How do you like freelancing so far?
Are you not quite sure how to answer? If you’ve been freelancing for a while, chances are good that you have mixed feelings about it.
Years of hearing from freelancers have convinced me that many freelancers actually have a love/hate relationship with their freelancing business. They love to be a freelancer some of the time, but other times they secretly wish that they weren’t doing it.
They might even feel slightly guilty about their ambiguous feelings. However, freelancers really have no reason to feel guilty. There are plenty of good reasons for the love/hate relationship that freelancers have with freelancing.
We’ll explore some of those feelings in this post. I’ll also explain how you can use your love/hate relationship with freelancing to move to a position of freelancing strength.
If you liked this post, you may also like 20 Reasons to Be Thankful You’re a Freelancer.
Why We Were Drawn to Freelancing
There are some very good reasons why most of us decided to become freelancers. Usually we start freelancing because we fell in love with one or more of the following freelancing perks:
- Greater control of time
- Potential to earn more money
- A desire to do what we love
- The opportunity to be one’s own boss
- A chance to start a business from scratch
- Creative control over our project work
While all of these perks are possible and often come true, most of us fail to consider just how hard freelancing can really be when we make the decision to become a freelancer. Plus, most of us don’t expect to wait to enjoy the benefits of freelancing. We want them right away.
We came to freelancing with some expectations that just aren’t very realistic, so naturally we’re disappointed. We start to fall out of love with freelancing.
Facing Freelancing Disappointments
Freelancing disappointments are well documented in blogs, comments, and social media. Here are a few of them:
- Trouble finding enough work
- Low Pay
- Slow paying (or no paying) clients
- Dealing with difficult people
- A lack of vacation or sick pay
- No insurance
Those are just some of the disappointments that freelancers face. Those disappointments can cause a freelancer to hate freelancing. And they’re enough to make many freelancers quit freelancing before they really have a chance to succeed.
So, if freelancing disappointments are so well-documented, why do they take us by surprise?
The truth is simple. When we considered becoming a freelancer most of didn’t want to think about the downside. It takes a lot of courage to start a freelancing business as it is. It’s even worse if you dwell on the negatives.
Moving Forward into a Position of Strength
Fortunately, freelancing is not all about the disappointments.
The freelancer who has moved past the honeymoon stage of freelancing is actually in a better position to succeed than the new freelancer who is still looking at everything with rose-colored glasses.
How can you turn your freelancing disappointment into a position of strength?
Just remember that you now have the whole picture. You can see the light at the end of the tunnel–the freelancing perks that drew you to freelancing in the first place. But you are also aware of the sometimes serious problems that freelancers often face.
The good news is that being aware of freelancing problems means that you can plan for them. And planning is the first step to overcoming them.
Spend some time developing a business plan, setting one or more of the freelancing perks that you most desire as your goals. Next, develop specific action steps to meet your goals, keeping in mind the challenges (freelancing disappointments) that you are likely to face along the way. Follow your plan. Re-evaluate and adjust it as often as needed.
You’re now in a much stronger position than you were when you were ignoring the downside of freelancing. In fact, you’re in such a good position that you’re likely to succeed–so that you can fall in love with freelancing all over again.
Have you struggled with a love/hate relationship with freelancing? How do you feel about freelancing right now? Have you moved on to a position of strength?
Share your stories in the comments.
Image by Orin Zebest