image for post - FT 090: Work and Life Challenges as a Freelancer with Sherry Walling

FT 090: Work and Life Challenges as a Freelancer with Sherry Walling

Freelancing can grant you tremendous control over your life and your day-to-day work, but being your own boss comes with some challenges. For example, the anxiety and weight of dealing with stressful work situations and clients, the isolation of working alone, and managing all aspects of your life efficiently and responsibly, which includes having the difficult discussions about finances and time management with your significant other.

Sherry Walling is a clinical psychologist, one of her specialties is working with entrepreneurs, and she is the wife of an entrepreneur so she has both the clinical and personal perspective. Sherry reviews how you can balance self care with productivity in your business by identifying and working through anxiety triggers, catching early signs of stress and preventing stress from building up, and maintaining a healthy, supportive relationship with your significant other.

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Sherry shares with us:

The Freelancer’s Dilemma: Freelancers have tremendous freedom to choose their lives, but it comes with the burden of being responsible with every detail of their life, and therefore stress.

Too often, the stress develops into anxiety and the fears of uncertainty, failure, or financial instability. So ask yourself: What’s the worst that could happen?

If you can solve the worst possible scenario, you neutralize the fear.

You also need to take preventative measures before the stress and anxiety can take over, preferably, before things get tough.

Tips to Prevent Anxiety:

  • Follow a healthy sleep schedule and stick to it no matter what
  • Exercise regularly
  • Connect with friends and family everyday to keep relationships strong
  • Practice self-reflection to track your personal metrics

Danger signs:

  • Isolation: If you spending all day, every day, behind your desk in your quiet house, you are building yourself a trap: you start to think that no one understands you and then comes the fear and anxiety. Stay connected with friends and family.
  • Receiving negative feedback and criticism: The best way to deal with negative client feedback is head-on and as soon as possible. Be honest and have integrity, but don’t let your clients abuse you. Set boundaries and say NO or STOP if they become abusive. Remember that is is always ok to cut loose some clients.

Relationship advice:
Because you are managing your own business, your work can suck you in and making time for your partner might be difficult, but extremely important.

Sherry recommends making sure you have a shared life with your partner that doesn’t have anything to do with work. And when you do get swamped with work, make sure you communicate your needs to your partner and respect your partner’s needs as well. It isn’t work that destroys marriage. It’s not meeting each other’s needs that destroys marriage.

Whether or not your spouse is involved in your business, here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Your spouse is your first and biggest investor so you need to pitch them your business ideas and get their buy-in because they are taking just as big of a risk as you are with your business.
  • Separate the household finances from the business finances and make sure you have a fixed salary that you can bring to the household budget each month.
  • Build trust with your partner so they don’t stress out over your business decisions, but instead give you all the support you deserve.

Your turn: try an experiment

  • Write down a schedule of your ideal, well-balanced week and follow it for a week. Write down how you feel at the end of each day.
  • Follow your regular schedule for one week and write down how you feel at the end of each day.
  • Compare and see where you can make changes to work more closely to your ideal week.

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