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Want to be a Freelancer?
Freelancing is one of the most written subject on the internet, especially when it comes to making money online.
In fact, It’s been talked about countless times to the point that many blog posts about how to become financially free online is actually incomplete without mentioning freelancing.
In today’s world, freelancing is like becoming a digital mercenary.
A mercenary is someone who doesn’t have any official contract to work for an individual or an organization, yet he is free to render services to that individual or organization, as long as they can afford his fees.
That’s exactly what freelancing is in the digital world.
As a freelancer, you have no official obligation to someone, except the one spelt out in the terms and conditions of the service you’ll be engaging in.
This on one hand makes the concept of freelancing very appealing to many.
The idea of getting over the usual 9 to 5 is tempting enough to make people want to give freelancing a shot.
But should you?
Should you quit your job and become a full time freelancer?
That’s what we’re going to look into in this post.
In this post, we will take a good look at freelancing.
We will discuss the advantages of freelancing, as well as its disadvantages.
The goal is to present you with a balanced point of view so that you can determine what the best path for you is.
So let’s dive right in…
The 5 Major Advantages of Becoming A Freelancer
1. You’re your own boss.
Remember those Monday staff meetings?
Yes that’s right… Those boring meetings that seem to go on for hours and hours and drain the energy out of everyone in room?
Well that automatically comes to an end as a freelancer.
Furthermore, you have no one to answer to.
No one can boss you around. And to a lesser degree, no one can tell you what to do or how to do them.
That’s one of the advantages of being a freelancer.
As a freelancer, you’re now the boss. You’re now the one in charge, and you’re absolutely free to do things your own way.
Most people think this is financial freedom, but to me, I don’t think so.
I think it is merely freedom but not financial freedom.
2. You Save A Lot of Money
As an 9 to 5 employee, you had to commute from your home to your place of work. And if the distance is a much, this could take some minutes, or even hours to get to your place of work.
However, as a online freelancer, you can practically work from anywhere in the world.
Which means the money you spend on transportation now goes straight to your pocket.
3. You Resume Work And Close Whenever You Like
Not feeling like working on Mondays?
Feel like going on vacation to Italy in February?
That’s not an issue at all…
As a freelancer, you have the power to take Mondays off your work schedule. Furthermore, when you do work, you also have the power to decide when to start work and when to close for the day.
Except when there’s a deadline to meet for clients, you can actually work few hours and get away with it.
Although, this is an ideal situation, it’s important to note here that this is not universal for everyone.
Many freelancers often find themselves working 3 to 4 hours longer than they did as an employee.
4. You Determine Your Wages
It feels awkward, right?
I mean… walking into the Human Resource office to negotiate a pay raise.
Well, as a freelancer, those days are over.
Now you can fix your rate. You can pay yourself what you think you’re worth.
Think you worth $100,000 per year? No worries. You’re the boss and if you’ve got high paying clients, you can increase your own salary whenever you’re in the mood.
5. Better Chances to Move Ahead Faster
Hey, let’s face it…
One of the reasons why people don’t get ahead as fast as they want is because they have all these expenses dragging them behind.
With an uncooperative boss that put a ceiling on your income, and an ever increasing cost of housing, transportation, etc… It’s easier to understand why many people tend to move on slowly.
However, as a freelancer, this might not be the case for you. You now have the opportunity to move ahead financially as fast as you want.
You know why?
Because your apartment can now be paid for as “office space” by your freelancing business.
Your car can now become the expenses of the freelancing business and can be written off when used for business purposes.
Your cellphone can now become a business cellphone and the cost can also be written off as business expenses.
All these are possible if you structure your business correctly.
Please note: I’m not a lawyer nor a legal practitioner; and the examples given above are only for educational purposes and should be seen and understood as such. They are never meant to replace a sound legal advice. When in doubt, please don’t hesitate to seek appropriate legal counsel for your specific situation.
So there you have them…the 5 major advantages of becoming a freelancer.
