The realization that some people think freelancing is their last chance at success upsets me. I get sad because being in a state of desperation is not the best way to begin a freelancing career.
Freelancers who feel desperate may encounter quite a few problems. Consider the following:
1. Burnout happens sooner and more often when you are freelancing out of desperation. When the need is great, you tend to put in more hours, take on more work and not take the time for needed breaks. This could leave you sick and tired and seriously doubting whether a freelance career is right for you.
2. Your desperation is usually apparent to any clients you attract. Some clues include quickly reducing the amount you charge for services or excessive fawning during contacts. Some clients could take advantage of this desperation and seek more work for less pay than you are worth.
3. The lure of low-paying sites and content mills seems more attractive when you act out of desperation. These websites do not pay a respectable wage for the work you put in, but they are easy to get involved with and write for. They are always accepting new writers, so the desperate freelancer believes they will reduce the time it takes to make money.
4. Desperation feeds itself and becomes a vicious cycle that many freelancers find it hard to break out of. When you take on jobs with low payouts, you end up without enough money for your needs and a reputation as a cheap worker. Raising your rates becomes more difficult. Since you're still low on income, you take on more and more gigs, which increases stress levels and chance of burnout.
In order to succeed as a freelancer, it is important to break the cycle of desperation early in your career. It can be a real challenge, but it is worth it.
Image courtesy of [marin] / FreeDigitalPhotos.net