Were there any unexpected obstacles once you started freelancing?

This may be cliche, but it’s true–the business side of freelancing is just as important as the creative side, and it’s a side I, like many others, didn’t put as much effort into. Even if you have dream clients who always pay on time, and you don’t feel like you need to track every invoice you send out, your business records will come in handy for tax season, retirement planning, even buying a house. Get a system that works for you to keep track of your money…don’t wait until you’ve been doing it for a year and a half and then decide that maybe you should have some records. Not that I speak from experience or anything.

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Rachel Kaufman blogs about media careers at http://mediabistro.com/mediajobsdaily. She’s also written about food, biology, real estate, and almost every other subject under the sun for The Washington Post, National Geographic News, CNNMoney.com and others. Her portfolio appears at http://readwriterachel.com.