Oops! The biggest mistakes freelancers made in 2017



One question every freelancer should ask themselves at the end of the year is: “What is the biggest mistake you made in the last 12 months?” 

It’s not ‘being negative’ – for us it’s a business must-have. Whereas those in corporate roles rarely go back to re-examine their worst face-palm moments (preferring to skip straight to their triumphs), freelancers and start-ups understand that retrospective analysis is vital if we are to thrive next year. As small players in a fast-changing landscape, brutal honesty and a swift feedback mechanism is essential.

Being part of a supportive co-working community like Rentadesk means you can share your mistakes with understanding co-workers, knowing they won’t judge you. But there’s an added bonus too: you can listen to their gaffes. That way, you can avoid repeating their mistakes next year, and they avoid repeating yours. When we’re all facing similar challenges, this information is gold.

And you never know what people will say. When we asked the Rentadesk community to reveal their biggest ‘Oops’ moments of 2017, the results surprised us. No-one mentioned Brexit, or currency fluctuations, or changes to tax rules and regulations, which you might expect at the end of a politically and economically turbulent year.

Instead, the theme that emerged is a personal one. The list includes procrastination, dodgy decision-making and failing to listen to our instincts.

Take a look at what our community said when we asked ‘What the biggest business mistake you’ve made this year?’ and share your own below. Here’s to a smarter 2018!

What is the biggest business mistake you’ve made this year?

Joshua Flood, Senior research consultant, Valour Consultancy

“Dithering. I spent too much time thinking about things, rather than getting on and doing them. Next year, I’ll procrastinate less and follow my instincts more.” 

Joshua Flood, Senior research consultant, Valour Consultancy


“Forgetting how slowly big companies move - corporations move at a glacial pace. I’m already factoring that into my plans next year. I’ll remind myself that everything takes twice as long as I think it will!”

Tanya De Grunwald, Graduate Fog


“Working from home! Rentadesk has saved me this year. Having a distraction-free office to work from that is separate from my home has helped me re-balance my life so it is much healthier now. 

Bruna De Palo, Life Coach

Quentin Pain, The Number One Club

“Assuming I could do something just because I understood the theory. I started an accountancy firm, Fifteen months later I started appreciating just what a complete pain in the neck all the HMRC rules are. I now have a new respect for accountants!”

Quentin Pain, The Number One Club


“Compromising on my day rate to secure work. I valued my time too little and when I didn’t set boundaries I felt the client didn’t respect me. Now, I’m more assertive, and people treat me better as a result.”

Natalie Marleney, Interaction Designer


“Not chasing an invoice fast enough and the client went bust before they paid me. That mistake cost me £12,000. Ouch!”

Charles Orton Jones,  Business Journalist


The Rentadesk co-working community helps freelancers, independent workers, and entrepreneurs work on their projects in a friendly, inspirational environment, surrounded by like-minded individuals.

Check out if Rentadesk is right for you.