Is Freelancing For Everyone?
A lot of people ask this question whenever they hear about freelancing and how “Cool” it is. It is essential that we provide answers to this question before we dive into the keys you can utilize to become successful at it.
So as tempting as freelancing sounds, the answer to the question is NO! Freelancing is not for everyone.
In this chapter, you will understand why freelancing is not for everyone, and you will gain insight into some of the features successful freelancers embody.
So it is a packed first chapter that will serve as the foundation on which every other concept will be built upon.
Freelancing is not for everyone because it requires some specific traits and behaviors that suits some people better than others. My brother is a lawyer who used to work for an international insurance company; he later switched to a small firm which eventually enabled him to become an independent contractor.
As a contractor, he had open doors to become a freelancer as he wasn’t required at the office regularly. At first, everything seemed perfect, he was working from home in his pajamas, he was able to sleep late, had a lot of free time, and he was making more money than in his previous job. So, what happened? Well, have you ever bought a piece of clothing you thought it looked good on you and later on got the feeling that it indeed didn’t fit your style and stopped using it? The same thing happened to him.
Once the novelty of his brand new freelancing job wore off and he had to live the real life of a freelancer, he started to find flaws in it and eventually realized that this type of work didn’t really suit him. At least not at this point in his career.
First, despite that as an overall he was generating more income, some months were better than others, meaning that the amount of money he got each time was irregular. Second, not having to go to an office and follow a schedule seemed good on paper for him but just like it happens to most of the freelancers, he eventually became aware that this type of work is very lonely. Not having peers to talk to or colleagues to go to lunch with made the experience quite dull for him. And finally, when he decided to become a lawyer, he dreamed of wearing fancy suits, going to meetings with clients, and having strategy sessions among many more things he didn’t have anymore. This also gave him the feeling that he was missing on opportunities to push his career further.
Now, as a freelancer, he didn’t have any of the experiences he had envisaged, so what did he do?
Well, he remained an independent contractor but wasn’t a full-time freelancer anymore. He became a partial freelancer because he just wasn’t satisfied with the implications it brought into his daily routine. This decision ultimately paid off as he was later recruited by another big insurance firm which is paying him a lot more. He relented the benefits of working on his own but is much happier now. Now, with my brother’s story, you can understand why freelancing isn’t for everyone.
You may have a lot of interest in the field and desire to work using your skills, but if you are not adequately prepared for it, you will regret your decision and find ways through which you can be satisfied. You must not feel bad if full-time freelancing’s not for you; freelancing can be done on the side, and you can get a lot of fulfillment just by doing what you love and still stick to your job.
For anyone to say he/she wants to be a freelancer, there should first be an attempt at doing it as a side job. If the person still likes it after the first experiment, it can be taken as full-job. Freelancing also entails the use of skills that are used to render services to clients, so if you don’t have any skills to offer, of course, you have no business being a freelancer.
So, if after this chapter you do decide to become a freelancer, what you must consider next is how to become a very successful one. We are going to find the top ten traits every successful freelancer should portray. The characters will serve as a guide and inspire you to do more with your business as a freelancer.
What It Means To Be A Successful Freelancer
1. Right At The Skills
For you to become a successful freelancer, you must first become very good at your craft or abilities. This is very important because regardless of the amount of time you’ve got for the job at hand if you are not good at it and deliver mediocre results, there is no point to continue.
So, take the time to learn everything you need to know about your chosen field before you put yourself in the market. Even when you have garnered some experience, the best thing to do is to continue to work hard at finetuning your skills.
2. Has Time For The Job
Freelancers who want to be successful must have enough time for the job. You need time because you will be working with deadlines, and it is crucial that you meet your deadlines.
So, before you take the plunge to ascertain if you’ve got time for the job and then even after you start accepting projects continue to make time aside so you can grow as a freelancer.
3. Manage Time Properly
Speaking of having time, you must also know how to manage your time. We will deliberate more on time management in another chapter, but before we get there, you should know that no one succeeds as a freelancer without being a good time manager.
Time management is a skill to be imbibed and utilized because freelancing is all about the way you use the time allotted. You should also be able to allow time to specific jobs at specific times such that your freelance schedule isn’t choked up or stressful .
4. The Freelance Career Is A Passion For You
Successful freelancers are passionate about their skills. They know just how much value they bring to the table; hence, they put a lot of effort into their work. Therefore, you must determine what inspires you to get on the freelance train in the first place.
If you are inspired by money, you might get discouraged at the start of the career. You should be motivated by the passion you’ve got for the skills you have and be encouraged to learn more going forward.
5. Courteous And Polite To Clients
Professional and successful freelancers are courteous and respectful; they understand their role and embrace the idea of birthing someone else’s idea of life.
You will encounter a lot of clients with varying personalities and
temperaments, and you should be prepared to have the same attitude towards all of them. Be kind to those who are helpful to you and even more courteous to those who aren’t so lovely. Be professional; this is a freelancer’s tagline.
6. Great Work Ethic
Successful freelancers do not attain success overnight; they work hard and have the most impressive work ethic. Such freelancers give all of themselves into the process and will not stop until their names are synonymous with excellent presentation of the skill they are known for.
So, the fact that you’ve got a lot of freedom shouldn’t be a reason for you to be lazy. Have a great work ethic by working with a schedule, planning your time, and creating an enabling environment for you to do all that will make you very productive on this journey.
7. Commitment To The Speedy Completion Of Projects
If you want to succeed at freelancing, then you must be committed to the swift completion of projects. No freelancer becomes successful by skipping deadlines and being unreliable.
When you are committed, you will do whatever it takes to meet all deadlines, submit excellent work, and build great relationships with clients. Successful freelancers never go back on their word, especially when a task has been entrusted to them. Build competence by being committed to the completion of projects.
8. Do Your Research
Regardless of the field of freelancing you belong to, research is needed. The clients will give you new concepts to work on; even if it is something you knew before; the client might want it from a different angle.
So, research is essential, and you have to be able to deliver original content with the best ideas to your client. Learn to ask questions, get the client’s perspective, and understand the concept before you go ahead.
9. Build A Network Of Clients
Sometimes freelancers struggle to get clients, while this can be very frustrating it can be avoided. When you have a pool of clients you have networked with over the years you will always have something going on. These clients you have networked with, that trust you and believed in the 0riginality of your work will consider the opportunity to hire you again if a project arises. When you accept jobs consider all aspects but more importantly seek to make a connection with the person so even after the work agreement is over, you still have a relationship with that client that leads you to build up a network.
10. Know When To Take A Break
Freelancing can be very tasking especially when you are swarmed continuously as such for you to achieve success, you must know when to take a break from all that you do and focus on yourself for a moment. By learning to rest and relax you will be positioning yourself for more impact as a freelancer.
Well, this first chapter was a way of welcoming you on board to the freelancing experience. You have answers to the questions asked at the beginning of it, and now you are ready to take on the seven keys that will help you succeed in your newly selected career path.
Remember that you can become a part-time freelancer if you can combine it with your day job. However, regardless of your decision to be a part-time or full-time freelancer, be consumed with the idea of being the best there is in your chosen field.