As a freelancer, my job is to help create and shape other people’s businesses to reach their goals. My clients are a full-time job, meaning that my remaining waking hours are spent between working on my business and trying to keep up the appearance of a personal life – as a mother, sister, daughter and friend. While I love the freedom that my career path has brought, that freedom has been met with stress, deadlines, waiting on invoices to be paid, and little time to do anything but work and sleep.
Lately, I’ve been tossing around the idea of melding personal and work life a little more. One thing that I’m attempting is to get out of my home office at least one day a week, whether for work or play. For instance, today I’m ‘working’ from the local coffee shop and although I’m not necessarily getting as many billable hours done, I’m catching up on news that’s not related to the niche blogs that I write or my profession. I’m meeting other freelancers who just need to get out of the house and discussing topics on everything from health care to upcoming IPO’s while breathing in the aroma of freshly ground beans.
It’s pretty much the opposite of “work-life balance”, but in my experience that balance takes too much effort to maintain.
So for a while at least, expect a few personal touches to my writing and social media. It’s a public experiment and one I haven’t been entirely comfortable with in the past. I tend to be a behind-the-scenes person who likes to keep my professional and private life separate. But when a client hires me, they’re hiring all of me. My name is my brand, and if I know anything, it is that people like to work with brands who share their stories.