OK, so if you know anything about me, you should know what I do for a living. And when I say “living”, I pretty much mean enough money to get my daily Starbucks fix and to buy semi-cool clothes once in a while. OK, I buy more of that than I actually have money for (HAHA what credit card debt?). 💰🤑 Anyways, I work as a freelancer – writer and blogger – for a living. That means that along with this blog, I have a couple of clients who I write a sh*t ton of articles for. I get to work wherever I want to (read: coffee shops), work any hours I want to, live in one of the greatest cities in the world, and get money flowing in as long as I finish my work on time.
Sounds like the perfect life right?
Well…yeah! It’s pretty cool so far and I love what I do. 🙏🏼
But don’t get me wrong. Being a freelancer is wayyyy harder than mom and dad would tell you. Everyone seems to think that freelancing is as easy as just doing a few projects here, taking pics of a few cappuccinos around town, and then you’re set for life. Or you get to work just a few hours a day and all of a sudden you have a huge pay-check coming your way. But for the majority of freelancers in the world (myself, included), that’s super far from reality.
So, what I’m going to go through down below are all the reasons you should think about before you become a freelancer. These are things that I wish someone had told me before I had started down this path.✌🏼
You want to make tons of cash right away.
OK, so the first thing you’ve got to know about the freelancing world is that it’s not a magic place where money’s just going to fall into your lap. It’s not like a world where Oprah is throwing you a free car just for sitting there. I freelance through an awesome site called Upwork and it took me quite a bit of time to build my portfolio enough to get my first clients. And even now, I’m not making loads of money (maybe because of all the ☕️☕️ I drink, but let’s leave that addiction for another article).
So, if you’re looking for a quick way to make cash, freelancing is not the career path for you. It’ll take you many months to build up your client base to see a lot of money flowing in. 🤷🏻♂️
You don’t know how to manage your own time.
🚨 SUPER IMPORTANT THING ALERT 🚨. You’ve got to know at least the basics of managing your own time before you head into freelancing. Think about it – if you didn’t have a boss telling you when to get work in or when to go to work, what would you do? My answer to that question used to be, “Umm…binge all of Gilmore Girls again?” Duh!
Well, when you’re a freelancer, you need to know how to spend your time productively. If you don’t, you could end up with missed deadlines, angry clients, and no money flowing into your oh-so-empty pockets. 😩
You’re not OK with more alone time than normal.
So, if you’re looking into being a freelancer, you should know that this is actually a pretty lonely job. Unless you’re working in a co-working space, chances are you’ll be doing your work from home or from a coffee shop. And no, I don’t count the other people on their laptops around you in the coffee shop as “spending time with people”. Many times, it’s just going to be you, your laptop, and that fifth cappuccino. If you’re not already comfortable with spending time by yourself, then I suggest you work on that before you make it a huge part of your career path.
You want to know exactly what you’ll be doing five years from now.
The thing is that when you start freelancing, this career can literally take you anywhere. And if you’re someone who needs to know exactly what you’re doing five years down the road (AKA me a year ago), then think a bit more about becoming a freelancer. As a freelancer, you have so many opportunities to do your own thing, meet new people, try new jobs, have new experiences, and live in new places. So it’s just a fact of the freelance life that the future is pretty fluid. You’ve just gotta take life by the balls (I hate myself for using that phrase 😒) and pick up whatever the good ‘ole universe throws at you.
You don’t know how to budget.
OK, so go ahead and get your eye rolling out of the way with this one 😒. You should definitely not head into freelancing yet if you don’t know how to budget. When I first started freelancing, I had zero ideas how to make a budget. I would get my first pay check from a client and before I knew it, it was gone with the wind. It’s a good idea to do some research into budgeting and create your own budget that you can stick to early into your career as a freelancer. That way you can make money and actually live a semi-healthy lifestyle 💰💰💰.
You don’t want to leave your comfort zone.
The last thing I’m going to talk about is pretty important. When you become a freelancer, you’re responsible for your success. No one else is going to come along, hold your hand, and bring you to where you want to be in life. That’s just how it is.
And getting to that success is built upon leaving your comfort zone. Yeah, you know that bubble you like to stay in? That coffee shop you always go to? Those friends you always hang around? Living life as a freelancer is all about putting yourself out of your comfort zone and living new experiences. So be ready for that! 😉