As freelance editorial professionals, we're in control of every aspect of our businesses, from the projects we take on to the rates we set, our continuing professional development, and the levels of editing we offer. It can be all too easy to forget this, though, amid the daily pressures of looming deadlines and dangling modifiers.
I initially created TEA for myself, to keep track of project details, income, and expenses, and also to remind myself that What I Mean To Say is my business and that its future is under my control. (And, admittedly, because I love spreadsheets.) The more I talked to other self-employed editors about their businesses, the more I felt that TEA could be useful for them, too. I’m passionate about this industry, and I don’t just want to give editors numbers on a screen. I want every editor to see themselves as a highly skilled communications professional, whether they have decades of experience or are just starting out. Running your own business can feel overwhelming. If you’re thinking of making the leap into freelancing, I can help you take some of the fear out of that decision.
Before becoming a freelancer, I spent almost a decade managing a team of editors working on various projects for a higher-education publisher. The Excel experience I gained there, creating weekly team schedules, monthly reports, project budgets and timelines, and salary-increase proposals, was just as valuable as any grammar course in helping me become a successful self-employed editor.
We freelancers don’t have managers or bosses. This can be a good thing – we set our own priorities, business parameters, hours and rates. But it also means that there’s no annual performance review, no one to give us a raise and no one reminding us to use our annual leave days.
The good news is that, as an entrepreneur, you are your boss, and you are capable of giving yourself all the benefits, opportunities and kudos you’d receive from your dream employer. With TEA, you’ll have the tools and business data you need to manage yourself with confidence.