Being a successful freelancer takes a lot of work, especially at the initial stages when you are just new and starting out in the market. It takes a lot of effort to produce quality work and build your credibility. For the full-time freelancers, it takes courage and determination to leave a 9-5 and depend solely on income from Freelancing. Going into freelancing is a big decision.
While there is no way to be absolutely sure that you are cut out for it, you want to be sure that you carefully considered all your options by asking yourself the right questions.
Here are a few details to consider before deciding the best time to freelance:
1. Self-starter mindset
To have a successful freelance career, you must be self-motivated. This is because getting started as a freelancer requires a lot of work and you need to be determined to get things done. There is no boss breathing down your neck to meet deadlines. you are your own boss.
Your livelihood depends entirely on your work and you need to put yourself out there, sell your skills shamelessly, chase down clients, and network without fear.
To succeed in freelancing, you need to cultivate a go-getter attitude. The idea of being self-motivated can be petrifying and not everyone is willing to do that – So, if you’re confident in your ability to be disciplined and keep yourself motivated, then freelancing is a good option for you.
2. Appetite for risk
It’s possible that you have heard of the ‘feast or famine phenomenon’ that comes with freelancing. When things are going well; good clients that pay well, lots of projects, busy schedule, no idle moment and the money is good – things are really, really good. But when things are bad? Low-paying clients, no project, slow times and the money is dwindling – well, things are terribly bad.
Taking the leap into freelancing requires taking a little risk (maybe lots of risk). Do you find taking risks exciting? Or does the idea of freelancing induce panic? If you are considering full time freelancing, what are your back-up plans? Do you have any? How will you cope if things do not go as planned?
You need to consider how well you can cope with the ups and downs that come with freelancing and that will give you a good idea if now is a good time to venture into freelancing.
3. Desire for flexibility
One of the most-alluring perks of freelancing is having control over your schedule. The opportunity to be able to work where you want and when you want. This flexibility comes with a clause – you still have to get things done. It is not a cause to do as you like when you like, but a call to work hard (maybe harder) but on your own terms. If you are seeking an opportunity to work hard and at your schedule then consider freelancing.
4. Control of projects
With freelancing, you decide what you work on and how you do it. You get to have the final say on what you do and what you don’t. There is no boss to dictate tasks (you probably don’t like) to you.
You need to know that despite doing your own thing at your time, you may not necessarily like all aspects of freelancing (like filing your taxes or sending invoices), but you still have to get them done. Consider freelancing if your enthusiasm for being in charge of your workload far outweighs the lull of carrying out mundane tasks that come with it.
5. Why you want to freelance
You need to ask yourself – why do you want to freelance?
It is all good to desire flexibility, have control over your workload, have a great appetite for risk, and be a self-starter but you need to recognize that freelancing is much more than all of those. Before you decide on freelancing, it will be good to identify what you like doing. Research and find out freelance roles that are in demand and go after the roles that match your skillset. Learn as much as you can.
There is no way to be absolutely sure that freelancing is a good option of you but with the criteria listed above, you get a glimpse of freelancing, evaluate yourself and know whether this is a good time to take the leap or not.
To further assist in clarifying whether freelancing is good for you at this time, here is a freelance-ability test to set you in the right direction.