Freelancing is taking over the business world. There are already millions of freelancers worldwide and now more people are thinking about making a fresh start and joining the freelancing community. It seems that the U.S. market alone hosts some 55 million freelancers, which is more than one-third of the country’s total workforce.
As companies are struggling to achieve better results and gain more market share, it is becoming increasingly difficult for the employees to keep up the pace and withstand the pressure of huge expectations. People now realize that it’s important to preserve the life-work balance and they want to regain control over private time. That’s why so many professionals turn to freelancing – it’s much easier to plan based on personal preferences.
There are however a few issues with such way of career development. Freelancers mostly fear that this kind of work will not be sustainable or profitable enough. But just like our fellow experts from Aussiewritings.com say: “Freelancers have so many fears – and with the good reason. They are afraid of not being able to earn enough money, to manage time, or to maintain the quality of work. But you as a freelancer should simply ask yourself one question: Do I know a single non-freelancer who is not facing the same problems in life?”
Freelancing fears and how to deal with them
Dozens of small or big issues burden freelancers each day but a few of those are their biggest fears. We will present you here the four most common dilemmas and some practical tips on how to overcome them.
- Fear of not having enough clients or work to do
This is by far the biggest fear for all freelancers worldwide. You might think that it’s much better to have an average 9-to-5 job then not to have any job at all. People really love to play it safe, get a stable position, and count on regular monthly earnings. But there is one major problem with this way of life – it doesn’t make people happy. Monotonous careers, lack of private time, and pressure from senior managers often make people miserable.
On the other hand, freelancers are not sure if they could find reliable and long-term clients. But even if they do, they are not certain about the amount of work and how much money they could earn that way. Well, the answer is not simple here but it can fit in this one sentence – the more you try the more you get. The more people you contact proposing your services the more chances you have that you’ll hear from them. With time you will have your own loyal clients who know that you do this job perfectly so they don’t need to search for anyone else.
Even though this fear is enormous and realistic, a vast majority of freelancers actually finds very nice clients to work with soon after the beginning of their freelancing careers. Surveys even show that almost 40% of freelancers who have a primary job seriously consider quitting and dedicating solely to their online careers. This really proves that successful freelancers can count on stable projects and relevant clients, not worrying about the following month or even year.
Additionally, can you really say that “real life” jobs are much safer than this? According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, an average employee spends little more than four years in one company and this number if decreasing slowly but steadily over the last two decades. On the other hand, many freelancers cooperate with the same clients for one or two years and with much more perks and benefits.
- Fear of not being good enough
Many freelance workers are terrified of a potential failure. They doubt their own skills and qualifications, not knowing if the things they have previously learned are going to be good enough for an online work. This is a reasonable doubt but in no way different than the one that all people have to face when starting a new project or business.
Remember the time when you were a newly appointed apprentice? Or the first time you were promoted? All those times you were probably nervous but also curious to see if you’ll be able to answer the requirements. It’s completely the same with freelancing projects. If you are not really sure about your knowledge and experience, take some time to prepare and go through some courses or online tutorials.
Also, remember that no one is perfect so neither are the results of your work. Freelancing jobs are certainly specific in their own way and the lack of non-verbal and face-to-face communication can make you suspicious about what’s ahead of you. But don’t worry as you’ll get more skills with time, so just try to do your best. In the beginning, try to stick to the jobs that fully fit your expertise. It will make you relaxed and more comfortable with new projects and the client’s demands.
Additionally, you should probably start the freelancing career as a part-time employee just to explore the situation and see if it suits you. That way you will gradually build freelancing experience and climb to the next stages in your career. That’s exactly how the majority of freelancers see their professional development. Namely, almost 70% of freelancers are planning to work this way in the next 10 or more years.
- Fear of time management
Freelancing is mostly about very precise tasks, timely requirements, and gradual processes. Furthermore, you will probably work on several projects at the same time as a freelancer, which means that multitasking is the obligatory prerequisite for the successful work. All this makes a lot of freelancers suspicious about their time management skills.
Surveys reveal that 18% of freelancers handle more than one job, while almost 30% of them do the moonlight job. In such circumstances, it is inevitable to be afraid and worry about timing. However, it’s not actually a rocket science. You only need to make a plan and estimate the time needed for each of the tasks you want to conduct. For example, if your daily limit is 8 hours and you know that Task 1 will take you 5 hours a day, don’t apply for Task 2 if it demands more than 2 to 3 hours of daily duties.
If you are still not sure about it all, you can prepare by reading a few books on successful time management or you can take part in an online course dedicated to this subject. Of course, always keep in mind that procrastination is a forbidden word in the freelancing business. You should always save enough time for yourself on a daily basis – that’s the reason why you switched to freelancing in the first place – but don’t waste the time that you reserved for work.
Besides that, we can offer you here some more practical suggestions about time management:
- Make a schedule: The advantage of freelancing is that you are usually free to organize time the way you like. But it doesn’t mean that you can rest forever, so make a clear schedule of duties and hours needed to have them solved.
- No distractions: So many things can distract you from everyday responsibilities and social platforms like Facebook or Instagram are the usual suspects. When you need to work, neglect it all and focus on your job.
- Take notes: Multitasking will often leave you in mess and make you confused. You will probably forget important information every now and then if you don’t write it down, so keep in mind to take notes regularly.
- Let your friends know this is serious: Now that you are free of the 9-to-5 daily routine, most of your friends will probably think that you are available all the time. This can be an even bigger distraction than social networking, so let your acquaintances know that you do a serious business and don’t have time for everyday meetings.
- Fear of not getting a stable income
Some of you are probably genuine workaholics but let’s be honest about one thing – you probably work not because you love it but because you want to earn enough money to make a decent living. In that regard, one of the basic fears among freelancers is that they will not be able to create a stable income. Needless to say, this is a very reasonable concern.
But if you do your best and plan time wisely, rest assured that money will not be an issue. Be persistent and always try to strengthen your skills. It will lead you to a stable network of clients and eventually to the very good income. All it really takes is some time. The 2015 analysis even proved that freelancers have higher annual incomes than regular workers, with the average hourly rate of $21.
Bear in mind that this is just the average as there are so many beginners in the market. Once you prove professional skills and gain some experience, you will earn much more for sure. One more advantage of freelancing is that you won’t be scared of losing an entire income at once. Unlike traditional jobs, which are based on an all-or-nothing premise, freelancing means that you’ll most likely work on more than one project. This will consequently give you more than one source of income, which gives you a totally different kind of stability.
Freelancers make a very big part of global workforce nowadays. There are more opportunities for remote work and the situation is getting better and more organized each day. However, a lot of people are still suspicious about this type of business and doubt its advantages. Even more, they are really scared of a potential freelancing career.
It is true that freelancing will face you with many challenges but it will also give you a chance to work independently and overcome all issues over time. All those details that you thought were troublesome in the beginning could actually turn out to be huge advantages if you take the freelancing seriously. You’ll be able to manage your own time the way you like it. You will also find trustworthy clients and earn sufficient amounts of money each week. All it takes is the open-minded approach, a lot of work and skills, and enough persistence. If you are willing to give all that, you’ll only see opportunities in freelancing – no fears.