Article Credit: Forbes

Getting Started Can be Tough

When you begin a career as a freelancer, understand that you will face money constraints. Clients are not just going to tear down your door. You will probably have to sign on with several sites that offer gigs you can bid on; you will have to design an amazing website, get all over social media, join online and offline networking groups, take courses online, brush up your leadership skills, stay close to industry news/trends and pitch yourself anywhere you can.

Somehow you will also have to pay your bills and eat. So, before you take this plunge, do some thinking about how you will support yourself while you get established and have a steady flow of clients. If you don’t have a plan for that, you will fail. A lot of freelancers begin part-time while they hold down a full-time job. This means long hours and sacrificing a social life.

 

It’s Not Like Working on a Beach

There’s the reality a lot of newbie freelancers fail to comprehend. Freelancing is a hard, arduous and time-consuming career, just like a lot of others. It requires more work than you can imagine and not everyone are “fit” to be a freelancer. Falling for the hype can lead to huge disappointment. You might as well understand the reality from the beginning, before you decide this is the career and lifestyle you want.

 

Long Hours

Well, it’s easy for those success gurus to talk about how they don’t answer client emails or phone calls except during certain designated hours; how they turn down clients who do not want to comply with their “rules,” and how they shut down for periods of time to take amazing vacations. What they fail to tell you is what it took them to get to that point.

The majority of freelancers continue to work long hours for years. This is no “get rich quick” scheme, and you’d best realize this from the get-go. Those freelancers who hit it big early on and who now have a staff to handle lots of the original tasks are the exception rather than the rule. They are running agencies/enterprises and not really operating as freelancers anymore.

 

 

Lots of Competition

Every freelance niche has a huge number of players these days. Freelancing has become a huge part of the economy all over the planet. Becoming competitive in your niche will take lots of research, lots of marketing and just plain grunt work.

 

Difficult Clients

Every freelance niche has a huge number of players these days. Freelancing has become a huge part of the economy all over the planet. Becoming competitive in your niche will take lots of research, lots of marketing and just plain grunt work.

Running a Businesss

You do have to keep records; you do have to pay taxes; and you have to have systems in place to run the business side of your operation. You’re not just getting a W-2 at the end of the year from an employer. You are your own employer and the entire onus is now on you.

Don’t fall for the hype. Know up front what you are really getting in to as a freelancer. And be realistic. Can you handle all of the challenges, the hours and the energy requirements? If so, you can have an amazing career. If not, better to know now than to pursue something that your heart is not really in.