To freelance or not to freelance – That might be your question. What is the perfect fit for you is completely up to you – and you alone. Because the problem with asking others for advice is that nobody is going to be able to put herself in your shoes – at least not completely. On the one hand, because not everyone would dare to start a freelancing business, and on the other hand, because what’s the best work lifestyle is as subjective as taste in food.
Depending on who you talk to, their perception about freelancers will probably change, but none of these beliefs is 100% right or wrong:
- Some may think that freelancing is too badly paid.
- Others may think that it’s too much of a sacrifice.
- Others, on the other hand, will think that freelancers live a hippy-happy life because they have some sort of Peter Pan’s syndrome – and that they can only live like that for a certain amount of time.
Let me give you some hard cold facts about self-employment, but also a couple of recommendations for you to solve these downsides of the best lifestyle in the world. At least for me!
6 self-employment facts you won’t want to happen – but will probably do
Truth #1 – Nobody takes you seriously. Everybody thinks that you aren’t “really” working, so you must be available any time. You’re at home, aren’t you? Then why don’t you pick up your phone?
Because I’m working! Duh! If I’d pick up the phone every time it’s ringing, I wouldn’t work but chat with my family, friends, family… Only that wasn’t exactly my idea when I quit my job to start freelancing, right?
Truth #2 – If they do take you seriously, it’s because they think you’re a workaholic. There’s no middle option. Either you’re obsessed with your work – and you aren’t to be disturbed -, or you just happen to have a desk and a laptop, but your husband is the one earning the money – so you are to be disturbed ’cause you have plenty of time. Personally, I prefer having
>> Struggling with truths #1 and #2? Check out this blog post about working from home.
Truth #3 – Going on holidays means spending money – like everybody else on holidays – and not earning any money, so it costs twice as much. Besides, as a consequence, you’re hardly ever going on
>> Struggling with truth #3? Read this blog post on how to handle unsteady periods of workload.
Truth #4 – You’re going to feel lonely and bored. You may even start talking out loud by yourself. Yep. And that can happen to you even if you thought you’d love to work at home without distractions.
>> Struggling with truth #4? If working at home all by yourself is something which stops you from going freelance, check out this blog post on how to fight boredom when working from home.
Truth #5 – You may take breaks some evenings (not every one of them!) and on the weekends, but your mind never stops working! And one of the reasons is that you’re going to be the freelancer, the accountant, the receptionist, the secretary, etc, etc, etc. You’ll have so many different tasks to complete and to think about, that your mind will have it hard to take breaks.
>> Struggling with truth #5? My little trick to cope with so many different tasks is planning and using as many automation tools as possible. Check out how in this blog post about freelancing without getting exhausted.
Truth #6 – You’re not allowed to get sick, and you need to be so flexible that your day will seem to have 48 instead of 24 hours. The thing is, for companies that outsource their work, freelancers are their go-to resource when they have time issues, so everyone will expect you to be available instantly. You’ll need to learn to set some boundaries but showing flexibility at the same time.
>> Struggling with truth #6? Read this blog post on how to handle last-minute freelance jobs.
So is freelancing worth it then?
You may be wondering whether I’m trying to stop you from becoming a freelancer? Not at all! I LOVE freelancing!! However, I think it’s always best to know all
Even though you’ll probably feel lots of pressure coming from customers – who’ll expect your 24/7 availability -, from your family and friends – who’ll also want you available because you’re at home -, and from any other person who considers to be entitled to judge your lifestyle and your time management… Stay strong and never ever forget that your self-employment is your own business – and you want to perform it as professionally as you would if you were working for others.
PS. Are you born to freelance?