If you don’t mind, I have a couple of questions about that. I do lots of freelance work that I try to balance with a day job. I’ve been doing this for years and could probably turn my freelance work into a full-time thing, but I’ve always shied away from that for several reasons that you seemingly have been able to deal with. I guess I’m wondering how.
First, the work isn’t usually steady. A one-person design business (if that’s your situation) makes it impossible to spread the work around, so busyness tends to vacillate between 100-hour weeks and sitting around with not enough to do. Planning time off becomes difficult without being willing to turn down needed work that comes in at the last minute.
Second, the stress of it all drives me nuts. Steady clients with regular work can be great, like say, a monthly magazine with a regular schedule. Most new clients and new jobs, however, come with all kinds of frustrations, challenges and attempts to satisfy people whose tastes, expectations, assumptions and personalities I really don’t know all that well and who all tend to different and, often, difficult. I get way too stressed about these things in ways that rarely bother me at my day job when I’m just one part of a larger operation.
I’m sort of hating my day job lately, and the whole going-it-alone, full-time thing has a definite appeal, but what I’ve mentioned keeps me from doing it.
So how do you manage to handle the crazy scheduling and anxiety of it all in ways that don’t drive you bonkers and spill over into your off time too much?