I recently heard a tragic story of a freelancer who lost her business seemingly overnight because she’d been very ill for more than a month. It’s hard enough to be diagnosed with something fairly major health-wise, let alone have 95% of your business disappear in just over a month.
Here are five tips that may just help you survive a disaster as a Freelancer.
Keep some of your profits in a separate bank account, in case you suddenly can’t work. Ideally, it’s enough to pay all of your expenses for at least a month.
Keep a flexible schedule that allows you to burst through work when you’re inspired, and enough slack that you could take a few days off to recover without most clients noticing.
Have income options
Always keep your options open – keep an eye on what the market is doing, so if all else fails, you can at least take a job fairly quickly. Never, ever burn bridges with clients or competitors – one day, they could be your prospective employer.
Health insurance is an obvious one, however many countries also have options for unemployment or loss of income insurance. The premiums may be a small price to pay if you need to stop work for an extended period.
Have a positive attitude
Your health is affected by your attitude more than you believe. Living a healthy life isn’t about working 60 hour weeks and being constantly stressed. Take important time out to enjoy life, and work on keeping a positive attitude.
Let’s hope disasters never happen to you; however if they do, you’ll be better prepared to ride them out simply be following the above tips.
Speaking of disasters, on February 22 a massive earthquake hit Christchurch in New Zealand. I’ve never been lucky enough to visit Christchurch, however I have been to New Zealand and it’s a beautiful place with really friendly people.
A collective of creative self-employed types in Christchurch have banded together to help get the message out that they are still in business, and would appreciate your support. Check out www.chchcreative.co.nz for the details.
Let’s hope Japan’s creative community can do something similar to help rebuild their industry, after the devastating earthquake and tsunami they’ve had.
As Director of Bam Creative, and Chairperson of the Australian Web Industry Association, Miles spends his time managing his business or speaking about managing businesses. Recently awarded as one of the top Western Australian entrepreneurs under 40 years old, Miles can also be found writing at Miles' Blog.