When I began my independent contractor (freelance) journey I had a perspective to my work that… needed some work. I interpreted (apparently unintentionally) that freelance work meant that you would “wing it” for every aspect of the occupation.
Keep in mind I chose freelance because I was tired of the negatives associated to many corporate environments. The politics, power struggles, gossip, inadequate pay, inflexible time schedules, etc.
After many experiments, clients, and associated projects I began to develop a further understanding. I needed to combine two elements: independence and professionalism.
I would have the freedom to come and go from my at home office, and continue as I pleased at various coffee shops. But still ensure that I would be replying to current and potential clients in a timely manner, and resolving most technical requests within 24hrs.
I would document my work time, produce invoices, provide payment methods, create contracts, and meet with clients.
What I realized is that what I was doing was very similar to running a small business.