Rosa Abruzzese switched from employee to freelance life a little under a year ago. After having settled into a hectic but familiar rhythm of working and travelling across time zones, Rosa felt it was time to swap comfort for courage. She became a one-woman show in April 2023, as a full-time freelance copy editor and proofreader. Trying her hand at different topics, expanding her horizons and indulging her curiosity to see where life would take her if she let things happen. That was the goal.

As a copy editor, going freelance has opened her eyes to so many topics she didn’t even know existed. Every field, every topic is an ecosystem and there is so much more to the world than she could have ever imagined. “If you don’t take the time to look around, you might miss out on a lot of learning and opportunities,” she says. From working on UN reports to editing websites and more, Rosa is discovering a number of different opportunities.

Win time by delegating early

If Rosa were to start all over again, she would delegate more tasks instead of trying to do everything by herself. There are a lot of things you can learn to do yourself, but it’s much more efficient and time- and cost-effective if you entrust experts with those tasks. The money you save by not hiring experts is minimal compared to the money you could have earned if you had spent that time working. More importantly, no matter how hard you work and how much money you make, time to do the things you enjoy in life is finite.

A dog for time management

Rosa knows she is most productive and efficient in the mornings, so she tries to get up early and be at her desk at 7 am. Low-effort tasks are relegated to the evenings when she slows down. Her evenings are reserved for… her dog! Her daily schedule is actually set mostly by Uston the labrador. He wakes her up in the mornings and her pet owner responsibilities set the rhythm for the day. She likes to take him on playdates or a long walk over lunch and in the evenings, which means work cannot drag on past “office hours”. And Rosa’s weekends? They are sacred: when Uston’s social schedule does not require her time, Rosa volunteers as a rowing coach, trying to encourage everyone to row. Her current mission? Coach and train a blind crew to row. On top of that, she has one day a week where she doesn’t look at her phone at all, which often falls on the weekend.

Rosa’s advice: ask for help!

Rosa’s number one piece of advice for other freelancers or those people just starting out is: don’t be afraid to ask for help. Take stock of who you know in your entourage who’s “been there” and might be able to help you. Don’t isolate yourself. Sign up to sector-specific associations, attend events, and be prepared to learn. Be curious, ask questions and listen to the answers. The best part of freelancing is seeing what comes your way when you are open to new ideas, be it at the dog park or at the office.