At the Freelance Jungle, we believe in empowering people to make their own path. Self-employment is tough. It’s also in vogue at the moment, so there’s a lot of advice floating around.
That’s why it can be helpful to take back to basics and think about where your boundaries lie.
This freelance affirmation is about empowering us to remember it’s OK to define business on your own terms. Here’s what that means to members of the Freelance Jungle
It’s OK to say no to demanding clients.
It’s OK to let them know they’re being unreasonable.
It’s OK to not respond to an email sent well after business hours demanding immediate action.
It’s OK to share my voice with the world.
It’s OK to not be ‘on’ and available all the time. It’s OK to set your own hours that fit your life demands.
It’s OK to want to stay in your pyjamas and work form bed today.
It’s OK to sit in tears at the computer in complete overwhelm before having a big coffee… putting on your big girl pants and getting shit done. 👍
It’s OK to charge more for difficult clients.
It’s OK to call in sick on occasion.
It’s OK to say what you really think – that’s why we’re our own bosses.
It’s OK to not get the job.
It’s OK to want to keep a day job and work for myself.
It’s OK to not grow my business if the time is not right for me.
It’s OK to not always feel like you’ve got everything under control.
Brooke Jacobson: It’s OK to take the day off sometimes.
It’s OK to have a day off when you need it. To angrily swipe everything off your desk and go to the beach for the day. And it’s OK to not answer calls while you’re building sandcastles.
It’s OK to switch off.
It’s OK to not say “how high” when a client says “jump”
It’s OK to outsource if you’re feeling overwhelmed.
It’s OK to say no! Yet it can be a hard one to learn for so many reasons but if we can figure out our boundaries it makes it so much easier to be a freelancer.
It’s OK to be direct with difficult clients instead of spending extra time trying to word emails that both get the message across, but don’t make them feel bad.
It’s OK to not want to ‘scale’ your business.
It’s OK to disclose your disability – or not.
It’s OK to feel impatient. But Rome wasn’t built in a day and they didn’t try to build it with 3 kids under 5.
It’s OK to increase your rates.
It’s OK not to love what you do.
It’s OK to set boundaries.
It’s OK to offload your kids to family or day-care in order to work productively. And leave them there a little longer when you are done for a little me time.
It’s OK to not be the best at what you do. It’s also OK to not even WANT to be the best.
It’s OK to want to go back to having a boss.
It’s OK to do absolutely nothing for however long it takes to reset and recharge your mental health and business mind.
It’s OK to wish you’d been a stay-at-home mama. And to be quite angry about missing out on that experience…twice! 😞
…And it’s OK to accept that I was never going to make it as a stay at home Mum. I had to work both financially and mentally.
It’s OK to feel frustrated.
It’s OK to stop and have a cat nap…
… *preferably with cats
It’s OK to want to stop work but have no idea how to develop an exit strategy. 🙄 well, maybe it’s not OK?
It’s OK to make time for and work on passion projects, unicorns and window time.
It’s OK to be a weirdo, quirky, outcast, nutter and still be a nice, kind decent human being/person/human.
It’s OK to just sit for an extended moment with the thought ‘everything is running smoothly’, instead of trying to find the only thing left to do, conjure up a non-existent stress or worry about a possible crisis. Hell, it’s OK to be proud of yourself and chuffed at the work you’ve accomplished, for more than a millisecond.
It’s OK to suffer from Imposter Syndrome. Even Einstein apparently felt like an imposter. If you and your clients know that you’re good at your job, then you’re good at your job.
“The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts.” – – Bertrand Russell
It’s OK to not be OK.
It’s OK not to email your list every single week.
It’s OK not to talk about your business with people who are not supportive or just don’t get it.
It’s OK to take a job purely for the money and not because you’re deeply, emotionally attached. It’s OK to increase your prices and charge what you’re worth, too.
It’s OK to shout your wins from the rooftop. And it’s OK to lose touch with the people who see those wins solely as a reflection of their losses.
It’s OK to study for a degree. Just because some say they didn’t need a degree for their trade does not mean jack. Do what makes you happy. It’s your life.
It’s OK to write revenge songs about shitty, toxic clients.
It’s OK to put them in your novels, so you can kill them off, painfully.
It’s OK to make mistakes. It’s even more OK if you learn and grow from them.
It’s OK to be the nice person, nice “guys” don’t always finish last. Being genuine will always serve you better in the long run.
It’s OK to simply not cope some days/weeks – without judging or having to explain/justify yourself.
It’s OK to let your cats sleep on your bed (and sometimes on your head).
It’s OK to not want to be the next world-changing entrepreneur (or to not even want to have staff).
It’s totally OK for you to be you and only you!
It’s OK to eat ice-cream and watch Netflix at any time of day to get back in the right head-space.
It’s OK to take a day off work to do nothing.
It’s OK to ask for help, especially from the Freelance Jungle!
It’s OK to feel guilty about arranging your work and clients around how you want to live, even though you also know it’s OK to do that (if that makes sense).
It’s OK that other people in 9-5 jobs don’t understand your choices and how you live your life.
It’s OK to want to be paid a fair amount that enables you to live comfortably.
It’s OK not to earn as much as your full-time employed friends. Especially when you know what kinds of hell they put up with on a regular basis.
It’s OK to have nothing new to add to the conversation 😉
It’s OK to love playing small. Also, to screw up your nose every time someone uses “overwhelm” in a sentence.
It’s OK to put family first when you need to. And it’s OK to hate Skype calls and getting dressed up for the man.
It’s OK to protect your brand. It doesn’t make you a bitch or mean you value competition over collaboration. You can still be a decent person and have a backbone and stick up for yourself when someone’s being a douche canoe.
It’s OK to work for the love and the money. You can be ethical, honest, and use your values to guide your decisions, as well as making excellent money and being good at sales.
It’s OK to set your own rules – and enforce them! – if that means less stress and an easier workflow, even if others think those rules are stupid or annoying. For example, I don’t take briefings from new clients or prospects over the phone, only via email. Each time I’ve made an exception, I’ve regretted it, so no more exceptions.
It’s OK to break up with clients who don’t respect you.
It’s OK to not want to be a “boss babe” or constantly “hustle” – it’s fine to be comfortable with the size and level your business is at.
It’s OK to restructure or refocus your business if it’s no longer working for you.
It’s OK to not get involved in fixing things that other people broke, even though you need those things to do your work (I need to hang this statement on my wall – welcome to my day today!)
It’s OK to ride the roller-coaster of self-esteem. We all scream on the way down, feel disappointed at the bottom and excited on the way up again. The ride is only fun because of the ups and downs.
It’s OK to be content, even happy sometimes.