This Is the One Rule You Have to Follow as a Freelancer

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  • As a freelancer, it's up to you to ensure you turn a profit.
  • You need to know what your time is worth, as this will help you determine if you should hire someone or accept a job.

If you don't know what your time is worth, you can't make wise decisions about how to use it. 

Working as a freelancer can sometimes be much more lucrative than working for an employer. You also have the ability to set your own schedule if you freelance. And you have a lot more control over the direction of your career and the amount of money that ends up in your bank account when you are your own boss.

However, you also don't have the job security or guaranteed income that can come with earning a set wage. This means you need to make smart decisions in order to be profitable. In order to do that, there's one key rule you must follow if you want to be successful working for yourself.

This is a rule no freelancer can break

So what is the unbreakable rule every freelancer needs to make sure they stick to? It's to know what your time is worth.  

You have to place a value on an hour of your time so you can make smart decisions about how best to use your limited hours. And you should be aware that this value is going to change over time as you become more established in your career. 

As you develop your business and you gain more experience, you will want to reassess what an hour of your time is worth so you can always make informed choices about how best to use your limited hours and whether to accept a job.  

How to value your time -- and why it's important to do so

Valuing your time is really important for a few key reasons. When you know what an hour of your time is worth:

  • You can make sure you are only taking jobs that will pay off. If someone offers you a job that will result in you making just $10 an hour while you feel your time is valued at $100 an hour, then you would obviously want to reject that job in favor of taking on other work that pays what you are worth.
  • You can decide if you should hire out particular tasks. For example, if you can make $100 an hour by doing productive work for clients and you can hire an assistant for $10 an hour who will file your paperwork and do your billing, then you would likely be better off hiring the assistant and using your time to do more client work rather than handling the paperwork yourself.
  • You can quote prices appropriately. If someone asks you to provide services for them, you can tell them what your hourly rate is. This will ensure you are only working with clients who are willing to pay the amount you are worth. 

So, how exactly can you value your time? You'll want to see what others with a similar level of experience are charging for the same services as a good starting point. You can also see how much people are willing to pay you and use this as a guide. 

For example, if some clients are willing to pay you $50 an hour and that's around what people in your profession get, you might determine that your time is valued at $50 per hour. If you can hire someone to do tasks for less than that, it may be worth it. And you can turn down jobs that pay below that amount and spend more time looking for clients who will pay what you are worth. 

By appropriately valuing your time, you can maximize the chances of earning a generous income by doing freelance work. So, take the time to do this valuation both when you start your career and as you develop skills that make your time worth more.

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