Full-Time Freelancing w/ Tammy Danan

July 3, 2022

Money Matters is a short interview series featured in our weekly newsletter, The Loaf

Tammy's been writing for Creatorbread for the past several months and has written a majority of our freelance articles. She's an empathetic writer and brings unique, real-life perspectives to her content.

If you're looking for a freelance writer around conscious living, freelance business, or how the search for a more meaningful life is changing the way we work, look no further.

If you had to start over as a new freelancer but you could take one thing you've learned with you, what would it be?

Negotiation is always on the table.

I was about 7 years into freelancing when I learned this and I wish I learned it sooner. But even when I did, I was never the kind of freelancer who would always, ALWAYS negotiate. This was because I thought when you negotiate, when you ask for more money, you're being greedy or selfish or just can't be content with the offer.

Such a toxic way of seeing things. But, that's how it was. And I'm just glad that's not how it is anymore.

What’s the best investment you’ve made in your freelance business?

Time away. Occasionally, I'd take month-long trips outside my province. I used to think it was a waste of money. But I quickly realized I'm so much more productive and mentally okay whenever I'm on my own in a different place.

And this is not a vacation. This is just a needed break from my usual place and from the people I'm often surrounded with. I need a place where I'm alone, which may sound weird but it is during these breaks when I can reconnect with my passions.

And it's (during these breaks when noticeable growth (as a person and as a freelancer) happens in ways I didn't think they'd happen. So, I guess it's considered an investment.

What’s one financial lesson you’ve learned in the transition to full-time freelancing?

Well, I went into full-time freelancing straight out of high school because life happened and I needed to work. There was no transition. It was more like a dive into the deep-end, lol but one thing I wish I had and one thing I always tell people is to always have savings before going full-time. At least 3 months of your monthly expenses. And outside your usual savings.

Create a separate bank account for this if you have to but you need to save up because while freelancing often gets sugarcoated, it's not a get-rich-quick scheme. It's definitely not easy to have clients and it's even more difficult to have decent-paying clients.

I was living paycheck to paycheck for so long even as a full-time freelancer. It was no way to live. The anxiety and what-ifs (what if someone gets sick, what if there's a major emergency, what if my client would ghost me, etc) kept me up at night. To say it was horrible is an understatement.

So before you go freelance, make sure you have savings. And when you're already freelancing full-time, make sure you continue to save.

Bonus - what’s your favorite thing to spend money on?

Christmas food gifts for my friends and family!! Since the pandemic, I made it a habit to buy food for my friends and family. I don't live in the same city as most of them so the feeling I get when I text them on a random December day saying, "you mind dropping by (insert restaurant/pizzeria/bakeshop)? I bought something for you and it's ready for pick up later. Merry Christmas!" that feeling is priceless!

If there's one good thing I got out of the pandemic, it is the importance of showing your people you appreciate their existence and their choice of staying in your life. This Christmas ritual also reminds me that I'm now at a point where (1) I can give gifts and not worry about the money I'm spending on it and (2) I care less about what they think of me when I do it and focus on how such act makes me feel.

Some friends initially thought it was a cry for help. They'd literally ask me what's the problem, am I okay, and if I wanna talk... I just say it's for the friendship and no, I don't want to talk, lol there's no life drama to talk about. Just gratitude. To the point that now, I don't wait for Christmas anymore. 😉

Connect with Tammy on Twitter & view her work here

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