1 year of full-time freelancing - everything I've learned

 Well hello to you my reader chums! It has been a year since I launched my freelance writing and social media business, The Violet Network. I feel incredibly lucky with the year I've had, the lessons I've learned, the connections I've made and the clients I've acquired. Despite the hard times, I've enjoyed the ride so far of being a business owner and can't wait to see what another year brings.

It's no doubt that freelancing is hard work - I didn't go into freelancing thinking it'll be easy but I didn't think it was going to be as hard as it was. Finding work, networking, building packages, doing my own marketing and getting the work-life balance right is challenging. Although the rewards are great, it takes a lot of courage and motivation to make it worthwhile.

If you're starting your freelance business or new to the business world, here are the lessons I learned in my first year of business.

1 year of full-time freelancing - everything I've learnt

Networking is key

I wouldn't be where I am without the people I've met along the way. From the creative community in my home town to other marketers and business owners. The local events have helped me build confidence, meet clients and learn the best ways to run my business. I've been lucky enough to get my best leads through people I know and word of mouth for those recommending me. The more people I meet, the more I learn and the more I can put myself out there with new faces.

Personal branding is essential 

Putting myself out there has helped me learn what I stand for and am passionate about, and help people get to know the real me. Creating a personal brand takes courage, consistency and good planning, and it's something I've thoroughly enjoyed. It has meant thinking of fun ideas and sharing my honest thoughts, experiences and opinions, which has helped many understand who I am and what my business is all about. Being consistent has helped me grow my following, gain some great connections and put my stance out there in the business world.

A work-life balance is crucial 

Finding the time to take breaks and switch off is difficult as a business owner because everything to do with freelancing is constantly on my mind. But, I've managed to get better at the work-life balance, creating boundaries, booking regular breaks, having an organised schedule and when I close my laptop, it means the end of the working day. Having that balance supports my mental health and makes me more productive.

Enjoy the rollercoaster 

Freelancing is a roller coaster and highs and lows are inevitable, it's either feast or famine with workload and enjoying the journey is all part of it. Granted during the low periods it's hard to enjoy the rollercoaster as it feels like the high periods will never come again. However, trying to enjoy the journey, trusting the process and putting in the work means you'll come out stronger, more knowledgeable and ready to take on anything.

Keep going 

Everything worthwhile in life requires hard work and freelancing is just like that. Despite this level of hard work to gain success in my freelancing business, I adore working with people I love; it's the most incredible feeling in the world.

Learning never stops 

Being a freelancer is all about learning, whether it's honing your craft or learning more about running a business. Each day is a life lesson and business lesson from mistakes you make to building professional skills. The more you learn, the more you can build on your success. After a year of learning it makes me even more excited to see what's to come.

I've made myself proud

This year has been full of doubts but when I look back at everything I've achieved this year, I'm incredibly proud of myself and grateful for those who took a chance to hire me or collaborated in some way. I've achieved many goals personally and professionally, from the projects I've completed and how I've pushed myself out of my comfort zone in many ways.

I hope you enjoyed this post. Are you new to freelancing?

Thank you for reading <3

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