Oh, you might think starting a business has a lot in common with having a baby.
They’re similar in a few ways, I admit.
But I was pregnant throughout the start of my freelance blogging business, so I can tell you from experience: the differences outweigh the similarities by approximately one metric shit-ton.
Sure, starting a business and having a baby both involve feeling excited, hopeful, and nervous all at once.
And sure, I can understand why some people call their businesses and blogs their “babies”. [I think it’s a bit wacky and melodramatic, but I can understand it.]
No matter how you slice it, though, there are vital differences between starting your freelance blogging business and having a baby.
SPOILER: The business is easier.
NO freelance blogging contract on this planet requires you to host your client within your body for 9 months.
There’s just no arguing against this one. Show me a freelance blogger who physically carries clients around *ever* and I’ll be astonished. [But fascinated. Because weird.]
You might sometimes feel like you’re “carrying your client” in a self-sacrificing, do-what-it-takes kind of way, but let’s not mess around. If you had to physically carry your clients for months on end, you’d quit. Damn right you would.
Meanwhile, if you do feel like you’re doing all the work while your clients take all the credit (and most of the hard cash), then the solution is simple — you need better clients.
Having a baby is a *lot* scarier than starting a freelance career.
Yes, starting your own business of any kind is a scary thing. There’s fear of failure and fear of regret.
But now imagine that every fear you have about starting a freelance business comes with a baby attached…
Afraid you’ll make no money and have to move back in with your parents? Add “oh, and with my new baby” to that scenario.
Afraid people will laugh at you, call you crazy or tell you you’re doing it all wrong? A new freelancer might have that happen once or twice in the early months, but pregnant women and new parents get that shit all the time, even from people who oughta know better.
When I first turned freelance, I was so worried I couldn’t sleep. I couldn’t even lie down. I used to sit curled into a ball on the end of my broken old sofa-bed at 3am, counting mould spots on the wall and trying to convince myself everything would be OK.
But being pregnant reduced me to hot tears of absolute fucking terror, any time of the day or night.
And by the time my baby was born, I looked like this (check out the fear in my eyes):
It was a planned pregnancy, yet I didn’t feel prepared for the reality. The RESPONSIBILITY.
Because I knew that although I could quit freelance blogging if I didn’t like it, having a baby was a totally irreversible decision.
Now that’s fear.
Freelance blogging has no age limits
Most people who have babies do that in their twenties and thirties. The society we live in views 16-year-old mothers with mixed sympathy and concern, fretting that their young lives will be ruined by the demands of pregnancy and motherhood. It views 65-year-old dads with bewilderment, wondering why anyone would have a baby “so late in life” (which is just a polite way of not having to say “so close to your death” out loud).
Yep, society is hideously prejudiced. And yep, there’s a small amount of biological justification for those concerns about very young or very old parents.
But freelance blogging isn’t tied to your age.
I’ve seen teenagers succeed in this business, and I’ve seen elderly retirees turn freelance blogging into their money-making hobby. No matter what age or stage of life you’re at, you can start a freelance business right now and your initial chances of success are just as good as anyone else’s.
Sure, you might get some well-meaning idiots who question if you’re not too young or too old to start your own business. The best thing you can tell them is you definitely plan to get older soon. If they think you’re too young, they can’t deny you’ll grow into it. And if they think you’re too old, they can’t deny that delaying would only make that worse.
Then ignore them, because their ageism is irrelevant to your freelancing success. 🙂
Nobody tells you to “sleep when your client sleeps”.
And yet new parents are often advised to “sleep when your baby sleeps”, which is just plain stupid because, hello, that’s the only time in the whole day the parents get a chance to do anything at all without the baby.
You might have clients in different time zones. You might occasionally have phone or video calls with those clients, which can be a minor pain if it means getting up early or staying up late.
But your freelance business will never dictate when you’re allowed to sleep, or when you’re allowed to do anything you damn well please — because you can always say no to that meeting or that project, or reschedule it for a time that suits you better.
Starting your freelance blogging business is a total cakewalk compared to parenthood.
If you’ve never had kids, look at it this way: parenthood requires no training or special skills to speak of, and even total dumbasses seem to manage it with a fair degree of success. Freelance blogging is no harder, so you *can* do it.
If you have carried, birthed and raised a baby, trust me when I say you’ve got all the basic requirements of a freelance blogger: strength, courage, and an unswerving drive to make the future a better place to live.
You can start your own business and make it work.
Now, think of me as the midwife or obstetrician at the birth of your freelance blogging career. What advice or help can I give you that will make it easier for you to succeed? Tell me in the comments here, and I’ll do my best to answer every single one.