How not to lose your marbles while freelancing in India ?

When I searched for the origin of the world hustle on Dictionary.com, it showed me that it can be traced back to 17th century Dutch-root. How it’s still going strong in 21st century’s Indian freelancing scenario is totes amazeballs.

Well, hustle is the one action I have been lectured on a lot (and rightfully so), since I kicked off my journey in freelancing. For the initiated ones, this is supposed to be the secret-sauce you need to pour over your plate daily, in order to stay afloat in the gig economy.

In case you are a newbie and want to keep your marbles intact while getting used to from client-to-client and paycheck-to-paycheck, let me spill out few hustling truths that I learnt hard way–

 

Co-habit

freelancing in India

While the go-getters of the world would always question the life-style choices of an adult who is 30-and-beyond and still tied off to mummy’s apron (figure of speech) , don’t forget we are Indians.  And everybody knows that our umbilical cord gets cut off quite late (or not at all).

So there is no shame in sharing the house with your parents/sibling when you are hustling and don’t want to drain the whole money out on rent.

Tip :  While living with your parents, swallow the ego pill, strive hard to carve out a quiet working-space and grow a thick skin. Your old man and woman (in all probability) are going to whine a lot on- what can someone possibly do all day in front of the computer? Smile (or grimace), ignore, and rejoice on how much money you are saving monthly.

 

Stay away from “message below” gang

There is a cult of clients who urges aspiring freelancers to “message below” for further talk but never get back to  commenters. If you are in any freelancers’ group on Facebook or any such LinkedIn circle, you are definitely going to bump onto them.

Don’t touch them with a ten-foot barge pole. However, you can bang your head on the nearest wall after seeing the collective gullible plea of freelancers on the comment section.

 

Tip: Don’t sound desperate, even if you are stomach is empty. Nobody likes desperation. Neither a lover nor a potential client.

 

No more free samples

freelancing in India

You have built a nice portfolio and have few years of experience under your belt. Unless you are trying your hands at any new vertical, it would be wise to stay away from clients who ask free sample work on any given topic for “one last time”.

 

Tip: This is only suitable for experienced freelancers. Unfortunately, for the newbie from an overpopulated country, shedding sweats without a single penny for initial period have become the norm.

 

Watch your waist

When you are choosing to float solo, there would be no medical benefits for you at the end of the tunnel. To minimize health hazard, keep a tab on your weight. Gluing to laptop whole day tends to make human-limbs jelly-like and produces a jutted-out belly. I have gone through it and right now, am on the painful process of damage control.

 

Tip: I have found out these Jillian Michaels Videos that are oh-so-convenient, and suitable for a person who spends lots of time indoor.

 

Fancy terms be damned

freelancing in India

Going solo has made me skeptic of fancy terms like ‘digital nomad’, ‘solopreneurs’ that are thrown away left-right-and-centre casually these days.

You’ll find plenty of wannabe digital nomads and solopreneurs on Instagram- posting photos of them working out of a beach while sipping rainbow-colored mocktails or claiming to work remotely while traveling around the world.

And they are not even doing the uber-cool things like trading cryptocurrencies (just writing this down making me feel so cool) or UX/UI design. So I suspect the astronomical figure they claim to make hogwash, keeping in view the unruly Indian gig economy.

 

Tip:  In case you get J after reading about a rambunctious “globe-trotter” digital nomad, remember to take it with a pinch of salt.

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