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Ditch the Employee Mindset

#success freelancingtips Aug 21, 2023

Soapbox moment!

Joyful Contrarian Rant!


Over and over and over again I see Service Providers fall into the trap of acting like they are employees or allowing themselves to be treated like employees.  It’s probably because most of us were employees before we started our online journey.  I still have moments where this raises its ugly head for me. 


But I take a moment and ask myself this question:

What is the difference between being a Service Provider (Freelancer) and an Employee?”


The biggest difference?


A Service Provider can say No


Read that again.


Here are other differences:

A Service Provider can say Yes and send a bill for the extra work BEFORE the work is done

A Service Provider sets their own hours

A Service Provider sets where and how the work is done 

A Service Provider sets the terms and conditions

A Service Provider sets the boundaries and expectations

A Service Provider interviews the Client

A Service Provider has the ultimate say in whether they will take on work or not

A Service Provider sets the deliverables in exchange for the compensation

A Service Provider is collaborative

A Service Provider can ask questions and challenge a thought or action or process

A Service Provider has their OWN contract and the Client must agree to it

A Service Provider is in Control


Can an employee do that? 


You're Not Employees, So Stop Acting Like One!


Let’s cut the crap right away: if you’re operating under the delusion that you’re just an ‘employee-with-a-different-title’, you’re doing it all wrong. 


And if that employee imposter syndrome is making you think you're in the same league as a run-of-the-mill employee, here’s a reality check for all of you grappling with self-doubt: 


You. Are. Different. 


Your Business Comes First, Always: 


Before we dive deep, let's get this straight. Your client's business isn't the sun the universe revolves around. YOUR business is. Every decision, every action, every 'yes' or 'no' should primarily benefit your venture. You’re in this game for yourself. That doesn’t mean you won’t serve your clients well – but it means you serve them on your terms, in ways that also benefit you.


The Power of “No”: 


Employees nod and obey. YOU? You’ve got choices.  


An employee rarely gets to say 'no'.

You do.  


You get to say “NO”!


What's that? 


Someone's offering a gig that doesn't suit your vibe? Say No. 


Is someone undervaluing your work? Say No.


Is someone not respecting your boundaries? Say No.


You're the Interviewer, Not the Interviewee


Yeah, you read that right. A client reached out to YOU for help. YOU are interviewing them. Is their project right for you? Are they action-takers? Do they see your worth? Are they the Right Fit Client? If not, next!

Show Me The Money: 


Hell yes, you get to charge before you offer your magic. Before you churn out that masterpiece, make sure your bank's getting its fair share.


Clocks? We Don't Need No Stinkin' Clocks


YOU decide when you’re at your brilliant best. Night owl or early riser, you’re the master of your time.  You decide if you want to work in their time zone or do they conform to yours. Decide if you charge by deliverables and not hourly so no more time tracking! If you do decide to charge hourly, then that’s on you and it has more of an employee feel, but take control and bill in 30 min increments. 


Beware of the "Just One More" Trap: 


You know the drill. They say, "just one more task" and before you know it, you’re swamped with a mountain of extra work. And then? The audacity! They choke on their coffee when you send the bill, and sadly, most try to wiggle out of paying you.


Here's the deal: the moment they go over the scope, slam the brakes. Inform them. Get their acknowledgment about the extra costs in writing (yes, that email counts). They pay upfront. No agreement? No work. Simple.


Equal Footing, Not Kissing Up: 


You’re not an underling. You're a collaborator. If a client's giving you that ‘boss’ vibe, remind them it's a partnership. Still, treating you that way after you bring it up? Show them the door.  They can go hire a Fiverr person if that’s their vibe.


Your Contract, Your Rules: 


Craft your contracts. Make sure they know that you’re not just another freelancer; you’re THE freelancer.


Work From A Beach, Or the Bedroom: 


Do you want to work wearing a Hawaiian shirt on a beach, or in your pajamas from your bed? Wearing a baseball hat? (that’s me).  You do you.


You Write the Rules: 


Stop waiting for a client to set the terms. You’re the expert. You set the damn rules. From deadlines to revisions, make sure they play by your playbook.  Put it all in your Contract!


Take Control or Take a Hike: (tough love comin’ at you!) 


Freelancing isn’t for the faint-hearted.


It’s time to reframe, refocus, and reclaim your power. Prioritize your business, always. 


You’re not just another freelancer; you're the CEO of your enterprise.  


Stop with the self-doubt and the employee charade. 


Embrace your badass service provider freelancing self. 


This isn’t just about recognizing your power; it’s about eradicating that imposter syndrome that's been eating at you. 


You’re a force to reckon with; it’s about time you realized it and made the world see it too.

Yours in success,

Kimi Brown
AKA The Joyful Contrarian

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