Almost everyone dreams of being their own boss. Some of us take a big step out into the world of freelancing but, eventually, you end up crawling back to a cubicle. Being a freelancer takes a lot of work, and I know from personal experience. Now, don’t get me wrong. Freelancing is way better than being stuck at a 9-5 job that you hate, but it will take some effort.
Many people give up on being a freelancer because they thought it was too hard or they made too many mistakes. There are some mistakes that newbies make when it comes to starting a career as a freelancer. When you are aware of these little mishaps, you will succeed, and you won’t have to worry about venturing out into the trap of a cubicle. Here are 5 mistakes freelancers make:
You Are Not Saving Those Coins
The worst thing in the world is to quit your job spontaneously, and then you realize you have no money. Having about three to six months’ worth of savings for your emergency fund can really make the transition smoother. No one wants to get on the path of enjoying the freelance life and then have to return to work. That almost happened to me, and I don’t want that to happen to you too.
The beauty of living the freelance life is that you can work alone. You won’t have to worry about renting out a building or office space. You will have to set aside money though for equipment. I had an ancient computer when I first started out, but I bought a new laptop because I wanted to invest in my business.
Try to be aware of the many expenses that can come up in your first month as a freelancer and make sure you have a well-thought out plan for them.
Why I Am Freelancing Again?
The biggest mistake I made was not setting goals. You have to ask yourself some serious eye-opening questions. Why are you freelancing? How are you going to go about finding work? How much money do you need to pay those bills? If you don’t want to go back to your boss yelling at you or dealing with annoying customers, you need to come up with some goals.
Once you set goals, you have to set a timeline of when you are going to accomplish them. You will be well on your way to living the freelance life once you have some goals set in place.
Not Being Organized
I know when you first become a freelance writer you want to dive right in and swim in a sea of cash. You can’t do that without a system. I am not talking about hitting the snooze button on your alarm when you have to wake up for your hell hole of a job, and you do your morning routine. I mean making an excel sheet to track the clients that you have reached out to. Also, you should have a system where you keep track of expenses, payments received and payments due.
You can use an accounting software such as Freshbooks. It helps you run a business more easily. There are free programs that you can also use such as Wave to keep track of your money and expenses if you don’t want to pay for anything.
Choosing Clients That Will Give You Nightmares
What is a good client? When I first started out freelance writing, I did not know what to look for in a client. I was taking the wrong clients you know the ones that make you want to beat your head on the wall. Slowly I learned that my knowledge was valuable and that I deserved clients who would respect me. The signs of a good client are:
- You don’t have to go hunting for them when your payment is due.
- They are easy to reach by phone or email.
- They call you at appropriate times such as during your working hours not in the middle of the night. (I had that happen to me.)
- They don’t take advantage of you, and they respect the fact that you are helping their business.
As long as you know how much you are worth, you should have no problem making freelancing your full-time job.
You Don’t Know What to Charge
Let’s say at your old job you made a decent salary to feed your kids pay your bills and buy the things that you want. It is the same thing for freelancing. You have to make enough money to take care of yourself and your family. You are probably thinking how the hell can I do that or if that is even possible?
It is possible to make a full-time living with freelancing. The goal is to make the same amount or even make more money than you did at your old job. You have to think about health insurance, supplies for your office, groceries, and your mortgage and of course money for emergencies. Once you have that all figured out, you are ready to start looking for clients and advertising your business on social media.
I wish someone would have told me these mistakes that I could make when I first started out. There are many benefits to freelancing, and you don’t have to worry about dealing with a blood sucking boss who makes your life miserable. You get to choose the clients that you work with. If you don’t make these freelancing mistakes, you will be well on your way to leaving that hell hole of a job. You will be bringing in cash, and you will only have to answer to one boss, and that is you.