The 10 Commandments Of Freelancing


1. Thou Shalt Not Knock The Hustle

As someone who makes or supplements a living freelancing, you must not defecate on your fellow freelancer and their less-than-savory client roster. No one is thrilled about writing a column at, but it pays the bills. OKAY? Or one of the bills. Maybe half of one of the bills. Shut up.

2. Thou Shalt Take A Shower

You get a month-long grace period during which you may indulge in the novelty of not showering on a regular basis, but don’t get carried away. The Papa John’s delivery boy has enough on his plate without having to worry about your mental health.

3. Thou Shalt Pay Thy Taxes

I mean, or don’t. Only 1% of Americans get audited every year so, you know. You have a better chance of dying in a car accident. Not to be morbid. Never mind. Just pay your taxes.

4. Thou Shalt Not Work For Free

In the words of some bros who trademarked the saying in 2011, FREELANCE AIN’T FREE. If you’re interning or building up your portfolio or telling your friends you’re freelancing because it sounds better than “I’m getting screwed because I haven’t figured out how to ask for money yet,” fine — but don’t give your “client” the impression that freelancers do not require payment. No need to perpetuate that fallacy any further — we have trouble enough getting paid as it is.

5. Thou Shalt Not Act A Fool At The Coffee Shop

Unless you’re behind the counter, the coffee shop is not actually your place of employment. As such, refrain from indignantly pacing back and forth and shouting into your Bluetooth like an unhinged investment banker who’s been mainlining espresso for the past six hours.

6. Thou Shalt Invoice Without Fear

Do not be one of those people who feels guilty asking for money that’s owed to them. You are not a 16-year-old asking Dad to finance your Spring Break trip a week after he got laid off; you are an adult who needs to pay their bills and literally the only person who cares whether or not you get what’s coming to you.

7. Thou Shalt Correct Those Who Insinuate Freelancing Is “Not A Real Job”

Do not miss an opportunity to get gully when your conservative uncle suggests that you’d maybe have healthcare were it not for your freewheelin’ willy-nilly picture-makin’ job. It’s your right as a (hypothetically) tax-paying ‘merikuhn.

8. Thou Shalt Own An Eclectic Wardrobe

Pajamas, pencil skirts, and pit stains all have their place in your professional wardrobe. Just figure out where and when to wear what before leaving the house.

9. Thou Shalt Keep Track Of Thy Finances

Holding on to receipts is crucial for the (hypothetical) tax-paying freelancer. All it takes to transform a manic binge-eating sesh into a client dinner is a receipt and a sympathetic friend. Try it out sometime! (Don’t try it out sometime. That’s illegal, you guys. Duh.)

10. Thou Shalt Soak Up The Sun

Summer’s around the corner, which means it’s time to floss your sexy ass schedule at an outdoor café for no reason other than that your office-bound friends can’t. What good is freelancing if you can’t gloat on Twitter about how anti-bleak a spring day is when you’re not stuck in a cubicle? Exactly.

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image – Erich Ferdinand