I’m here to crash your dreams. Not everyone can become a freelancer. And here’s why.
It’s a bit depressing thought, especially, for me, since I stand and fall for the idea that everyone CAN do whatever they want with their lives.
But freelancing is not only about loving what you do and being able to sell your skills. There’s a way bigger background for all of that and you might have only a small idea of what’s behind the curtain.
While I’m more than very passionate about the idea that anyone can achieve ANYTHING, the reality shows that it’s not always all about being able to learn or willing to struggle through hardships.
Sometimes you really just need to “have what it takes” to make things happen.
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Not everyone can become a freelancer and here is why
REASON #1 Freelancing is a lifestyle
It’s the air you breathe, the bread you eat and… no, I’m not a poet. But I can definitely say that freelancing is a lifestyle WAY MORE than you can imagine.
The time I spend by my laptop is 98% work. And I spend A LOT of time here.
When I’m not working on design projects, I’m researching blog topics. When blogs are done, I plan and work on my online courses. I pin things on my Pinterest boards for bigger blog exposure. When I’m not updating my website, I’m searching for new clients. When new clients are all set and scheduled, I’m sketching new ideas and planning my further week.
When that’s done I “relax” by reading about the best ways to grow my e-mail list and building an opt-in (read as – writing my ass off).
Some of this may not classify as “work” but all these tasks I actually NEED to do to keep up with my business.
I don’t remember the last time I just sat by my computer and did nothing. Literally, I have no idea where people find time to scroll through their Facebook feeds, read the news or play games. If you can’t give up all that, freelancing is not meant for you.
Now all your FB and Twitter feed will be full of business tips, groups of creatives, freelancers, and nomads, masterminds of marketing and design. You will constantly learn, connect and work.
Oh, and not only that! Your mind will also be in constant work mode. When planning a trip, you’ll also plan whether your client is not preparing for the launch at that time and who’ll take on your e-mails. When sleeping, you’ll be dreaming about all the files you have to clean up the next day.
Freelancing will soak up your life. Are you ready for that?
REASON #2 Planning & Organizing will be your second nature
You just can’t keep up with all the things you should do without becoming a mastermind planner and organizer.
At first, you might think that you’ll just deal with all your tasks your own way. When that will get out of control, you’ll start reading tons of articles regarding the topic. After gazillion tryouts, you’ll finally find a few strategies that will work the way you want them to.
And in no time you’ll be writing blog posts about how to organize and plan freelancing daily schedule.
If you can’t imagine yourself getting organized and absolutely despise this idea, think about another career path.
REASON #3 You have to be good with people
I love people. For real! But sometimes I truly can’t stand them.
The difference between anyone and freelancer is the fact that freelancers have to keep it together. This is one of the main reasons why not everyone can become a freelancer.
You actually need to be people’s person. If you thought that you’ll have “no boss”, therefore, you’re up for a dose of freedom – na-a.
All of your freelance clients now will be your bosses. And, as long as you want to keep that project, you have to find the best possible way to say “your ideas suck”, “your feedback is terrible” and “WHY WOULD YOU WANT TO DO THAT?!”
I’m sorry but many people are idiots. Especially in fields, they know nothing about.
I definitely qualify for many! And so do you. As long as the client you’re talking with doesn’t have at least the basic knowledge of your field – you might experience some crazy nerve-wrecking moments.
How to learn to deal with people? Some freelancers do learn it with time. After all, “the customer is always right” (which, most likely, won’t be true for most of the time). But if you’re easily irritable, can’t stand stupidity and don’t want to deal with other people problems – you’re not meant to be a freelancer.
REASON #4 The consistency is a vague term in freelancing
While you might do your best to plan out your clients and projects for the several next months, there will be no consistency in your income, your clients or your plans.
In early March 2018, I started a chat with a client who needed things to get done within a week, as in NOW. It was hard to schedule for me but I did it and was ready to work. Only… he never responded.
A month later there was a sorry email in my mailbox which explained it all and said – let’s do this! So we chatted and scheduled everything. Amazing!
TWO WEEKS LATER we got to the point where it was like – yes, NOW.
And then two more weeks later the contract got signed.
It was June 2018 when I got the first access to the materials I needed. And it was July when I got a chance to actually start working.
While many might frown upon my decision to even work with this client, I’m so used to this free spirit of my clients that it doesn’t even surprise me. And the project itself really was worth the wait. But I already know that the final might come at least several months later than I expect it to be…
This was just one of the samples to show how unpredictable is the nature of being a freelancer. There are many daily details that will be changed or interrupted. And it’s nearly impossible to really stay away from it all.
Payments will be delayed, not even mentioning some quiet periods without any clients near the horizon. Emails will get lost. Projects will be destroyed by your hard drive. Your holidays will be interrupted.
Not everyone can become a freelancer but everyone CAN do their best to give it a try.
If freelancing is not something you’re ready to give a try, make sure to check out these 10 digital nomad income ideas you might invest your time and energy into instead.
But if you have decided to get into this journey, make sure to save your sanity, get enough time off and don’t let your clients take a complete control over your life.