You’ve thought about being your own boss for some time. You’re tired of working for someone else and want to dictate your own schedule by your own rules and experience the freedom of being self-employed. Don’t quit your day job just yet and set off down the path of self-determination. You need to understand that freelancing isn’t as liberating as you might think. Here are four things to think about before you launch that freelance career.
While there is a possibility of a flexible time schedule as a freelancer, the opposite tends to true. Instead of that flexible schedule, you’re more likely to be troubled with thoughts of “I should be earning right now”. You may have thought the freelancer life would be your personal freedom, it may end up being a life of guilt knowing that every moment you’re not working is a moment not earning.
A stress-free life as a freelancer is ahead for you, correct? Nope, you need to give your head a shake. You end up trading one type of stress for another. Your stress isn’t coming from your boss or colleagues anymore, but from self-imposed stress of always being on the lookout for new clients. Knowing that your income could come to a screeching stop with the loss of a client or two can make you feel like you can’t ever rest. You’re always in marketing mode with the anticipation of getting new clients to your freelance business.
You’re thought about and have looked forward to be your own boss. Except you’re really not your own boss, your clients become your boss. And, unlike before where you only had the one boss to contend with, you now have many bosses to which you need to answer and make happy. If the thought of being pulled in many directions at the same time doesn’t delight you, then you need to think long and hard before you take on the freelancer thing full time.
Becoming a digital nomad is a big thing now and can be appealing. As long as you have internet access, you can work from anywhere. Regrettably, you may find out that you really work better in an office environment without distractions. The problem with so many places, such as your local coffee shop, is too much noise, too many interruptions, and too many dirty looks from servers can make you want to retreat to a quieter location. A poor internet connection (or none at all) can thwart your plans of working from the beach. In the end, you’ll probably end up working from home instead of exploring your opportunities as a digital nomad.
You need to check yourself before launching your freelance career that your romanticizing the benefits of freelancing. The freedom is always nice at the start, but you’ll probably end up feeling numerous pressures once you realize how you are completely on your own. There many challenges to think about from revenue generation, to retirement planning and medical/dental benefits as a freelancer. The sooner you realize these self-employment truths, the better prepared you will be to develop solutions.
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