How To Tell If Freelancing Is Right For You?


For the past four years of my freelancing career I've received more than a handful of questions about it from several professionals. Questions about how to do it, what things to consider, and if it's actually worth the risk.

Currently, I can say that it turned out just what I wanted it to be. It's awesome to be your own boss, choose how much time and when you want to work, and of course being able to work in bed, in the beach, or just anywhere as long as there's an internet connection. I have maintained good-paying loyal clients, I've been consistently recognized as top-rated, I'm able to pay my bills, worked on flexible schedules, etcetera. I have no regrets taking the leap from the corporate world to being a nomadic freelancer. 

But where I am now, as a freelancer, is the result of the prices I've paid. Because honestly, freelancing is not all about backpacking and chasing sunsets. Every (successful) freelancer has a story to tell about handwork, perseverance, determination, and a lot of detours and misadventures along the way.

So here's some things to consider before jumping in.

What is Your Why?

Sorry to pop your bubbles but freelancing is not for the faint-hearted. I had my share of disappointments, rejection, and discouragement (from friends and families) during my first year. And I'm sure almost all freelancers had experienced it too. But what will help you stick around is your inner desire why you have to stay and make it work. 

I quitted the corporate world because I'm that type who can't stand routine. I wanted to do creative work and establish also a business I can call my own. At the same time, I wanted to travel as often as opportunity knocks on my door. I know I cannot do it if I'm employed with a fixed schedule and a limited number of vacation leave. I also wanted to recover from my OC kind of "disorder" or should I say, hardworking perfectionism. I just couldn't stop working until the job is done and with the best result as possible. But the truth is, when you're employed the work doesn't stop when you send that EOD report. It just keeps on piling and it's very exhausting. Unlike freelancing, you have the ability to control when and what is the end result and stop there and get paid.

So make sure you have a reason big enough to make your freelancing career a success and not just because you like the idea of it.

Are You Independent Enough To Work Alone?
Some clients provides training to new freelancers, but most of the time they don't. This is because clients have an expectation that you are an expert or have an experience doing the job. Some clients do some minimum supervision, but again, most of the time you do it alone. 

Besides this, are you comfortable enough working alone? I mean physically alone? If you're a highly socialized individual or if you thrive working in a team, then this setup may not be right for you. Unless you find a way to counter this dilemma.

Do You Have Enough Savings?
It's an utmost importance to honestly answer this question. You need to have a plan B, C and D when the money isn't coming in regularly. You need to know how your bills will be paid and make sure you have enough food to keep your mind working and buy yourself a cup of good coffee.

The truth is, if you're starting out - not all clients will risk to have a taste of your work. You are still building your portfolio and reputation so it's an illusion to think that money will come in pouring to the brim.

Do You Have An Expertise That Will Land You A Job?
While it may look like anyone can do freelance work, the reality is there's a real tough competition in this business. Not only your price should be right but you have to be really good at something. An expert. A master. 

Clients wants experts not just workers. If you want to survive as a freelancer you need to know what work you love to do, and then be VERY GOOD doing it.

That's it! This may be a short list, I assure you there are other things to consider too! Nonetheless, I'm confident these four considerations are best to start with. :)

P.S. Got questions? Connect with me on Twitter & Instagram -> @gizandcheese

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