Myth #1: You sit in your pajamas all day long.
Reality: No, you don’t want to do that. In fact, it can actually be quite counterproductive to do so. It helps if you get dressed. You don’t have to wear a business suit, but you should not be working in the clothes you slept in, either. If you’re a makeup kind of person, it helps if you do that, too. Wash your face, brush your teeth, and get ready for your day. Get out of your pajamas.
Myth #2: You have an endless amount of time to do whatever you want throughout the day.
Reality: Uh, no. Freelancing, and working from home requires an intense amount of scheduling, discipline, and routine. Because if you don’t have those things, the temptation to sit and watch Netflix is real, the couch is quite inviting, and it’s easy to get lost in all the things around your home that attending to. If you work from home, you must treat it as a job. Find a routine, make a list, and stick to it. Otherwise, your deadlines will go up in flames.
Myth #3: You can just drop whatever you’re doing to accommodate everyone else’s schedule because you make your own.
Reality: Yes, people who work from home and freelance make their own schedules. It’s still a schedule. And they still have to work. And if they don’t, they don’t get paid. So while yes, there is a certain luxury about making your own hours, that doesn’t mean that a freelancer can just throw their routine out the window when people need them to do something. That would be silly.
Myth #4: If you have a child, you should be able to watch them while you do your work from home.
Reality: Sometimes I think this statement was said by people who have never watched a child in their entire life. Do you know what it’s like to take care of a tiny human? Do you think that they care that mommy and/or daddy has a deadline, and will wait patiently to be fed until the deadline is completed? Really? Guess again.
Myth #5: It’s all fun and games, and not a real job.
Reality: First of all, this is just insulting. The job market is changing and shifting, and being a freelancer in any field is most certainly a real job. Second of all, it is a job — to suggest otherwise is just silly. Do you make your own hours? Yes. Do you set your own rules? Yes. Are you working at something that you’re most likely quite passionate about? Yes. Is that a gift? Yes. But, are you your own boss? Yes. And with that comes an incredible amount of responsibility. If things go wrong, it’s on your plate. If you take a “vacation” nobody is going to pay you for time off. Or sick time. If the work isn’t steady, it comes back to you. If something goes wrong with invoices, or difficult customers, or workplace injuries there is no HR department to go running back to you. It’s all on you. That’s one of the trade-offs, and that’s what you signed up for, too.