MADE Maven Special Women's Issue April 2018 | Page 33

MADEINC that allowed me to maintain that contract until I secured work with another company or decided to terminate it. One of the hardest parts of entrepreneurship, especially in the beginning, is consistency of cash flow. You do not want to make the mistake of turning away money from someone who knows and trusts you, and will likely call on you frequently. If you are considering quitting your full- time job, plan to request a freelance contract with them as cushion. But, don’t expect to get it. I recommend that you do not quit your job until you have saved a minimum of 6 months’ worth of your current salary. It may sound tough. But running out of money is tougher. As it worked out, when I resigned from my last job I was at my peak salary, one I honestly did not plan to make until further in my career. My lifestyle had definitely changed. But, as many know about the world of journalism, where I was coming from, the money grind is not a pretty one. Just a few weeks into being unemployed, I quickly realized I was going to have shift my lifestyle back to that of the fresh-of-out-college, coffee-pushing intern that I once was. And, that’s the point. More than likely, you did not start your career at the salary you’re currently making. Humble yourself. Discipline yourself. Remind yourself. Do whatever it takes to recognize that being a new entrepreneur requires financial responsibility. If you accept that before you even start your business, you will have won half the battle. HIRE AN ATTORNEY AND AN ACCOUNTANT There is no business too small or industry too far from needing these two professionals. It’s easy to get caught up in the marketing, branding and sales of your business. But, one wrong decision can leave you in the worst of experiences with the government and the law. You will need an attorney to create and review all of your business agreements and contracts. And yes, every person, project, deal, service and opportunity requires written contract. These contracts will protect not only your payments but also your time, how you work, where you work and what you do not work on. I’m a writer and even I had to accept that there are certain phrases and words that protect me that I am just not aware of. As for the accountant, this person is not just there to help you navigate budget, payrolls and expenses. They are there to advise you on tax requirements and exemptions. Tax season will never be the same for you once you become an entrepreneur. Instead of the stereotypical time when many people are waiting on money to come in from the government, you will be dreading the money you will be putting out to the government, as you will no longer have taxes automatically deducted from your income. Again, it does not matter the level of financial education or experience that you have, your company’s finances are not something you will want to skip getting an expert opinion on. As I mentioned, I’m just a couple of years into this thing called entrepreneurship. There are other seasoned pros you can turn to for advice and books you can read for tips. I just hope that something I’ve said here has enlightened you on both the freedom and responsibility that come with being a freelancer! #mademaven 33