Freelancing and Chronic Illness


Today I searched for ‘how to handle chronic illness while freelancing’. It sucks that there are lots of people dealing with this, but it was also great to see that I’m not alone.

So, during my late-night scroll on the web, I found and learned about *thee* perfect solution to my problem. 

But first, a backstory…

I’ve been dealing with chronic pain since September 2013. Last year, the pain got worse where I couldn’t even sit down for too long. And after going to 5+ doctors and having surgery to remove a lump last Sept, I was diagnosed with a reproductive disease. Cool. 😑

Now the good news is I was able to know exactly what’s going on with me. But the bad/sad news is I’m stuck with this for-eh-ver. Which meant I had to figure out a way to work with clients, work on my personal projects (AWS and coding), and try to find another full-time gig. (There wasn’t an option for me to work remote or part-time after surgery, so I left in Nov.) 

After losing clients from La Rona, I went back to job searching on LinkedIn. But reading the job descriptions, I had to be honest with myself. Do I really want to be stuck at a desk for 7-8 hours a day? Whether remote or worse, open-space office? Hell nah. But jobless and clientless during a pandemic is not fun.

So, fast forward to now – after trying lots of tips and tricks to help me focus, be productive and consistent, I am struggling to GSD. 

One thing I can say is, I didn’t factor in those days where my body says ‘nope, not today’. Where all I can do is read/learn/eat (when I remember)… in bed. There are also days where I can knock out everything on my to-do list from today and tomorrow. Which is fine, but that led to burnout trying to do all the things with all this temporary energy. 

So, what’s a girl to do when you have to work and you’re dealing with chronic illness and everything that comes with it (stress, depression, and anemia)?

Freelancing with chronic illness is a struggle. Learn how creating day rate services can help work less and get paid more.

Day Rates FTW!

So after looking for tips 4 in the morning, I went on Instagram to scroll some more. (Don’t judge me, please.) Anyway, I came across this masterclass where a web designer talks about how creating one-day, done-for-you packages to work less and get paid more. And after watching this, the lightbulb went on. I can do this!

Can you imagine how I felt finding out that I can serve the same audience and offer the same services, and all I’ll have to do bundle it up into one day’s work? 

Why didn’t I think about this before? 

Creating day rate services means I can take on super short-term projects, handle client work on my good days, and just chill out on my bummy days. Yes, please! 

Next Steps

With all of this new info, my main focus now is to pick a few services to compress, update my systems and processes, then come up with a good enough schedule for all my projects and tweak as I go. Soon, I can start batching, putting those fancy planners and project management tools to use. 

And this is perfect timing since I’m learning new things to expand my services. I got my Six Sigma Yellow Belt cert to learn more about process improvement and implementation. So this will definitely help get more organized and manage projects better. 

Resources

If you’re struggling with chronic illness and need help figuring things out, take a look into these resources:

How Can I be A Freelancer with a Chronic Illness?

Surviving and Thriving with an Invisible Chronic Illness: How to Stay Sane and Live One Step Ahead of Your Symptoms

Chronic Resilience: 10 Sanity-Saving Strategies for Women Coping with the Stress of Illness

Business from Bed: The 6-Step Comeback Plan to Get Yourself Working After a Health Crisis

How to Be an Imperfectionist: The New Way to Self-Acceptance, Fearless Living, and Freedom from Perfectionism

The 12 Week Year: Get More Done in 12 Weeks than Others Do in 12 Months

And if you’re a freelancer or consultant that wants to add day rate services for your business, check out The Life-Changing Magic of Day Rates


Freelancing with chronic illness is a struggle. Learn how creating day rate services can help work less and get paid more.

Check back for Part 2 to find out how I’m putting it all together or join the list for updates. Next email will be about setting up systems and processes, so I’ll guide you by using myself as an example. You’ll also be the first to know when I’m ready to launch. (Plus, discounted offers for beta testers.)

Before you go, don’t forget to share this on Pinterest.

About Marjy

Atlanta-based Digital CX Consultant. Loves long walks at record stores + providing front-facing and back-office support to solo service providers and software + tech startups. Liked this post? join the Brief Gems email list to get more tips delivered to your inbox! Let's be friends on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.

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