It’s all about freedom. Sounds good, right? This is the image of freelancing most people have. Though usually, this thought comes from those who have never actually done any freelance work. There exists this impression that a freelance writer equals a successful small business owner. Carrie Bradshaw, walking in her $500 shoes along the streets of Manhattan, makes it look tempting. Are you buying it?
A third of working-age Americans and Europeans turn to the gig economy because they believe freelance work can make them independent and rich with minimal effort. Reality is different and many people quickly understand this when they spend their first twenty-four hours as a freelancer working with minimal breaks. In this blog post, we’ve identified three factors about this line of work, that will help you decide whether freelancing is the right fit for you.
Get ready to deal with isolation but don’t be scared
In the beginning, you may find the silence and peace of your room to be a blessing. Until it becomes depressing. Working alone at home teaches you lots of good things, but it also imposes the feeling of fighting with problems alone.
There is a reason why therapy works only in group sessions and creativity boosts only in collective brainstorming. Sharing always means you’re not the only professional dealing with an issue. You might escape into solitude for higher concentration but innovation requires teamwork. Don’t hesitate to participate in conferences, meetings, any kind of professional gatherings for that matter. Be a part of the discussion, it will help find a healthy balance in your freelancing career.
Morning things determine your productivity during the day
Let’s say, Adam and Martyn both have to commute for two hours to work everyday. Adam hates his commute. The city borough he has to pass each day on his bicycle is full of garbage, smells bad, and the people he meets do not welcome him. On the contrary, for Martyn, his commute is the best part of the day. It gives him a chance to enjoy a few pages of Remark and miles of wonderful views before he arrives.
Spending two hours just to get to an office in a big city may be not the best option for you. However, this long trip could be a much better alternative to working in the solitude of your own room. Whatever you decide, make the morning hours your happy place. Freelancing changes your work schedule, but it shouldn’t affect your start of the day.
You say “Yes” to every client and have no time for yourself
You’re a freelancer, so that means you’re also a receptionist, accountant, and salesperson – all at once. After finishing a project, you still have much to do. You’re always busy. You decline all invitations from your friends to hang out on weekends. You can’t remember the last time you got any exercise. You just work, eat and sleep.
There are multiple services that can help you with time management. For instance, you can try Time Doctor, Toggl, Sighted or Rescue Time. Set the amount of time you want to dedicate to your tasks each day, and do not go over that limit (unless you have a critical deadline). Socialize, go to the movies, take a tango class. Otherwise, what’s the value of the money you’re earning?
No projects – no money: the constant struggle of finding clients
If you work for company “X”, you have a stable monthly income. If you’re a freelancer, your income fully depends on the amount of work you do. No one provides you with tasks. You need to personally look for clients and convince them to choose you over some other guy who claims he can do the same job for less money.
Client-hunting is a constant challenge and often takes even more time and energy than the actual work for the client. Freelancing beginners usually face this problem. They do not have a portfolio and it’s more difficult for them to impress the customer.
Research for yourself. Collect information about your competitors: their skills, experience, price they work for and what they have in their portfolio. Make sure you aren’t asking too much for what you do. Or maybe you’re under-valuing your skillset? Research in these variables will help you clear up a number of the unknowns.
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