In the part one of this series, we talked about ways a remote Nigerian freelancer can be successful.
Take Care Of That Attitude Asap…
Shut that attitude down. After the upfront payment, this is another pressing issue. You see those clients that send you sarcastic, snippy emails, mid-gig are not happy about something. Ignore that email at your peril. My advice, don’t smooth the email or concern but confront it asap. If it doesn’t make the client respect you for facing it head-on and showing your professional boundaries, it will certainly make you respect yourself.
Furthermore, it could also be that the client is just having a bad day and you are getting the short stick. To be on the safe side, address it so that it doesn’t blow over to something at the end of the gig. You also end up getting worried over something that may or may not happen. Also, be sure to keep your attitude in check because after all…
Remember you are dealing with humans. Generally, freelancers especially a remote Nigerian Freelancer tend to work mostly with small businesses and not usually big corporations, but still, there is a person at the other end of the email. Mistakes happen, people go on holidays, there are sick days, family emergency just the same way freelancers do. So regardless if you are a freelancer or not, remember you are dealing with humans and not a computer. People tend to have their problems, so learn to respect and appreciate that and you might get the same consideration in return.
Regiment your day. One of the disadvantages of working as a remote Nigerian Freelancer is that you tend to procrastinate a lot. I’ve wasted so much time procrastinating with things to do around the house, then only to find myself close to the deadline running around to get things done. By experience, it is not a healthy way to live. It also saves you a lot of stress.
Regiment your day and stick to it. Your day will feel more productive, less stress and more time for yourself.
Your friends and family won’t understand. Don’t worry about this no matter how irritating it becomes. Explaining to your friends that you can’t meet for that snooker game or drink because you have structured your day is a futile endeavour. They won’t understand unless they freelanced themselves. Your family will think you are lazing about without looking for concrete work. Also, there’s a very good chance you haven’t bathed that day and stepping out for errands is not on your to-do list. Never a quick break in the day.
Take Care Of Yourself…
Learn to shower first thing every day. Resist the urge to start the day putting on joggers, singlet and sit around all day. As simple as that life seems, avoid it. Learn to start the day with a quick shower, face wash, teeth brushing. You will feel fresher and more creative as a remote Nigerian freelancer
Cook. Don’t depend on noodles and spaghetti only. Take the time to leave the house to buy your foodstuffs and cook something. I have learned that taking the time to indulge in preparing my food is a great part of self-care and this helps me to enjoy being in the house doing something other than the constant working and sleeping. But also, as a side point, try to not eat just because it’s mealtime, because you probably aren’t that hungry and you’ve likely been sitting on your butt all day burning minimal calories.
Learn To Sleep without distraction. One of the things they fail to tell you as a remote Nigerian freelancer is the time difference. To work with different clients across different time zones has its pros and con. One of the con is sleep disruption. You can be sleeping and get a notification that you have an email,so you quickly check them. By so doing, your brain goes into work mode and there goes your sleep. Learn to get an alarm clock and leave your phone in another room.
Learn To Rest…
Give yourself a day off. Pick a day every week to just relax. Just a day that you don’t have to check emails or slack. A day that you just leave the house and do something engaging, meet with friends, hang out, go crazy, etc. A day to just so something that makes you happy.
Take a vacation. What is the fun of having this regimented schedule and a location independent business if you don’t take advantage of it and flex? You don’t have to be an introvert, get up and move around but not just leave where you are, go to another city for a few days, have a massage or take an actual holiday out of your base city or country. Just go see other things, take your computer and work but just go be free.
You cant come and kill yourself. So Go enjoy it.
Learn to start your projects. Dealing with the ups and downs of working with clients has reminded me of the importance of having something that generates my income without waiting for a physical person to pay me and set tasks. It will also help to remind myself of my skills that don’t involve servicing another person’s business, it’s good to stretch that creative streak and remember who you are.
One of my 2020 goals is to start my digital hub.
Focus on the Why. Look it’s not easy. A big ol’ chunk of the time it’s hard, lonely and generally, it sucks and doesn’t pay frequently. But focus on the why. Why did you start freelancing? Think about it.
That’s why you continue each day and don’t search the online ads for that ‘proper’ job. Whatever goal you are working towards, whatever life you want to lead, as a freelancer that life is totally in your hands. Focus on that.
Personally, one of my, why’s for freelancing from home, is the ability to create my income level, I’m not stuck to a fixed salary so if I want to make more money the potential to do so is in my hands.
I can essentially create my destiny.
Another is so that when I meet that elusive great girl and future wife (yep, still dreaming!), Failing that I want to be able to move to my house in Asokoro, have a weird bunch of dogs, cats, and parrots hanging around the front yard.
But whatever your motivation is, keep it in mind every day, write it down and stick it to the wall, whatever works for you, just remember your why.
Motivation For That Remote Nigerian Freelancer
That dream client is out there. One of my clients is a major financial consult in Tanzanian. They warn me about issues of payment. They also pay on time. They champion the work I do and fully appreciate that their freelancers.
So keep dreaming, your dream client could also be out there!
This year has taught me about what I want from my life and the self-awareness and development have been priceless. So if my lessons can help someone else at the start of their journey, that’s great! Mostly I regret nothing, freelancing is stressful, working remotely is unbelievably lonely but if you persevere, look at yourself and your responses to certain situations, the payoff is worth it.