Drawing the Line: Conclusions
This entry is the final part of an April 2017 Mountain Owl blog series on drawing lines in freelance work. To read the previous post, click HERE.
It's Wednesday, April 26th, 2017. I've purposely waited to publish this post today instead of Tuesday, which is the day I'd been posting previous blogs of this series this past month. What makes today special? It's Administrative Professionals Day!
It's a special day for secretaries, admin assistants, and all you freelancers out there tackling your insane list of to-do's on a day-to-day basis. I know you're often underappreciated for all the crap you juggle, so here's a hat's off to you crazy folk for hanging in there. (If you're wondering how this relates to the blog topic, visit my first post.) But, to get to the real subject...
Hopefully you've done lots of line drawing in the past three weeks. By now you know how important it is for both YOU and your BUSINESS that you draw lines (that is, create boundaries) for yourself and your clients. Here's the recap:
It's the only thing nobody can make more of and the single most valuable asset you have. Spend it wisely, and be frugal with giving it away.
Learn to take breaks. Working too much can have a negative impact on your health and reduce your creativity.
Establish your office hours, post them, and, most importantly, ENFORCE them. Nobody will respect your hours of operation if you don't either.
If you work from home, get out of your PJs and put on some adulting clothes. It'll help your brain get into gear and out of that at-home-and-lazy lull.
Creating time boundaries comes down to RESPECT.
Time is your biggest asset, money is your second.
"What do you charge?" is the toughest question a client can ask. Be prepared to answer it and stand by your answer.
If you don’t take your money seriously, no one else will. People are naturally cheap, so don't let a client swindle you into thinking your price is too high or let your lack of confidence make you question your rates (which you hopefully set within some reasonable guidelines). If the client wants your services, they'll pay for them. If they don't, they won't. It's that simple.
NEVER work for free! Don't let anyone act as if your time isn't worth something. Nothing is "quick", nothing is "free", and people will either see value or they won't.
Start with a base rate, post it, then stick by it (with some flexibility). Remember: Bartering is also a form of payment. If a client can't afford to pay you cash money, perhaps there is something else they can offer you that would be worth your effort.
In the end, setting your value is about RESPECT.
Did you notice a common theme with those final points? That's right: RESPECT.
In the end, drawing lines comes down to RESPECT. Without a strong sense of self-respect and a respect for your business -- and an expectation that clients will also respect you and your business -- you'll be hard-pressed to find satisfaction in your work. (However, be sure to distinguish between self-respect and cockiness. Nobody wants to work with a rooster!)
Everyone, in every business and occupation, freelance or not, needs to know what they're willing to do for a paycheck and where they draw the line. So, yeah, these lessons on applying boundaries to business can and should be applied to life, too. Surprise! #Lifelessons #HappyWriting
Consider this: Have you been able to identify your lines... or the lack thereof?
This is the conclusion to the Drawing the Line series. This entry is one part of an April 2017 Mountain Owl blog series on drawing lines in freelance work.