you’re actually just unemployed or between jobs?”
Of course, the freelance economy is picking up enough steam to net headlines and even investigations about the actual (fuzzy, not-recognized-by-the-BLS numbers), which means that it’s high time to shatter those myths.
Here are some freelancing myths you should forget.
We don’t have a boss. Ok, true, we don’t have a typical manager, standing over our cubicle, wagging a finger. But we do have our boss: Ourselves. Successful freelancing requires discipline, in addition to a lot of know-how. In addition to being our own manager, we’re also our own bookkeeper, HR department, marketing team, and CEO. And to be honest, we can be really hard on ourselves.
It’s all sweatpants, every day. Yoga pants may be ultra-comfortable, but most freelancers do have to leave the house, which means they do have to wear real clothes. Client meetings, networking events, and the occasional lunch date means freelancers actually have pretty cute apparel.
We drink all the time. Seriously, I can’t tell you how many times I told people I worked from my house, only for them to ask if that meant I could just crack a beer at noon. Could I do that? Yes. Did I sometimes do that? Occasionally. But real freelancers know that sobriety is really, really helpful when it comes to rustling up work, so we tend to keep our drinking to a societally-approved time.
We are broke. Making ends as a freelancer can be tricky, but it’s definitely not impossible. In fact, as long as you’re savvy about saving (and it helps to have a great CPA at your side), freelancers actually stand to make a great living. Oh, and no, this isn’t a temporary fix while we’re between jobs. We chose this.
CATS CATS CATS. Pets (and children) can be a real distraction during a freelancer’s day, but there are co-working spaces and crates to handle that damage. We’re not all cat people. Promise.
We never leave our houses. Again: Co-working spaces. Client meetings. Lunches. Occasional office hours. But also, a lot of freelancers just take advantage of their ability to work anywhere. We can work while on trips, we can work from beautiful locations — we can even work all night, if we choose.
We exist on coffee. Not true. Some of us drink tea.
We love our lives. Oh wait. That one’s totally true.