So You Want to be a Freelancer? Here's How!
Not that long ago, freelancing was something people did mainly in larger
metropolitan areas where work for writers, artists, and other creative types
was plentiful and easily accessible. Today, however, the freelance landscape
has dramatically changed.
For one, you can live practically anywhere in the world and still be able to
maintain a successful freelance career. Not to mention that the creative fields
aren't the only areas where freelancing is popular any more.
Today, accountants, trainers, computer technicians, etc. are all able to earn a
living as freelancers. Regardless of the freelancing field you are interested in,
there are some important things you should know that will help you get started
and get successful.
Before we discuss those, however, we need to talk briefly about the pros and
the cons of being a freelancer. You need to know both sides before you make
your decision so you truly understand what you're getting into.
1. You set your own schedule
As a freelancer, you get to determine what time you get out of bed and what time
you turn in at night. You get to decide how much vacation time you can afford
to take this year and you can elect to skip work one afternoon to spend time
with your children.
2. You don't work for a boss
Even though you are answerable to your clients, they don't wield the same power
over your life that a boss does. Yes, they can fire you, but you can also quit
working for them if things get too difficult.
3. You determine how much you earn
While a conventional job pays a set amount of money regardless of how hard you
work (and in some cases how long you work), freelancing allows you to make
practically any amount of money that you wish because you determine how much
your services cost and how many jobs you take on at one time.
4. You are able to work from your own office
Whether you prefer working in a home office or renting space somewhere to do
your business, you are in charge of designing and maintaining your own comfortable
office. You get to pick the people you work with. You get to pick the type of
computer, post-it notes, and bottled water that you use on a daily basis also.
1. You can become overworked quickly
When you start working steadily as a freelancer, it becomes nearly impossible
for you to truly take a vacation. You have projects and clients that need your
constant attention, so being gone or getting sick even for a day can put you
2. You have to deal with clients who can be more difficult than bosses
Most of the clients freelancers work with are genuinely good people, but there
are others out there that are not. Every freelancer has probably been ripped
off by a client at one time or another, even if they take steps to protect themselves.
3. You don't have a steady income
Unless you have one or two truly constant streams of work, you can expect your
income to fluctuate dramatically. Some months you may feel like you struck the
lottery while others may make you think you're heading for the food stamp line,
especially when you are starting out.