7 Signs That It’s Time to Simplify Your Freelancing Business

We freelancers deal with a lot. Advice, expectations, client demands, family needs, financial pressure–all of these can sometimes combine to make freelancing a very complicated matter.

In fact, sometimes we freelancers make life too busy. If your freelancing life has become too much for you, it may be time to simplify your life and your freelancing business as well.

Do you think this is you? Check the signs below to find out.


7 Signs That Your Business Is Too Complex

Could you be missing the warning signs that your freelancing business is too complex? Here’s a list to check:

  1. You’re feeling stressed most of the time. Some stress is inevitable, of course. But if you’re feeling excessive stress all or most of the time, it could be a warning sign that your business has become too complex. As humans, our minds can only deal with so much before we feel pressured.
  2. You’re getting sick a lot. If your mind doesn’t warn you through stress, your body may try to warn you through illness. If you find that you can’t stay healthy despite your best efforts (and this isn’t normal for you), it could be another sign that you are doing too much.
  3. You’re too busy for your top priorities. Do you have time enough to devote to those things that are really important to you? If you said “no” to that last question, what kind of a life is that? Your top priorities in life ARE important–even when you are struggling to build a freelancing business.
  4. You can’t remember the last time you took a day off. Not being able to take time off is a sure sign that you are doing too much. Worse than that–it will likely lead to stress and eventual burnout (neither of which is good for you or for your freelancing business).
  5. You’re making a lot of mistakes in your work. I’m sure that you’re a careful freelancer, and everyone makes a mistake now and then. But if mistakes seem to happen all the time and you just know that you could do better it’s probably because you’re overloaded.
  6. You’re not even sure what your specialty is.Taking on projects that don’t really fit your business goals can backfire. You can find yourself swimming in work, but lose site of your business direction. Take a look at the work you’re accepting. Does it match your business goals?
  7. You’re not really sure if you like freelancing anymore. The final result of all this, of course, is a feeling of failure and frustration. If you’re so busy that there’s no way you can accomplish what you set out to do, then of course it’s likely that you’re going start disliking freelancing.

How to Simplify Things

First of all, take an inventory of everything that you are trying to accomplish as a freelancer. In some cases, the list may amaze you. Some freelancers set goals that couldn’t possibly be achieved even if they had superhuman powers. It’s time to let yourself off the hook for some of this stuff.

Pick one or two aspects of the freelancing business to focus on (preferably aspects that you enjoy and that are profitable) and let go of the rest–at least for now. Yes, this can be a painful process because you can be emotionally attached to some of your goals. For that reason, don’t make the decision too quickly. Sleep on your decision. Get comfortable with the idea of doing less.

Get help if you need it. Freelancers tend to be loners who do everything themselves. While that’s understandable, it’s often in direct opposition to simplifying your business. If something is outside of your area of expertise (such as taxes, legal matters, or even administrative tasks), don’t waste your valuable time doing it.

Look at simplifying the rest of your life too. Do you pay for expensive services that you don’t really use? That could be adding financial pressure that you don’t really need. If you haven’t used a service in several months, consider canceling it (with insurance being the exception, of course). Do you have too much junk? That could lead to a messy clutter that unnecessarily drains your time. Look for a good charity and give some of that stuff away.

Your Turn

Did I leave anything out? Have you simplified your freelancing business or your life?

Share your answers in the comments.

Image by Lee J. Haywood