How to Change Your Freelancing Perceptions and Prosper

People who are successful in freelancing will tell you that starting their own business was the best choice they ever made. Those who are thinking of going freelance, or are “happy” in a full-time job, tell a different story. While your perceptions of things in life doesn’t determine the success or failure of what you’re doing 100% of the time, having a positive perception does make the task much easier. You’re never going to be successful if you hold yourself back with negative thoughts.

I’ve heard tons and tons of reasons of why people are afraid to go freelance, or why they prefer to stay in their full-time job (that have nothing to do with liking the actual job). Here are the common reasons, excuses and outside perceptions about freelancing. Here I also explain how you can change them to prosper.

My Job Is More Secure

One of the reasons I hear the most about people who want to go freelancing, but won’t leave their jobs is because those people think their jobs are most secure. While it’s true that the task of finding work is up to your boss, and you’ll get paid no matter what, how long do you think you’ll continue to get paid when there’s no work coming in? How do you know your bosses are competent at finding that work?

After being both an employee and a business owner, I can confidently say that owning your own business is more secure. Not only do I get paid more when I work more, but since it falls in my hands to find the work, I have an advance warning if something goes wrong. An employee can walk into his job one morning thinking things are fine, only to be laid off because there’s been no work.

Especially in these times when it seems people are getting laid off left and right, holding the reins of your own business has seemed to be more secure. As a matter of fact, I hear more economy grievances from people who are full-time employees than from those who work for themselves.

I Have Bills and a Family to Take Care Of

There seems to be the perception that if you’re not young and single, than it’s too late to work for yourself. When I started freelancing, I quit my job at the last minute due to an illness. It was my responsibility to pay half of the mortgage and half of all of the bills and expenses. I needed to make well over $2,000 a month and I had zero clients. But I made it work and wasn’t late on one single bill. It can be done.

Everyone is afraid of change, especially something as large as going from a job to your own business. Just remember that you’re not the only one who’s done this, and certainly not the only one with a family and bills. If you’re nervous about jumping in, I suggest talking to others who’ve already walked down the path and can give you a confidence boost.

It’s Hard to Find Work in This Economy

This is another excuse I hear from those who are afraid to jump into the freelance pool. They listen to the news talk about a down world economy, jobs lost, and so on, and assume that it’s impossible to find work in this economy. Did you know that more businesses are created during a down economy? I can promise you that there will never be a shortage of freelance work, as long as you don’t stick to only looking for work locally. Every job board I follow has a ton of new listings every day, and I myself have had to turn down work because my scheduled is filled up.

The biggest issue to finding work as a freelancer is to know where to look. Unfortunately, finding work is different from person to person, industry to industry, so what works for one doesn’t work for the other. This is why you’ll never really find a definitive how-to book on the subject. When first starting out, it’s best to go with the nuke approach and to try to hit every single job board, local function and social network you can find. Once you start figuring out where most of your work comes from, you can then hone your efforts down.

I Need Health Insurance

A lot of people are afraid to start their own business because they have the misconception that health insurance is impossible to find or way too expensive to get on your own. This is very untrue. A lot of people make the mistake of going directly to the insurance company to get a quote and, startled by that number, forgo owning their own business for forever.

I can only speak of what I’ve experienced in this, but let me quickly tell you my story. When I went freelance and lost my employer coverage, I went directly to Blue Cross Blue Shield (one of the #1 health insurance companies in the U.S) and asked for a quote. I didn’t even get to the part where they asked me what all of my health issues were when they quoted me a price of $500 a month, for one person HSA coverage with no issues!

I decided to go without health insurance for a year. In all reality, paying for medical bills isn’t that expensive at all, it’s the catastrophes that you really need the insurance for. Anyway, I don’t remember how I heard about this company, but I somehow found myself at Farm Bureau where they offered the exact same BCBS insurance through a company in my state called TRH. The exact same plan, from the exact same company, that was $500 straight through the company…was $50 a month from Farm Bureau. This was also the exact same insurance I had through my employer, who charged me $60 a month for it.

Yes, insurance can be found cheaply, even cheaper than what you were paying from your own employer…just never go directly though the insurance company itself!

So, What Are You Waiting For?

These are just a few of the common issues I hear from people afraid to go freelance. What are yours?

Image by David Reber’s Hammer Photography