How do you get going in freelancing?
This is a question often posted in freelancing forums and blogs. Invariably, someone will leave a reply that looks something such as this:
Of course I had no choice but to be a freelancer…
The text preceding the statement varies. Sometimes, it’s a story about how the freelancer lost his 9 to 5 job. In other cases, it’s about how rough the industry is actually for recent graduates. The circumstances do not matter.
Each and every time I read that a freelancer felt that they had no choice aside from freelancing I get disappointed. I am disappointed because it indicates that the freelancer was feeling desperate – and desperation is not any option to start a freelancing business.
Desperation may cause many problems for a freelancer. Here are a few of those:
Customers can tell when you are desperate
Once you feel desperate, you have a tendency to sound desperate. Customers usually can tell. It might be which you start discounting your rates directly, or it could be the tone of your voice – but something usually tips them off.
You are less inclined to stretch yourself
When you are desperate, you will be drawn to “safe” opportunities. Pay could become your primary or only concern. You will be less likely to want to take on projects which can help you to grow either professionally and personally.
You have got no time at all for personal projects
Most experienced freelancers understand that probably the most rewarding projects are the ones you are doing on your own. As a desperate freelancer, it is unlikely that you will have time for lots of personal projects.
You are more vulnerable to burnout
The greater amount of hours you work without rest, the worse it becomes for your personal health. You might get ill. Or, you simply will discover yourself stressing and getting totally burnt out as a freelancer.
Desperation results in a vicious cycle
The last reason why desperation is detrimental to freelancers is simply because it has a tendency to become a cycle – you take a low-paying gig because you are desperate, but it is never enough to make ends meet. So, you take another job you don’t enjoy for the sake of earning more.
It could be difficult to bust out of this cycle of freelancing desperation. However, things will only happen if you allow them to.
How to Be Less Desperate?
Listed below are several ways to fight desperation:
Have a look at freelancing as an opportunity rather than a trap
Make an effort to get worked up about the opportunities in freelancing. In the event that you can not do this, it could be that freelancing just isn’t for your needs.
Resolve the financial pressure
In most cases, desperation arises from financial woes. If you are not doing good financially as a freelancer, consider cutting back from freelancing and take a part-time job to have an even more stable revenue stream to supplement your freelancing earnings.
Learn how to say “no”
As soon as you have adjusted your attitude to look at freelancing as an opportunity and you also have gotten your financial stability in place, you are now able to turn down freelancing projects that are not really healthy for you or your freelancing business.
Image courtesy of [Stuart Miles] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net