Going Freelance is Not a “Leap of Faith”

At least it shouldn’t be.

Jyssica Schwartz
Jan 16 · 4 min read

They say you should not ask a question if you don’t want to hear the answer — or, in some cases, if you are not sure of the answer.

For example, an engagement should never be a surprise for either party. Discussing marriage and timelines and expectations is all part of the process.

The actual proposal can be a surprise, but the discussions and everything leading up to deciding if you’re both ready to be married should not be. That is part of a healthy, happy relationship: discussing each of our wants and needs in a long-term relationship. Financial goals, whether or not you’ll have kids, religion, and more are all important topics to be thoroughly discussed before the ring is in place and the processional music starts playing.

Another example of this is freelancing.

There are many reasons why someone may choose to become a freelancer.

Maybe you lost your job and want to try freelancing to make money before deciding if you want to go back to full-time traditional work.

Maybe you hate your job or career and want to go freelance to have more control.

Maybe you’ve been wanting a career change but don’t have the right credentials to get a traditional full-time job in your new field and want to freelance to get experience. (Dingdingding for me on this one!)

Maybe you want to be like the people you see online and in YouTube ads who make millions of dollars as a freelancer and travel the world.

Maybe it’s a combination of several reasons.

Either way, you start researching, digging in to find what you need to do to make it happen.

Or maybe you just take a leap of faith and start without doing research.

Hold up. Stop there.

Becoming a freelancer and replacing your full-time salary with individual client work is not easy.

The formula is simple, sure. If you make $60k at work, you need to find clients to make $5k per month to meet that same salary.

Simple to understand, harder to execute.

There are certain skills you MUST have in order to be a successful freelancer.

Right at the top of that list are sales and marketing. Being able to go out there and sell yourself and get clients for your business.

If you’re sitting back thinking, “Well, I have a website, they will come pouring in.” You’re pretty wrong.

No one knows who you are. You have to go out and find clients, reach out to them directly, explain your value, sell them on you and your services, get the contract signed, then follow through and complete the promised work within the promised timeframe.

Marketing and sales is one area many freelancers find difficult, but it is extremely important.

Market Viability

Once you know what services you want to provide and the types of clients you want to work for, AND you know what your pricing/rates will be, it’s time to test the market.

At this point, don’t spend any money on nice business cards or a handmade website.

Instead, focus your time and energy on actually finding clients. And never work for free.

This is the single most important thing to do when starting out as a freelancer. The rest if just frippery, just window dressing.

You MUST have clients who are willing to sign your contract and pay you for your work to prove that there is a viable market for your business.

You don’t need to worry about if you are “good enough” at your work because the market will tell you. If people are willing to pay you, then you are good enough. Same with feeling “imposter syndrome,” if people are willing to give you their hard-earned money to do your work or them, then they, at least, believe you are capable and competent and not an imposter.

(And don’t worry, we’ve all felt like that before! You just have to push through even your own doubts.)

When you research, plan, and prepare, it’s not a leap of faith.

A leap of faith is defined as “an act of believing in or attempting something whose existence or outcome cannot be proved.”

In your plan for freelancing, you have the ability to test and prove the market and outcome of your plan. It is not a leap of faith because you’re going to do the work and research and planning necessary to ensure it’s not.

You have to shift your mindset on this. You are NOT taking a leap of faith — you’re making a considered decision based on facts and availability and space in the market.

Check out my brand new book Concept to Conclusion: How to Write a Book and learn everything you need to know to conceive of, outline, write, publish, and market a book!

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Jyssica Schwartz

Written by

Entrepreneur, writer, editor, book coach, cat lover, weirdo, optimist. Author of “Write. Get Paid. Repeat.” & “Concept to Conclusion.” jyssicaschwartz.com

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