If I get a dollar for every time someone came to me with a project request at unreasonable budget, I would have earned enough money for early retirement already. Please do me (as well as my fellow freelancers) a favor: read this.
First of all what a freelancer IS NOT
Many of us freelancers chose to be one not because we couldn’t find a job, but rather, we chose to work for ourselves, so that we can have more time for ourselves or for people whom we care.
A freelancer can have a normal working hours just like any person who walks the earth. If you do not appreciate your boss calling you in the middle of the night asking for the Powerpoint presentation, you do not want to do the same to a freelancer.
Moonlighter/student/part-timer/odd job worker…
Myself, and many fellow freelancers I know, are doing what we do on full time basis. We do not do it because we want to earn a couple more hundred bucks to buy more PS3 games, we actually have a living to make.
We faced difficult times, we faced low seasons, we dealt with them and persevered on. We do not have paid-up capital, but many of us actually been around much longer than most private companies do!
Like you, a freelancer has bills to pay too. By choosing to work for oneself does not mean a freelancer should be punished with a pay cut. Compensate fairly for one’s work.
A freelancer may work as hard, if not harder, than most salaried professionals. The biggest difference is, a freelancer doesn’t sit around, play computer games all day and still expects to collect paycheck every end of the month.
What a freelancer IS, then?
According to Wikipedia:
A freelancer, freelance worker, or freelance is somebody who is self-employed and is not committed to a particular employer long term.
if I may add on to it, a freelancer may also be…
a person who has family, friends, and life.
Most of all, a freelancer is a professional in one’s field of expertise, whom, just like you, Sir, can use a little respect and dignity.