What sounds more scary to you: failing as a freelancer… or making it as a freelancer?
Each one carries its own pros and cons. If you make it, you have to find a way to stay on top and keep people coming back for more. You will have to handle your own health insurance if you quit your job to do it full time. And what if you get so much work you can’t keep up?
Meanwhile, not making it makes you feel poorly about whatever your niche is. You will be forced to think about it every day as you make your way back to the soul-sucking job you vowed to get out of.
Well, wake up! Neither of these two scenarios has to be your personal story. In this day and age there are tons of resources you can consult on how to be a successful freelancer. For this post we asked our friends from Crunch, an online accounting software provider, on how fear-proof your freelancing career. Crunch works with a lot of freelancer and these advise are based on real-life stories.
1. Ask A Simple Question…
“What’s the Worst-Case Scenario?”
There. That’s all you need to ask yourself! See, the first step isn’t so painful. Think it over and play it out in your mind. Make yourself the star of your own mini movie. Think about and envision just what you think the absolute worst-case scenario is and feel it out.
If you’re a new freelancer, you are probably afraid of getting out there and asking for work or sending proposals to prospective clients. You may not feel that you have the right qualifications or experience. It could just be general insecurity, too.
But even then, what is the absolute worst that could happen? For most of us, we simply don’t get a response back, or somebody just says, “Not interested,” and you are free to move onto the next prospect. In our experience, nobody has been blacklisted from freelancing platforms simply for being rejected a few times. So, don’t fear getting out there.
2.Get Some Help
Get yourself in with the right crowd of people. Make yourself a support system. Put your social media to good use and make friends with other freelancers or join support groups. After all, networking is the name of the game, and you can help each other out by doing so. You can use these groups to seek an accountability partner, a mentor or even just somebody to talk to. Use your friends and family too as a support system.
You need to be around people who will share your joys, goals, losses and heartbreaks with you in a healthy way. Any job, especially freelancing, is hard to do on your own, so don’t attempt it, lest you get burned out. Having somebody to talk to about your happiness and fears is healthy and helpful.
3. Impose Stricter Deadlines
Everybody works best when there is a goal or deadline to meet as part of the completion process. Sure, clients give you a deadline, but ratchet it up a little bit and make it a tad harder on yourself. If your client wants the work by Tuesday at 5 PM, aim to be done at Monday by 5 PM.
This way, you can plan for any bumps in the road that may arise as part of daily life (your tire blows, your sister needs to drop off your niece for babysitting, you get the idea). Plus, clients tell others interested in your service about your prompt work…and thus, the client base grows larger!
4. You’re in Control
If you’re a control freak, fret not. This line of work means that you control the money, the times you work, how much you make and when you start. You also get more leeway when it comes to making mistakes, learning, and taking on and turning away clients and projects. Even if you do mess up and lose a client, it just means you step up your game and work harder to regain a new client and then some.
5. Welcome to The New Age
This is the gig economy we are in after all, and you’re going to have to learn to adapt. This is great news-it’s easier than you think to find freelance work and do it all from your own laptop, at home or the coffee shop.
More companies are open to hiring freelancers, and besides, wages for regular jobs are a bit stagnant to say the least. You can and will probably make more money on your own-so JUST DO IT! If you don’t feel you can make it, let this nugget of advice suggest otherwise to you.
Fear is the worst. It holds us back and prevents us from doing what it is we really feel like doing. Don’t let it stand in your way like that bully kid you knew in junior high. Push that fear to the ground, speak up about what you intend to do and then just do it. Chances are, you were being too hard on yourself.