How many are freelancers learning to manage a team?

I’m just curious because this is an area that’s always interesting for me - are you a freelancer who has recently (or not so recently) started building a team and still need to learn how to make the most of them? What industry do you work in?

What are the biggest challenges you face with your team, and where do you turn for solutions?

I think many freelancers are freelancers because they love working alone and don’t feel as comfortable in a team.

That sounds about right to me. I think freelancers a lot of times are extremely flexible people and in a team setting they end up doing all of the crap work, picking up everyone else’s slack, and have no opportunity for advancement.

[FONT=“Georgia”]I wouldn’t say a “team”, but as a freelance web-designer, I’ve had to hire or work with other freelancers to help me get jobs done in the past.

Most common for me is to hire a copywriter or sometimes a graphic designer, allowing me to focus on the programming or dealing with the client. Flash animator once or twice.

I’ve once had to hire an assistant web-designer to help me upload data onto a site, but it was a bad experience because the girl was new to web-design and I had to spend a lot of time babysitting her.

Answering your question, I’m still undecided, because I have two paths I can follow;

One is to forget the complications of getting more persons involved, take smaller jobs that I can manage the whole of myself as I’m used to doing.

The other option is to start looking for good people to do the work, learning how to manage them, and I focus my efforts on just going out there and finding jobs. It would mean purposefully going after bigger jobs than I’m used to though, 'cause that’s the only way there’d be enough money to go around.

It’s a real tough decision.


This is an old wound for me as it’s caused my business to fail in the past.

The biggest challenge I faced was finding good people. And then when I did find them, I couldn’t hold on to them. So I ended up doing more work searching and teaching than I saved delegating.

The problem was, I think, the complexity of the project I wanted them to work on. It’s like throwing them into a war zone right off the bat.

So I guess the moral of the story is, give the freelancers smaller projects first and build a business relationship with them. Be prepared to do the extra work at first for the benefits in the long run.

And most important of all, understand if you like hiring people and working in a team. I think many freelancers are freelancers because they love working alone and don’t feel as comfortable in a team. That complicates things - it’s hard to keep doing the work you don’t like.