Have you ever wondered why it is that we have to adapt life to work? Shouldn’t it be the other way round? If you want to get your job done until late at night and wake up a couple of hours later than usual, why shouldn’t you? The work is done, right? Or if you want to travel every other month. As long as you deliver your work, what is the harm? Or what if you just want to stay at home and work from the comfort of your home office? You feel much more productive without those commuting jams! Besides, you could manage the company much better than your boss! If you have ever made yourself any of these questions, I bet freelancing has come to your mind more than once. Or twice. So what is stopping you from taking the first steps to start freelancing?
I guess the reason is that it’s hard to start such an overwhelming change. It’s much easier to keep your lifestyle, even though that means complaining about the commuting time, not having enough time to spend with your family, or about the fact that you can only travel a couple of weeks per year. Your boss will tell you how long you’re allowed to. Life goes by more easily when you keep your routine the way you have for so many years. But that is exactly the problem: Life goes by. Mercilessly. And you don’t want to think back to realize that the only thing you’ve been doing is complaining!
Typical Excuses for Not Starting a Business
- You have no time
- You have no money
- You think that you are too old / too young
- You’re scared of feeling like a failure
- You think you have no skills
- You struggle with self-motivation
- You hate selling
- You think that you will feel alone
- You aren’t sure about freelancing
- You don’t know where to start!
How to turn those excuses into steps to start freelancing!
1. You have no time.
Or that’s what you think. Look, “I have no time” is the sentence that I probably pronounce most often. So I know that excuse too well 😅 The thing is that most of us do have time. You just have to ask yourself whether you’re making use of your time wisely.
Check out these tips to “create” more time:
- Work consistently during 1 hour per day on your project. Even 30-40 minutes would do! If you really think that it isn’t doable, what about finding 3 to 5 hours on the weekends?
- Wake up 1 hour earlier. If necessary, go to bed also 1 hour earlier, and you’ll feel fitter in the morning.
- Alternatively, go to bed 1 hour later. That’s my thing, but don’t choose this option if you are kind of a morning person ☕️
- Quit Netflix and social media as long as you’re planning your new life. If you can work for your new project during the week, leave your binge-watching time for the weekend. That will be your reward for your hard work!
- Stop checking your social media and emails constantly. Instead, choose a couple of times a day to dedicate to social media and your chats, but don’t check your cell phone every second. You will be able to focus for real!
- Divide your to-do lists into microtasks. Don’t try to cope with big tasks in 1 hour; it’s much easier to take on a microtask at a time.
Check out this blog post about how to manage your time and start an online business off the ground.
2. You have no money.
Besides time, money is the other biggie! Working from home and traveling around the world while making money have something in common: You’re working online. And you don’t really need much money to work online. In fact, online businesses don’t need that much of an initial investment, actually. You can even start an online business for free, although I recommend you to “upgrade” once you start making money. Check out this blog post about starting a business on a budget.
If your goal is to sell physical products and do need to invest in warehouse and distribution expenses – apart from the product creation-related costs, you may need to think of a strategy to start making money with before going over to the next step. If you don’t know how to start, feel free to download the Roadmap to Self-Employment. It will help you if you’re a bit lost and don’t know where to start!
3. You think that you are too old/too young
You might think that you’re too old or too young to start a business. But you know what? I bet the real problem here is that you’re scared as hell! You don’t know how to start. Where to start. What to do! And on top of it, nobody seems to understand why you want to dedicate your free time to build up a business.
Maybe you’re too old to pursue a career in athletics or as a TikToker, but those years you have been working have helped you earn experience, develop your skills and find resources when things get tough. And you can put all those to use to create an offer for your potential customers! If you can’t think of a way of using your experience to start something new, have a look at these ideas to turn your skills into an online business. It’s just a matter of taking some time for you to think about what you really want, make a plan, and take action!
And if your “problem” is that you find yourself too young to start managing a business of your own, you might be right in the sense that you need experience in some fields, but time is on your side!! You may make mistakes, so what? Learning from mistakes is the best way not to make them again! Change whatever you need to change and keep moving!
The thing is that, whether you think that you’re too old or too young, if you are scared of starting something new, it’s never going to be the right time. This post may be interesting for you: What is the best age to freelance?
4. You’re scared of feeling like a failure
Let me tell you this: Failures may hurt, but the lesson you learn is usually more valuable than paying for a high-class course. Besides, what does failing mean when you work online? I mean, if you see something isn’t working, you can change it so that it attracts more clients! It’s not like you’ve invested in a brick-and-mortar restaurant, with all its tables, chairs, silverware, rental, or leasing costs!
