By Miles Burke

Five Freelancing Tips to Avoid Disasters

By Miles Burke

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.

Have savings
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.


Have flexibility
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.

Have insurance
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.

  • http://www.makeyourownwebsiteeasy.com/

    Yes, I totallly agree with all the tips that you presented in tis post. If we are about to approach a struggle, we should always be prepared for it.

  • Pam – Ryvon

    Great tips, and not only for Freelancers! Another I would add is have a back-up plan. As a freelancer, you should work to develop a trustworthy, excellent network of professionals. It’s this network you will call on (or who will call on you!) when you/they are flooded, to help you or your clients get the job done when there is just not enough time. It’s this same network you can work with when illness or disaster strikes. In most cases clients truly appreciate you giving them a safety net, and making it your job to make sure they are taken care of. It may save you just enough business to quickly rebuild when you are back on your feet.


  • netnerd85

    Easier said than done, but as always and seen everywhere because it is good advice

  • drlinux

    If possible, try to get some kind of passive income, like hosting, affiliate schemes or whatever else suits you.

    You will ofc. have to work to get any decent income from it, but when established it can provide some welcome extra income if you are unable to do yoru main work.

  • http://tinyworkers.com

    A positive, strategic and action oriented attitude will get you further than a passive positive attitude.

    People with a passive positive attitude need to stay employed.

  • Henrik Blunck

    Some very good points indeed, and worth remembering to avoid disaster. Thanks for an inspiring article. :-)

  • Derrick

    I also see many freelancers who just specialize in just web design. I don’t see how the average person could do this. I specialize in seo, design, ecommerce, etc.. to survive. With all the “do it yourself” online programs, godaddy “website tonight” junk out there, people are starting to sacrifice quality for savings.
    So bottom line….diversify!

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