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How to be a freelancer

Photo by Ryan Christodoulou

When I first introduced the idea of becoming a freelancer, everyone around me said: “euhm? That’s not a stable job, right? How are you going to get clients?” And I have to admit, I was a little surprised by my freelance aspirations too.

During journalism school, we were told freelance was the best way to go. The market was too cramped to get a good staff job. Be that as it may, it had no intention of becoming a freelancer. Just thinking about the hustle and trying to get clients made me tired.

Here I am, 10 years later and I’m gearing up to go freelance again. Yes, again.

My first attempt to go freelance as back in 2016. I moved in with my BF and there were no jobs here. For a brief period, I made it work. I had clients, money flowing in and days filled with writing. I was happy.

But then the low season hit, no customers, clients and no money. By a stroke of luck, I found a staff job or two and I dove into that. But I didn’t give me the satisfaction freelancing did. Sure I helped the companies complete lofty goals. And yes, the co-workers were a lot of fun, but I felt like something was missing. Something big.

How I got to this point

Growing up I was nothing special: an average student, a chubby kid not into sports and a quiet introvert. By any definition, I could disappear into the wallpaper.

That all changed when I started my book review website. I managed a team of 15 people for years as I build it up from the ground. From that moment on I was hooked. This business thing was actually kinda cool. Actually, it was kinda awesome.

Now I’m at that point again, the crossroad between taking a staff job or becoming a freelancer again. A staff job will give more initial security and a solid body of work. While freelancing brings thrill, hard work and opportunity to shape my job in a way that fits me.

Looking at the past few years I discovered that I am more adventurous than I thought I was. I can work even harder than I thought I could, and I have a dose of determination that will make most people jealous. When talking to a friend she said: “I’m happy with my staff job, the hustle of freelancing scares me. But when I look at you, you thrive on adventure and you’re so well organised you can juggle all the balls. You should go for it.”

And this is the basis of being a freelancer. Go for it. Maybe you have the right personality for it, maybe you don’t. There is only one way to find out for sure: just go for it.

For me, it came with the idea of creating a website about books. It made me realise that I’m a person who starts things and that I’m not afraid of trying something new. Regardless of what other people think, say or do. Freelancing is the same for me. I will chip away at it until I find a way to make it successful for me.

So what about you? When will you go for it?

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