I’m a freelancer… alias I’m a factotum

Are you a freelancer or a one-person business? Then you already know what I’ll be talking about!

Would you like to go freelance or run your own business? Then you should have a look at what I’ll be talking about!

A very good point Judy and Dagmar V. Jenner make in their book, “The Entrepreneurial Linguist“: no matter how small is your business (only yourself), you should think of yourself as a business and start acting like one! Plus, as they point out, small doesn’t mean worse than big and you shouldn’t pretend to be something you aren’t. With regards to this, I really share Judy and Dagmar’s opinion of not using a “we” instead of “I” on your website and avoid making up a series of different e-mail addresses ([email protected], [email protected], [email protected], etc.) if it’s only you who receives them all in the same inbox.

As soon as you start running your own business, you inevitably come to realise that being one means being every department of a larger business, namely…

You will be the boss

I'm the boss

No need to say this is always the best part! You don’t have to put up with any annoying and bossy person other than yourself! Plus, you choose which job you take and which not.


You will be the marketing department

Personal Branding Social NetworkIt may remind you of George Clooney in the Martini advertisement, but… as Judy and Dagmar write in their book, no customers, no business! So before you buy yourself a cup with the sentence “I’m the boss” on it, you’d better be looking for clients before. This means you have to put in practice the now very famous personal branding. Here the sky is the limit! You should consider having a website and an associated e-mail address, a LinkedIn account, a professional CV, business cards. Plus,  networking is a must, both with colleagues, acquaintances and potential clients. This will require a lot of your time and efforts.

You will be the customer service department



Now that you’ve gone hunting, some clients finally get in contact with you. Make sure you take very good care of them and try to count to ten (or maybe, according to your personality) when they ask for things such as a 80% discount on your rates or  -unfortunately very famous- “your best rate”!

You can be the accounting department



You can actually outsource this department and get an accountant, but if you want to save many and do it yourself, have fun with numbers and bureaucracy!


You will be the human resources department

human resourcesSome projects can be large and you might need the help of your colleagues or professionals of different fields.

You will be the IT department

computer problems and solutions

Like it or not, technology is essential to do our job. So… any problem with your computer? You’d better be an IT type or have a friend who is an IT type (1-minute video of “The IT crowd” describing such a situation).





You will be the project manager

project manager

The most common word a freelancer would use is “deadline”. For this reason, you should be organised and be able to schedule your work very well in order for you to have time to be the boss, the marketing department, the accounting department, the human resources department, the IT department and, last but not least, do your job…



You will be the “X” department

Whenever you find the time, you should also do your job, in my case translating and interpreting!


Doing it all is a lot of work, but also very rewarding!

Please feel free to leave comments. They are very welcome!


Reference:  Judy, J. and D. V. Jenner (2010): The Entrepreneurial Linguist

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