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Hey, Free Agent, Did You Eat Your Breakfast Today?

And when you finally sat down to eat breakfast, was it morning or ... 3 pm?

When the phone is jangling, the pace hectic and deadlines looming, do you stop ? to eat?

All self-employed people share the title Chief-Cook-and-Bottle-Washer. Which is just another way to say that it is easy to get stretched thin when you are responsible for everything.

In a perfect world, our work would keep us stimulated, pay the bills, and provide us with a sufficient income to allow a decent quality of life. We would have neither too much nor too little work and it would come in an even flow. Not only that, but our clients would be pleasant and they would pay us on time.

We, in turn, would find it easy to perform our services to the public with excellence because we would be able to stay in touch with the joy that made us choose our line of work in the first place.

But the reality is that most of us are lucky if we can get within spitting distance of our perfect world, much less live in it.

While many of us are drawn to freelance living by the prospect of freedom from having a boss, the truth is that we are at the beck and call of our clients. And, often, through no fault of our own, our workflow is one of feast or famine.

So ? did you eat breakfast today? And when you did, was it morning or 3 pm?

We self-employed folks tend to drive ourselves to go the extra mile. For too many of us the reason is fear. Fear that if we turn down a job there won't be another.

We know that is illogical, but being self-employed means living with a great deal of financial risk. We often feel we can't take the chance. So we take on the new project even though we are exhausted. Or, against our better judgment, we take on a new client whose behavior forewarns of difficulties ahead.

But there is much wisdom in the flight attendant's canned speech that 'in the event of emergency, place the oxygen mask over your face' before assisting your children.

The logic is obvious. You can't help your kids, or anyone else, if you lack basic oxygen.

When you take proper care of yourself, you work better and feel better. And that shows up on the bottom line.

So ? did you eat breakfast today?

Ellen Zucker's website is designed to help the creative sole-proprietor earn a living and have a life.

Have Ellen's articles delivered to your in-box. Subscribe to her ezine The Self-Employment Lady.

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