Now let’s look at the disadvantages.
5 Major Disadvantages of becoming a Freelancer
1. No Safety Net
This is one of the terrifying nightmare of freelancers.
Previously as an employee, there’s this feeling of safety because you know that at the end of the month, you will receive your salary.
However, as a freelancer, it is not so…
The safety net of someone being responsible for your monthly salary is no longer there.
It is either you work your butt off to make money or you’ll be forced to live on debt or go to bed hungry.
In fact, the roller-coaster effect of this is one of the reason why those who can’t take risks shy away from freelancing.
2. You Must Acquire New Skills
In order for your freelancing career to kick off and prosper, you definitely must acquire new skills or you hire those who have the skills.
For example, if You’re one of the most competent web designers in the world, who else knows about that?
For people to know about your degree of competence, you must acquire other skills such as list building, content marketing, SEO, Facebook Ads and other forms of marketing.
If people don’t know about your level of competency, there’s no way you’ll get hired to use your skill.
And if you don’t get hired, you don’t get paid.
3. You’ll Suffer A Great Deal of Pressure
Another thing many freelancers suffer greatly form is pressure.
As a freelancer, you’re going to face different types of pressure…
You’ll face pressure of getting clients results. You’ll face pressure to meet deadlines. And you’ll also face pressure of putting a limit to your income.
For example, let’s say you offer a software development as a freelancer.
How many clients can you comfortably take at once?
If your marketing efforts finally pay off, and clients are beating a path to your door, or your phone lines in this case (or email), how many client work can you accept?
The answer is not much…
Because if you take more than your capacity, you’ve forced upon yourself the pressure to meet deadlines.
And not only that, you’ll also face the pressure of delivering quality work so your reputation don’t get ruined.
4. Unavoidable Multitasking
Could you imagine having four rods in the furnace at once?
Well, as a freelancer, that’s what’s expected of you and even more in order to succeed.
Back in the days as an employee, you simply go to work and fit in to the “system”.
You probably worked in your department, while others worked in theirs.
However, as a freelancer YOU are the system.
Which means you’ll have to toggle and multitask from one department to another simultaneously in order to be successful.
You’ll be in the marketing department, customer service department, fulfillment department, accounting department, legal department, technical department, etc.
You’ll likely be the one to market your product or service. You’ll also be the one to take the order. You’ll be the one to fulfill the order.
You’ll also be responsible for crafting the legal contract that protects your offering, or at least, hire a competent lawyer to do so.
And many more…
In order to be a successful freelancer, you’re expected to wear all these cap at the same time.
5. Stress Is Inevitable
At the beginning of your freelancing career, you’re bound to experience stress or frustration.
Frustration comes when your marketing is not working and you have little or no clients.
If you don’t have any other source of income, this could really frustrating!!
On the other hand, if your marketing is so effective, that you have clients beating a path to your door, it also unleashes another source of frustration–the frustration of turning down clients and leaving money on the table due to limited capacity.
Likewise, when your marketing campaigns are so effective that you’re now fully booked, this becomes a source of stress as you’re now burdened with the task of fulfilling all the orders within the stipulated and agreed timeframe.
Should You Still Depend On Freelancing As The Online Vehicle to Financial Freedom?
Well that choice is yours to make.
If this post has done it’s job, you’re now aware of the Pros and Cons of freelancing.
But generally speaking, if you can’t stand risk, or you’re not willing to collaborate, then my candid advice is you shouldn’t go into freelancing…
Unless of course, that you already have clients waiting for you as a result of recommendations from work done at your former place of work or from recent clients.
But thats a rare scenario…
For the rest of freelancers across the world, there’s no existing contact they can leverage…and in most cases they have to start from scratch, slugging it the hard way as they go.
Alternatively, if you want to do freelancing, it’s recommended you have a second source of income…as there are times when you could go for months without closing a single client.
I hope this post has helped take you inside the world of freelancing and what a freelancing career looks like.
Would you still go into freelancing or not?
Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.