No alarm clock. No dress code. No more nightmare commutes. No toxic boss.
Freelancing sounds like a dream for many.
But before you quit your job and dive into it, it’s important to take a step back and consider what it actually means to become a freelancer.
In this article, I’ll walk you through 5 things you need to look at before kicking off a freelancing career.
#1. Solo Career
As a freelancer, you’ll be working alone in your home office most of the time — which is not conducive for some. It can even cause anxiety or depression to others. And since you’re on your own, you also have to take care of your own health insurance and pay your own taxes.
But if you’re a parent who has kids to take care of, this is a great opportunity. You can watch your kids while still being able to earn and help with household finances.
#2. Money Matters
Preparing your finances ahead of time will spare you from a lot of headaches especially during the first few months.
You might see successful freelancers who may be swimming in a sea of clients and whose bank account grows healthily. But remember that freelancing doesn’t come with a set salary.
And since you’re in charge of your own health insurance and taxes, you need to set aside a budget for these.
So if you don’t have a firm grasp on your budget and you struggle in tracking your finances — even with a regular income — then you have to think twice, thrice or 10x more before going into freelancing.
Working from home also means a lot of distractions.
Being single might mean receiving and running errands every now and then. Whereas a mom or a dad means having your kids calling you out even in the middle of a meeting. So it’s important to have a great sense of time balance.
If you can carve out specific time to do client work without neglecting your responsibilities at home, then you can jump into freelancing.
#4. Firm Approach
Leaving the corporate world might have freed you from your demanding bosses. But as a freelancer, you need to be aware that there are also toxic clients.
Some won’t pay you. Some want things done on an impossible timescale. While others love giving urgent tasks, as if you have nothing else to do but serve them.
So to keep your head above the water, you need to be firm in handling situations like these. If you’re more a “yes person,” then it’s high time that you need to learn to say “no” if you’re thinking of transitioning into the freelance world.
Deadlines. Invoices. Lots of emails.
As a freelancer, you have to take care of all the paperwork and administration by yourself. If it’s a struggle for you to keep things in order, then you’ve probably struggled in tracking your freelancing career.
But the good news is, becoming organized can be learned. And there are free tools and apps to help you keep things in order of priority.
Part Time vs. Full Time Freelancer
To test the water, some try to do freelance work on a part-time basis. They do it after work while some try to look for online jobs during their breaks.
It’s not easy especially if you need to juggle part-time freelancing, your corporate job, and your kids. But discipline makes this possible.
Some of our students inside VA Bootcamp have managed to do this. And the only time they decided to resign from their work is when they finally get a client and have a stable freelancing income.
If you’re a parent who wants to earn while staying at home and be with your kids 24/7, freelancing is a perfect opportunity. Just be mindful of the factors you need to consider.
If you’re single who doesn’t have much financial responsibilities and wants the freedom that freelancing can give, you can dive into it right away.
At the end of the day, asking yourself “why” should be the very first thing you do. Finding something that makes freelancing an aspiration, rather an alternative, can make it far more rewarding.