From the bottom of the heart of a freelancer
I am a freelancer. I love being a freelancer, although it’s some of the hardest work I’ve ever done. Most times it’s rewarding, because I get to keep the profit for my hard work all to myself. The harder I work the more money I can make. When I take time off or I get sick nobody will pay me.
Although I’m a creative – I work to make money.
Sure, I’d rather not work. I’d travel the world, do art every day, or write on my blog. Who wouldn’t?!
But Vancouver is expensive. And I have to eat and pay my rent so I can survive.
The way to become a freelancer is hard.
I went to media colleges for six years, lived off mac’n’cheese to gain my valuable education, while working in a grocery store to cover my expenses. I have two degrees in my field, and over 15 years of related work experience. And when I moved to Canada I was underpaid for a long time, and I had to be ok with it just to get my residency.
Now I am proud to be a Canadian resident, and a creative professional working on my own for five years. And I’m proud that I very much earned everything I own. Which is not much, but that’s ok. I’m happy with the few things I have.
I don’t save up for a house or a second car. I don’t even own a car. I don’t make a lot of profit off my job, because I’d like to keep my prices low and fair – for your convenience. The job market is hard, and getting good projects as well.
I do nothing but quality work. I pour my heart and soul into creating outstanding products for each and every single one of my clients that work for them, not just for now but for a long time to come.
So this is why I work for money:
I can’t work for favours. Unless you are my best friend or my mom. Because I can’t eat favours. I can’t pay my health or phone bills with favours, and favours cannot pay me during bad times when I’m sick and I’m too weak to use a computer – or my brain.
I won’t give you a ‘deal’ just because you are promising to give me more work in the future – unless you actually give me more work in the future. In that case, I’d love to cut you a deal for recurring work where I can.
I also think it’s completely disrespectful if you make me wait for weeks to get paid just because you haven’t gotten paid from your client. If you hire me you have to make sure you are able to pay me when the project is done, period. I am not going to rely on whether your client pays you or not. Please get your finances and business user control.
If you’re starting a new business, or you’re need something for your charity work, that’s fantastic! If you think that’s an excuse for expecting a deal or not paying me at all, I am seriously wondering if you should be doing what you’re doing.
Just to let you know, I started my own business out of nothing, in a foreign country on a completely different continent, in a language that is not even my native one. Nobody gave me free or cheap stuff or favors, and I didn’t expect any because I think that’s disrespectful towards people who work hard. If you are starting a new business you should get to know the importance of making investments. It’s a fun thing to learn, and really effective, let me tell you.
Here’s the thing: If you don’t pay for the quality and fair work we freelancers do for you we simply cannot live.
It’s not that you’re not paying a rich CEO for his beach house or his third fancy car, or a big corporation with sixty employees.
If you don’t pay me fairly I cannot pay my rent. I cannot eat. I cannot go to Germany to see my parents once every five years. When have you seen your parents last? The other weekend? Lucky you.
Being a freelancer I don’t get to be rich. Rich with money that is. I’m rich in experiences, freedom, and life. But if you think that just because I’m a freelancer you can get cheap work or don’t need to pay me as soon as I professionally deliver the work I created for you – please THINK of what you’re doing and who you’re doing it to.
We freelancers are some of the hardest workers there are. We give it all, work day & nights for you, are mostly as educated as that graphic designer working in a cubical for that eclectic design company. We’re passionate, dedicated, and just try to make a living doing what we love doing.
All I ask for is to be treated fairly and respectfully for the honest and quality work I am doing.
I think that’s not too much to ask.
Thank you for reading, it was important for me to get this one out.