Contributing Author: Written by a 5r Writer
No, not everyone is cut out to be a freelancer.
Freelancing is hard, lonely, frustrating and with no certainty of any sort.
What works today may not work tomorrow; just because you made $5,000 in June doesn’t mean you’re going to make the same amount in July.
Clients come and go. I’ve had some of my favorite clients disappear just like that, never to be seen again.
And then there is the little matter of freelancing platforms; who hold the power of life and death over you. Make one mistake, however unintended, and you’re out. All the years of hard work, amounting to nothing.
Was it the great English philosopher Thomas Hobbes who described human life as “ solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short ?” Well, that’s certainly true as far as freelancing is concerned.
As I said, freelancing is not for everyone.
And yet, here I am…working as a freelancer for almost 5 years now, reasonably happy and reasonably successful.
There have been freelancers far more successful than I am; many who make much more than I do. But then there are others who start with a bang, full of enthusiasm, only to quit after a few months in this profession.
Yes, I know, it can be deeply frustrating to just sit all day in front of your laptop, counting the hours, waiting for a client to come your way, an order to come in. I’ve been there myself, and I know how emotionally draining the waiting can be.
I don’t want to scare you or put you off from trying your luck as a freelancer. Just keeping it real…
Do you have it in you to be a freelancer?
That is something only you can decide. Ask yourself….
#1: Do you have it in you to quit your daily job and take up freelancing full-time?
Look, let me be clear on this – if you really want to make it as a freelancer, you got to do it full-time. You are in or out, there is no middle path.
I know, you get a lot of advice on why you shouldn’t quit your day job as nothing is certain about freelancing, but that’s the wrong approach. If you don’t have to courage to quit your day job and commit yourself to freelancing then it’s better that you stick to your day job.
Freelancing is a serious profession – a business – if you want to do well at it, you better start taking it seriously.
#2: Are you constantly worried about the risk factor associated with freelancing?
Yes, freelancing is risky, no question about that. But what are you doing to make it less risky for yourself?
Have you sign up on multiple freelancing platforms, attempted to create multiple income streams? Do you have a blog, YouTube channel or podcast that could give you a decent affiliate income?
Are you completely dependent on just one or two clients? What have you done to diversify your client base?
What about marketing? Have you been able to market yourself and your skills in the right channels?
I have heard a lot of talk about how the current economic climate not being good for freelancing. But that’s nonsense. A good freelancer is one who can adapt to any situation and is never afraid to learn new things.
#3: Do you have the discipline and the self-motivation needed to be a freelancer?
The hardest part of being a freelancer is all the loneliness that surrounds this job. You are basically on your own the whole time. You’re not going to get any support or help from anyone and there is no one watching over you.
If you are not a disciplined person, if you’re someone who struggles to stay motivated and focused, then freelancing is not for you.
If you can’t cut out the distractions from your life; can’t work for 60 minutes straight without jumping over to Twitter, Facebook, YouTube or Instagram, sorry, but freelancing is not for you.
You and only you can tell if freelancing is for you or not.