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Today, what I want to share with you is the six crappy things about freelancing that nobody tells you. And some things you need to watch out.
There’s a lot of people that want to get into freelancing. For me, I used to do a ton of freelancing. I used to do a lot of web development. I did a lot of graphic design back when I first started. A lot of blogs back then, and now I have a team that helps me out to take care of some of these things. And from time to time, I may do some of them because it’s fun for me.
But in general, if you’re starting to freelance because you want to make some money on the side, there’s a lot of things that people don’t tell you.
There are some bad things about it that you need to prepare.
I’m not saying to stop freelancing altogether because it’s bad. No. No. There’s a lot of great positive things when it comes to freelancing, and that can be a video on its own – which I’m sure I will create sometime here soon in the future or have created in the past because I have so many videos.
But there are some things that you need to be aware of if you’re trying to get into freelancing.
The first thing: Money is NOT Consistent
It’s not going to come on the first or the fifteenth of the month like it does with a regular job.
You go into a regular job, and you do the work, or even if there is not a lot of work, you still get paid for just being there – for your time.
When it comes to freelancing, you need to get a client. It would help if you got a gig. You need to get paid. There’s a lot of things that you have to do to bring in the cash and the revenue. You are now your boss. You are the CEO – the Chief of Everything Officer.
That’s what you need to do to make it happen, to bring money on the table. That’s your goal as a freelancer to get money. That’s the end goal.
Of course, you have to keep your clients happy. You have to add value to them, but the result is financial compensation.
When it comes to freelancing, remember you’re not getting consistently paid on a certain specific timeframe.
You have to account for that and budget for that because the paychecks’ not coming just because you showed up to work today.
Reason Number Two is that the Benefits
Oftentimes, you don’t get benefits unless you do your insurance policy, or you pay that yourself or create some policy around it where you get a benefit. Sick leave, maternity leave — you don’t get that if you’re freelancing.
If a project’s got to be done, it’s got to be done.
If you’re sick, tough luck, too bad. You still need to go through with the project and get it completed because you want to get paid. You need to get your check. You need to complete the project to get your check or get your money finalized.
That’s the thing you have to realize and recognize when it comes to freelancing. You don’t have medical care. You don’t have dental care. You don’t have insurance or disability insurance unless you pay for those things personally. You don’t have maternity leave. You don’t have sick benefits.
That sucks, especially if you’re a person that gets sick reasonably often.
Reason number three: You don’t just work with ONE, you work with MANY
Normally, when you have a boss, and you go into a job, you only really have to please like one or two people and then the clients, of course, you still have to please them as well. But ultimately, the boss decides if you’re staying on the team or you’re not. You have to please one or two people.
As a freelancer, you might be working with, and sometimes what I used to do logo design, I had to deal with seven to twelve projects on any given day. And now I’m trying to please maybe let’s say not just the 12 projects I’m trying to please the team or the let’s say the board that’s making decisions for those logos as well because they might have four people deciding on that logo.
And that gets tough and complicated.
Now, you’re trying to please twenty or thirty people, and it’s not just one boss.
The good news would be with numbers hey well if one weren’t that happy that is okay because you can’t please everyone in any business that you’re in. You try always to please them as best as possible, but sometimes you can’t fulfill those requirements.
You have to remember and recognize that you do not just please one, you please many more people beyond that because you’re going to have multiple clients, multiple clientele, various businesses, and so forth.
Reason number four: LONELINESS
If you’re not good at working on your own, if you’re not good at dealing with some loneliness, you have to balance that out.
As a freelancer, you have to be able to work on your own. And if you don’t have a team, sometimes you have to pair it with other things that you’re doing throughout your day.
I guess to balance out the loneliness. Maybe go to the post office if you have things to drop off in the middle of the day. That gets you to interact with people. Maybe go to the gym in the afternoon, gets you a chance to see other people. Going out for lunch sometimes can be beneficial to get out of the house, if you’re working at home.
But the loneliness, you have to balance that out because otherwise, you’ll be in this little bubble of your world.
When I used to do wedding photography, for example, sometimes after a significant wedding production and shoot, I’m inside for maybe four, five, or six days in a row without interacting with people because I’m editing photos. That’s what I used to do.
You’re inside that bubble, and you have to deal with the loneliness.
Understand that can happen if you don’t have the additional human interaction.
Number five: Vacation is Minimal
If you’re going on vacation or you want to go on vacation, maybe you still have projects that are outstanding projects that need to be done.
And if you’re freelancing, you’re the only one that’s taking care of those things. You have to make sure that those things get done and are completed.
Understand and recognize that your vacation part of that vacation you might be working on. You might need to work odd hours getting up at 2:00 in the morning in Beijing so that way you can talk to your client in their normal regular time.
It’s not to say that you can’t have the benefit of working from anywhere because you can.
If you’re freelancing and you’re working online or on a computer, you can work from anywhere in the world. But you have to compensate for that during some of your vacation time or maybe at times with your family. You might have to take care of this. I might have to answer a phone call during Christmas because there’s an issue with a downed website or that you need to take care of.
Our last one: Platform Stability can be Rocky
Look at fiverr.com and upwork.com – these are some freelancing platforms that you can use.
But let’s say this platform goes down, it does happen in the past. There was a platform called Elance, and then it got bought out. Sometimes, you might not get approved for these platforms, and other times they now control your sales.
I remember when I used to do things, and I used to do things on eBay. I used to sell my logos and those things on eBay back when you could do digital design services on eBay, and all of a sudden, they stopped that. They said we couldn’t do services anymore online, so they stopped that. I couldn’t do banners and logos and those things.
If you don’t have that stability, it goes back to point number one, where the money is not consistent.
You have to remember that if the income is not consistent, if the platform is not stable, you have to have a little more cushion in your back pocket, in your bank account for those unexpected times and moments.
I hope you got some insight when it comes to freelancing and some of the crappy things that go along with freelancing.
But don’t let that scare you because there’s a lot of great benefits to freelancing.
It’s great for the right type of person, which is a whole different video on its own.
But understand these things and take note of them as you get into freelancing.