7 Reasons You're Not Cut Out to Freelance Full-Time
I have a love/hate relationship with freelancing. Sure there are times when I write by my brother's pool under the shade of a palm tree in Miami. But there are downsides, too. Occasionally I scratch my head wondering, What have I done? I know several freelancers who have wondered the same, and have given up. Before you dive in, consider these 7 reasons NOT to freelance.
1. You're 99% in. Which means you're not 100% in. That 1% difference will give you the excuse to say, "Oh well, my little freelance experiment didn't work. Guess I'll go find a real job now." If you're not ALL IN, don't bother. The moment things get tough, you'll go running back to corporate America.
2. You think all clients will treat you fairly. Until they ask you for yet another revision. Or forget to pay you. Or take credit for some genius thing you did. Or ghost you. Not all clients are created equal. Some are amazing. Some suck. Like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're going to get.
3. You don't want to do it all: office manager, administrative assistant, receptionist, sales, marketer, price negotiator, bookkeeper, office cleaner, coffee maker, IT department, appointment scheduler, networker, social media manager, business developer, and head of HR and benefits. And those aren't even your freelance gig. They're all the hats you have to wear so you can do your freelance gig.
4. You don't know how to say, "No." As in, "No, I don't work for free," "No, I will not work all night to help you meet your unrealistic deadline" or "No, I will not spend hours creating a marketing a plan or writing 10 blog posts or designing a website — on spec."
5. You're not willing to hustle. Freelancing takes work and commitment. You're responsible for marketing your services, going to networking events and reaching out to potential clients. It takes time, dedication and energy. And it can be exhausting.
6. You don't handle rejection. Scenario: You're ecstatic! You've spent time talking to and exchanging emails with a potential client. They're willing to pay you a lot of money for an amazing project. You're drawing up a contract. They're finalizing the details. And then they send you a, "We've decided to go in a different direction" message. It's over. Rejection sucks. It happens all the time to freelancers.
7. You don't know what you want to do. People love the idea of freelancing, but have no clue what to do and how to make money at it. Without clarity, you will flounder your way back to an office job. Be clear on how you want to make a living as a freelancer and put together a plan for success. If you need help, talk to me. I can help you launch a freelance career so you can do what you love for a living.