The Truth About Freelance & Why Most Won’t Make the Cut
We Get it
You’ve dreamed about it. Sitting there at your shitty cubical with your mentally unstable boss emailing you from his office, that’s literally twenty-feet away, about the last minute project he’s found an “amazing” idea for.
You’ve thought about how nice it would be to not have to stare at the customer service gal’s “trendy” half-up half-down top bun that makes her look like she’s got a damn antenna on her head.
You’ve found yourself craving it-to finally take the freelance leap. And you should, seriously. No one deserves to spend any part of their lives, let alone 40 plus hours a week, working for some BS company in some BS position that they aren’t happy with. No one. But before you go putting in your “thanks but I’m out,” notice let us let you in on the TRUTH about freelance.
We’re going to be honest with you here…
Unless you’re someone who understands that the #freelancelife does not mean sitting on your ass, unless you understand that you actually have to work, a lot harder than those back at the office- you’re not going to make it. You’re going to lose that shitty job you had to the new fresh out of college kid wiling to do what you did for less- and be stuck checking listings on LinkedIn boards because you didn’t take a moment to be honest with yourself.
Freelance isn’t for the weak.
You’ve got to be willing to work the hardest you’ve ever worked in your life if you want to one day be able to truly enjoy it, on your time and on your terms. When we tell people it’s taken us years (almost five to be exact ) to get to a point where we can now be choosy with the clients we accept vs taking any offer that would pay the bills… they give that “Eeeehhhh yeah I’ll pass” look on their face.
They don’t understand that their very opinion on the truth is the reason they’re not succeeding. They’re stuck in that millennial/gen z mindset that’s seeking instant gratification & instant validation of their talents. That’s not what makes a successful freelancer, and that’s never a successful entrepreneur’s mindset.
You’re Going to Be Tired
Think you can sleep in till 9am, lounge about uploading pics of you and your morning coffee on Instagram before you start your day responding to all those leads that came into your email? Bless your heart.
More often than not our day starts off at 5am because guess what, not everyone lives on California time. If you’ve got clients in another time zone, if you’re working social media and want to make sure your post is going to have the biggest impact rate, you’re going to have to work on east coast time, friends. There’s a reason NYC is called the city that never sleeps, and it’s because it’s filled with freelancers, entrepreneurs and old school hustlers that just get it.
You’re going to need to lock down your target audience profile and do the work it takes to be their source for information, no matter what industry you’re covering.
Get comfortable with the fact that for the first year ( minimum ) you’re going to have early mornings and late nights.
You’re Going to Have to Get Money Smart
If you have no financial background what so ever, then realize that you need to start educating yourself. You need to know what aspects of your business are tax write offs and what aren’t. You need to track things like your miles, your gas, your lunches, your software investments and realize that as a freelancer, you’re now responsible for tracking all of your income to make sure those returns you file in the future are accurate.
We would highly suggest investing in a CPA who specializes in small businesses. At the end of the day if you don’t have your money right, you’ve got nothing.
You’re Going to Work for Free
Now don’t get us wrong, you’re not going to just “give away” your services, you’re going to be making strategic moves that are crucial when it comes to the success in freelance life. You need to understand that as a start up, the most important thing you can do is start developing positive relationships with other professionals. Not only does it provide the opportunity for you to show that you’re not all talk, but it gives you a chance to become what everyone wants- a key referral.
You want people to think of you when they come across someone who needs your services. You want them to have confidence in their suggestion because you’ve already shown that you’re someone worth investing in.
So get yourself to a humble place, and realize that you’re going to have to do free work, but you’re going to get huge return on that investment.
Every Second is Worth it
If you’re still geared up and willing to take the freelance leap then we’re going to tell you one last truth…
It’s worth it.
It’s worth being able to feel truly valued for your work.
It’s worth being able to choose who you do business with and who you let into your professional circle.
It’s worth making those football games and dance recitals.
It’s worth being there for that first step.
All you have to do now is take the first one yourself onto the path of a #freelancelife.