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Tackling Problems Head On

freelancesupermarket.com newsroom

RSS 07 May 2009
It can be tempting to hide from problems, but doing so can lead to disaster. Face your fears and don't let a little problem grow into a major issue.

What kind of a contractor are you?

Are you:

A) A superstar contractor, knocking out fantastic work, harvesting contracts like so much easy wheat, administrating a well-greased ship through choppy economic seas?

B) Frazzled with fear, anxiously searching for a contract, fighting with clients over money and mistakes, drowning in a sea of receipts, unopened post and empty vodka bottles?

You're probably somewhere in-between these two extremes; good at some aspects of contracting, not so good at others. Maybe you're great at finding work but less good at managing projects. Or maybe you can organise your admin but not your client relationships. Whatever your particular blend of skills and failings, there may be things that you naturally shy away from - hoping that if you ignore them for long enough they will eventually leave you alone. (See what happened when
one man tried to pray his way out of danger.)

Of course, hiding from difficulties is the fastest way to create a major problem. There is no small problem that cannot be magnified into an insurmountable cesspit of hell just by leaving it to fester for several months. It's like a parking ticket: pay it today and you lose £80, but leave that parking ticket in a drawer and it multiplies, grows fangs, gets legs, jumps out and bites your arse until you're bloody and broke.

Why am I hiding like a big sissy?

If you're reading this and squirming slightly, because all you can think about is that tricky issue you've been ignoring - that thing that won't go away, that thing that's currently growing fangs and hungrily looking at your bum, then ask yourself: what is my problem? Why am I being such a loser?

Are you:

  • Afraid of failure?
  • Afraid of the unkown?
  • Unsure of how to proceed?

Because freelancing has inherent anxieties, it's important to prevent other issues from growing into sources of anxiety. By tackling problems head-on you can reduce the anxiety you feel. If you don't even know where to begin, call someone who might know the answer. Call professionals and ask for help. If an accountant or solicitor can't help, try Citizen's Advice. Ask other freelancers (if you don't know many freelancers, look for a freelance networking group or start your own).

Common freelance problems and a few solutions

Problem: Bad Debts


  • Cash up front
  • Interim payments
  • Efficient debt chasing
  • Go legal on their ass - call in the big guns
  • Small claims court
  • Get over it. (If your client goes bust, you stand little chance of recovering money that's owed to you. This is why interim payments and deposits are such effective strategies for avoiding problems. You should always be very conscious of how much money a company owes you. It's sensible to view unpaid invoices as similar to money you've lent to an alcoholic, kleptomaniac gambler: you might never see it. If a client goes bust, you could easily waste lots of your valuable time chasing money you're unlikely to recover. So be prepared to accept the loss and return your focus to the clients you have left - it's now more important than ever to maintain good relationships.)

Problem: Isolation


Has the dream of escaping the rat race become the nightmare of loneliness? Try:

  • Coworking (Google it)
  • Networking
  • Working in cafes
  • Inviting someone else to your workplace
  • Peppering your days with meetings
  • Calling clients instead of constantly emailing them (this may surprise them

This page was supplied by Bedouin Group. The Bedouin Group provides a unique structure for contractors and temporary workers allowing them to receive more money in their pocket for the hard work they perform.

© 2009 All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.
Image: Tackle by jdpage

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