It seems to me that over the last few weeks (or is it months?), any time someone has asked me how I’ve been, I’ve consistently answered the same way: ” incredibly busy.” The truth is, that’s actually still a huge understatement. I typically work every single day, from roughly 8 AM to about midnight, or whenever I can’t keep my eyes open any longer.
Please don’t get the wrong idea, though; I’m utterly delighted to be blessed with this much demand for my services and to be capable of meeting my clients’ expectations. I realize that as a freelance designer, you’re probably wise to maximize your work opportunities when, and as, they arise. After all, you never know what tomorrow will bring. For some, the expression “feast or famine” likely applies all too well.
As designer Bryan Zimmerman put it, in Tara’s excellent and highly informative regular feature, Freelancer Focus on her Graphic Design Blog, “make sure you have at least 3 months salary put aside to sustain you. ” How true — you would need a buffer to cushion the leaner days (or weeks, or… gasp… months?).
When you are passionate about what you do, you are more likely to motivate yourself to tough out the times when business activity levels dip. Like many people I’ve come to know here in the Annapolis Valley, diversifying your business can reap its rewards, too, and bring in additional income when you could use it. In addition to graphic design, creating logos and developing web sites, I have been training individuals and groups in web site design as it relates to business. It’s quite remarkable how many aspiring merchants and entrepreneurs need to know (and want to learn) about the Internet and web sites.
I would be curious to know how others cope with their very busy times, when clients are keeping you busy and new clients want to engage your services to the point that you need to work 16 – 18 hour days, seven days a week. Do you keep them waiting, do your best to juggle them, or do you turn business away? What sort of strategy or philosophy do you employ?