Should you be a freelancer?
That’s a question only you can answer. And to answer that question, you will have to develop self-awareness.
How can you know if freelancing is your calling?
Perhaps, you will try it out for a few months or a few years and then discover whether or not it’s for you. Another way to figure out if you should freelance is by talking to people who freelance about what their experiences. You can even gain clarity by discussing your thought process with family members and close friends.
I can’t truly answer this question for you, but what I can do is tell you what I have learned so far, which might help you gain perspective.
If you want to freelance, you have to be prepared financially and emotionally for the possibility that you might not make much money in the beginning.
Getting started is always the hardest part.
You might have to keep your day job and freelance on the side at first. Perhaps, you’re ready to strike out on your own, but either way, don’t expect things to happen quickly. It takes a while to gain traction and build momentum.
Make sure you have a plan in place before undertaking full-time freelance work, because the money will not likely come in quickly or easily in the beginning.
You need to be comfortable with the fact that your financial situation will vary greatly from month to month and it will be difficult when you’re starting out, not only to earn steady paychecks, but to ascertain what you will likely earn by the end of the fiscal year.
If you are not yet known, you will have to fight very hard to win over every single one of your clients.
Amassing a client base in the beginning is tough. No one knows who you are and you may not yet have a huge portfolio. Therefore, you will have to aggressively pursue leads or create a vast amount of quality content online to get noticed.
You will go through booms and busts. You might have a large client base one month and very few clients the next. It may take you a while to find your footing. If you’re someone who likes to play it safe, can’t stand rejection, and is afraid of unpredictability, then freelance work is not right for you.
Know Why You Want to Freelance
Why do you want to be a freelancer?
Is it because you think that it will afford you more time to travel the world and lay on the beach?
Trust me, you will not have much time for that if you want to succeed. Yes, there is a lot more freedom in being a freelancer, but even a ‘working vacation’ is still mostly work and very little vacation. You need to love it enough to work at odd hours and be willing to sacrifice nights and weekends.
Why I freelance
I do it, because I can’t stand having to answer to a boss, when I think I can do it better. I value my freedom above all else. I need the room to create and experiment without being told it’s a waste of time or detracting from expected routines.
I don’t like having my salary determined by someone else. I don’t like the idea of another person limiting what I earn in a year or only letting me keep a percentage of commission. What I earn should only be limited by my own ability to hustle and produce. I’d rather earn less and work longer hours hustling on my own than earn more and work less by working for someone else.
Most importantly, I freelance, because it cannot be any other way.
Working for myself is my only option. I’m not good at being an employee. I’m not good at staying in one place or following rules that I find pointless or counterproductive. I will not work within someone else’s system that doesn’t allow me to win. I refuse to settle for anything else.
That’s why I freelance.
I don’t believe everyone can freelance or be in business for themselves. Not everyone has the stomach for it.
But there are some of us who literally cannot do it any other way. If that’s you, then you didn’t even need me to convince you to work for yourself.
Own your truth and go do it.