That fear of being exposed – and not making it – stops many of us from even trying to start something new. And that’s really a shame! Your fears are most likely to live just in your mind, so try to figure out where they come from, and what could be the worst thing that could happen. And remember: Avoid comparing yourself to others! Check out this post on how to deal with criticism when you want to change careers
5. You’re determined to change your life, but you think you have no skills to start your own business
OK, let me stop you right there. What does it mean you have no skills? So you haven’t learned anything in your whole life? There isn’t anything you’re good at, and you couldn’t teach anything at all. Is that what you think?? Well, then I challenge you to:
- First, read this post to discover your passion.
- Second, complete this Ikigai worksheet.
- Third, plan the steps you need to take to start freelancing! If you need a helping hand, check out the Work for You Planner. It will help you figure out the steps needed to start your freelance adventure.
If you really feel that your know-how is a bit rusty after so many years working for the same company, do some research and deepen your knowledge in the field that you’d like to start freelancing. Just make sure that this doesn’t stop you from progressing!
6. You struggle with self-motivation
One of the hardest aspects of starting to work from home or travel around the world with your laptop – and hoping that you’re going to earn an income out of it – is that you’re most likely going to do it on your own. And you need willpower for that. Willpower and motivation – even if it feels tough. How?
- Make a plan and stick to it! Some days, you’ll find it easy peasy. Other days, you’ll feel defeated, you’ll think that you’re not worth it and that nothing makes sense anymore… So days working without earning any money at first! So just stick to the plan you’ve set up. Just complete all tasks one by one – put your blinders on, and stop second-guessing your plan.
- If you can’t motivate yourself, search for outer help! So look for motivating books, inspiring podcasts, energizing networking groups, or anything else which pumps you up.
- Read how sticking with a plan can help you stop struggling with self-motivation.
7. You hate selling
I hear ya! Selling was something I couldn’t imagine myself doing AT ALL. But selling doesn’t always equal selling. You can earn money by recommending stuff you’d recommend anyway! How? Not selling a product or service itself, but the change that it’s going to have in your customers’ life. In fact, you’re doing them a favor by telling them all about your offer!
Check out this blog post about starting an online business when you hate selling and let me know what you think!
8. You think that you will feel alone
I’m not going to deny that working from home can’t get boring from time to time. But it’s just that – from time to time. If you set up your home office as a place where you develop your professional work, boredom can hardly get into play.
Besides, who said that you’re supposed to always work from home? If you miss meeting people, nothing stops you from visiting a coworking space a couple of times a week, or even working from a coffee shop!
Don’t forget that the more productive your work schedule at your home office is, the more time you’ll have to enjoy as you please! Check out this blog post about fighting boredom when working from home.
9. You aren’t sure whether you really want to start something new
Look, that’s OK!! The sooner you realize that you don’t want to freelance, the better! It’s fine if you don’t want to go through such hard work. It’s totally normal if you don’t want to sacrifice your free time or your financial security. I get you! Everybody does! But just be honest with yourself: Aren’t you made for freelancing, or are you just playing lowball because you don’t dare to try? In that case, go back to number 8! Whatever you choose to do, just don’t lie to yourself, OK?
10. Last but not least, you don’t know where to start
So you know what you want to do, and you know that you want to start freelancing, but you’re a bit unsure about where to start? Then it’s time to plan!
This is what I recommend you to do:
- Brainstorm any tasks you need to do that come to mind.
- Divide each tasks into ministeps
- Order those ministeps based on their priority.
- Assign dates to the ministeps.
- Get to work!
If you still need help to figure out every single step you need to take, consider getting a copy of the Work for You Planner. It is divided into two main parts:
- The Workbook. In my opinion, this smaller section is also the most valuable. It will help you easily write your own business plan, create your offer, set your rates and prices, and plan and schedule the time to do it all!
- The Planner. This undated yearly planner will help you set your project and financial goals every week, month and quarter. It will also help you review how the month went, and adapt your goals accordingly.
Now, I’m not saying that will always be easy. Working on my own business involves several night shifts on my side. But at least, I’m not letting my life go by. I’m just compromising a couple of Netflix binge-watching nights in exchange for my free time. Not that bad either, right?
Whenever you feel tempted to let your dreams go:
- Write down what you want to achieve, when you want to achieve it and why you want to achieve it.
- If you need to feel you’re not alone, join a local meetup or visit a networking event – even a Facebook group for solopreneurs would do! But don’t spend too much time there. Once you get the motivation you need, take action!
- Get a copy of the Work for You Planner, created by yours truly! I’d love to to help you figure out the steps you need to take to start freelancing, and help you stick to your plan!
Sometimes, we have to get honest with ourselves. We need someone to give us some tough love to realize things aren’t going to work if we don’t change. Dreaming is beautiful, but what about you stop dreaming for a bit – and start doing?
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