We’ve said it countless times before: Freelancing is not for the faint of heart. In some ways, it is as challenging as having a full-time office job, if not more.
It takes guts to go freelance, and we’re proud of you for considering to take this path. However, it is important to make sure you’re ready for it, and not just drawn to the idea of working in a fancy cafe with nothing but your laptop (although most freelancers do work in fancy cafes). In reality, it is so much more than that.
In this article, we have listed some of the most important things you need to know before making the decision to go freelance:
In theory, this sounds like freedom. However, not being answerable to anyone but yourself is a double-edged sword. While it’s great to have complete control over your time and your priorities, not having someone to tell you when you’re slacking off too much can send you into an unproductive spiral of procrastination.
To be an efficient freelancer, you have to create a system that works for you. Know which times of the day you have the most energy and are most likely to get things done, and do your most important tasks during those times.
Oh, and if you think you’re too easy of a boss to yourself, there’s another boss who can come in and give you that extra push: your deadlines.
When you first set out to become a freelancer, you’re likely to have grandiose ideas about what your day-to-day work will look like. You may envision continually landing projects that inspire you and spark your creativity, and while this is absolutely possible, not all projects will be as exciting as you may have imagined them to be.
If you want to thrive (and survive) as a freelancer, you’ll have to say yes to projects that you’re not too crazy about. Starting out as a freelancer requires building connections and working with as many people as possible. This will ensure that you get a steady flow of work through referrals and that you actually build a portfolio of work which you can show to future potential clients.
However, this doesn’t mean that you should accept every project that comes your way. It is important to still make sure that it is in line with the work you want to produce in the long term. There’s no point in creating a portfolio with work that you have no intention of doing again in the future. Say yes more to projects that will result in work that you can be proud of, even if the process of getting it done wasn’t exactly a walk in the park.
Just because you’re a freelancer doesn’t mean you don’t have to wake up on time, sit on your desk, and get things done within a strict period of time.
A lot of freelancers fall into the trap of leading an unstructured life, simply because they think can. Well, truth be told, you can’t be an effective freelancer if you can’t keep a schedule and stick to it.
If you don’t know how to start your morning on the right foot and sustain that energy until your work is done, chances are you’ll go through the day feeling lazy and unmotivated. Having a ritual puts you in the right frame of mind to work, and gets you into the flow of getting things done.
Freelancing is hard. But if you power through the day-to-day struggles of finding work, being your own boss, and sticking to a routine—you’ll see that it is one of the most rewarding paths you can take as content creator.
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