Freelancing is on the rise. It sounds like an ideal lifestyle. Who wouldn’t want to choose when and where they can work, without a boss breathing down their necks? You might be thinking of going down the same route.
However, it’s not a decision to be taken lightly. Freelancing can be the greatest choice some people make in their lives but it’s not for everyone. If you’ve been thinking of going freelance but are unsure if it’s for you, then read on for reasons why it might not be for you:
You hate reading
While you don’t have to commit to reading 50 novels a year, an important part of any business is learning. You can never learn too much. There’s always something you don’t know or something you could improve. So pick up the books, devour business blogs and share content for others to do so.
You have finance phobia
Plenty of people don’t like talking about money. People don’t want to sound materialistic or greedy so they don’t talk much about it. If you’re in any kind of business you need to learn how to get past this. There might be other reasons for going freelance but you’ve still got to pay the bills. You are going to have to get comfortable with setting your rates, sticking to them and negotiating when necessary.
You need to get knowledgeable and organised about finance so that you can make informed decisions. To take some of the pain away, you could hire an accountant so that you don’t have to worry about all the niggly details of tax and legislation.
You aren’t organised
Are you the kind of person who can’t remember what colour your desk or floor is because it’s covered in so many piles of paper and random bits and pieces? Well stop it! If you want to go into any business, especially if you’re on your own as a freelancer, you need to get organised. If not you’ll forget things, annoy clients and just tire yourself out with stressing about where you put that last invoice. Being organised saves you time and your sanity. Time is money, don’t waste it on things that could be solved by having a good filing system.
You want overnight success
Plenty of people have the Del Boy dream of making it big with minimal effort. It’s a nice thought but it is absolute fantasy unless you’re incredibly lucky and willing to share your secrets with me. Building a business is hard work. You don’t get overnight success. Clients aren’t going to come banging on your door, you need to work for them. You also need to be patient. Some people might achieve success quicker than others but that’s not to say that you’re never going to make it work if you don’t replace your income in 30 days like that last course you went on said.
You get lonely easily
While there’s nothing to say that extroverts can’t make their freelancing ventures a success, they’re more likely to feel the sting of loneliness. Freelancing is largely a solo venture. While you may talk to clients and other people in the industry, most things are online now for convenience and it just isn’t the same as having a chat at the office. Some freelancers miss office friendships and the ability to bounce ideas of each other. You could try co-working or just learn to love online messengers, but it’s something worth thinking through before jumping into freelancing.
You don’t see the importance in marketing
Are you hoping to build a website and blog and then expect the clients to come rolling in? Sorry to disappoint, but this is just not what happens. You need to go out there and find your clients and readers, carve out a space for your business on the internet and add value.
While self-promotion can be embarrassing even for the most outgoing and confident people, there isn’t really a way around it. Focusing on your product or service rather than yourself might help. However, freelancers are increasingly infusing their personalities into their brand.
There are many articles out there saying you need these skills to succeed as a freelancer. However, there’s no reason to say that you can’t learn any skills that you are lacking. You just have to be willing to learn and improve. If you struggle with the points above and are still determined, you’ll have to commit to improving your skills in order for it to work.
Anything else to add? Is there a right type of person that makes a successful freelancer? Let us know your thoughts!