While the lifestyle can seem totally open ended, you have to know how to protect yourself to really thrive.

The modern work lanscape is one that is constantly changing. Today's office is no longer one filled with cubicles and fluorescent lights, and more and more people are striking out on their own and joining the freelancing world in order to have more control over their careers. PSFK shares stories from various freelancers, who comment on what they know now that they wish they'd known when they started out.

In her 1970's anthem ‘Bobby McGee,' that pays homage to the bohemian lifestyle, Janis Joplin sings “Freedom's just a another word for nothing else to lose.” Even though the doomed singer was merely encouraging the masses to cut loose a little, if you are a freelancer, you actually have everything to loose if you aren't savvy. These things can include money, health care—even your sanity. Unlike your friends and colleagues in a regular 9–5, your life is a daily balancing act, a ratio of time/potential income, with very little margin for error. While most people imagine a freelancer's life as sleeping in, wearing sweats all day, and watching marathon rounds of Homeland, the truth is a freelancer's job is just as hard as those with a more concrete schedule. Having worked as a freelancer for five years, I always have 10, if not 15, things on my to-do list each day. These can involve everything from writing an article, to answering emails from clients, to simply remembering to pick up my dry cleaning. To put it bluntly, freelancing is not for the faint of heart. While I wouldn't take back a second of my freelancing career, and it's true my years working the hustle has taught me invaluable life lessons, there were plenty of times when I wished there was some sort of guidebook I could consult to learn the ropes. Things as important as how to create a professional invoice and setting a basic rate, to more social things such as the best places to meet other freelancers.

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