Guest post by Ieva Laicāne at www.therandomp.com
Being a freelancer is becoming a more and more popular way of working. There are few simple things that can describe a freelancer lifestyle: location independence, being your own boss and freedom of choice. Sounds charming, doesn’t it? But the truth is: freelancing isn’t the right fit for everyone! How do you decide whether freelancing is something you should take on?
Reality check: Your impressions of freelancing may be woefully inaccurate
Just like with many other things in our lives, freelancing isn’t all black or white. Although freelancing is an enjoyable lifestyle for many, there are several things freelancers are often not talking openly about, and here are few of them!
Freelancing is a neverending struggle
As a freelancer, you’re in charge of your clients and your income. Which means only one thing – very often your income flow will be inconsistent and you’ll spend a lot of time emailing back and forth with your potential clients. These situations are especially true if you’re just starting and learning along the way. It’s rough out there!
The competition pool is vast these days, and freelancer marketing skills are only getting better and better. Getting new clients and providing yourself with that monthly salary can be a piece of cake one month while turning into utter hell another month. And the most charming part of this: you never know which month you’re going to be in!
You’re not your own boss: your clients are your bosses
Right now, you might already have more than one boss. People are different, and you never know how your clients will act. And, trust me, clients can be pretty difficult sometimes! They have weird demands, unreasonable deadlines, and so many other things you’ll have to work around. Yes, you have the option to choose whom you’ll work with. At the same time, the first impression is not always the most truthful and just because the project is enjoyable doesn’t mean that the person behind it will be as much fun!
You have to fight for your rights
For your money, for your time, for your creativity, for your clients, for your methods and processes: there will always be someone disagreeing with something, and you’ll have to be the one proving them wrong. Explanation of your pricing system, the outline of your timing and other similar topics will be just part of your daily life.
There are tons of things to learn, and the process never ends
You’re in charge of your contracts, invoicing, income and sales taxes, project management, and the list goes on. It’s always possible to outsource some parts of the process and very often it’s the best way to go! But when just starting out, you might not have enough money to do that, so you’ll be up for learning it all on your own. Those are amazing skills to learn! But they can also take a big part of your sanity.
Free time? What’s that?
People have this misconception that freelancers have more free time since they’re not working from 9 to 5. Truth to be said, freelancers usually have way less free time than 9-to-5’ers, but they’ve learned to use their available time more efficiently!
What it takes to be a freelancer
Freelancing truly is accessible for everyone. It doesn’t require tons of money, years of experience, or anything else you can’t get or work on within a short amount of time. If you’re still up for starting your freelancing career, the next thing to consider is whether you have all the necessary characteristics and ‘personal features’ that I strongly suggested for freelancers. Here are just a few:
You’ll have to wait for email answers and invoice payments, deal with crazy clients and so much more!
Most likely, you’ll be working more than average 9-to-5’er does, juggling several projects at a time. So endurance will be crucial!
Willingness to learn
For the first few months of your freelancing career, it will be all about learning. It’s fun! At the same time, it takes a lot of passion for what you’re doing.
Only those with passion in their hearts can become successful freelancers. You truly have to be passionate about the job you’re doing!
You have to be able to take the right decisions, understand what’s the best for you and your business, you’ll have to be a good problem solver and communicator, so mindfulness is critical!
Let’s be honest: I’m not the one who can answer whether freelancing is for you. It depends on your own level of braveness to take on this lifestyle! I believe that anyone who’s willing to experience location independent lifestyle and has some skills or time and patience to learn them CAN become a freelancer! My main advice for you would be: just start with something. The rest will come!
Do you have additional questions or insights into freelancing? Ask us your questions or share your experiences in the comments!
About the Author:
Ieva is the author of The Random Passion project: story and resource library for aspiring digital nomads and new freelancers. After working as a freelance graphic designer for several years, she decided to pursue her true passion and connect with digital nomads and freelancers all around the world and spread a message – your random passion also can be the career of your dreams!
You can find her at: