Without question, freelancing is one of best ways to earn a living. Despite all of the benefits, though, there are a lot of difficulties that go along with it. Working at home, on your own, without an office or staff poses several unique problems — that sometimes make freelance life seem like a nightmare.
We took this article from the book THE UNLIMITED FREELANCER by Mason and James. We find some difficulties when a fresh freelancer just start to freelancing. Here are some of the most common challenges:
1. The feast or famine cycle
Freelancers have only a limited amount of time and are naturally trying to earn as much as possible. The result of this time crunch is that freelancers are forced to decide between spending time marketing and spending time working on client projects.
This typically causes the number of active client projects to fluctuate between far too few and far too many.
2. Maintaining a work or life balance
Despite our workload and challenges, no freelancer works in a vacuum. We all have families, friends, hobbies, and other parts of our lives where we need to spend time.
Balancing the amount of time spent on work and the amount of time spent on other areas of life can be really difficult.
3. Managing everything by yourself
The amount of information and tasks that are required to manage a business is enormous, and the amount of time required to run it all is no less so. Freelancers are required to deal with everything from accounting, to marketing, to client projects, and more.
To take care of everything, freelancers must use a significant amount of time from already low reserves, and still there are often issues that go unhandled.
4. Dealing with Emergencies
No freelancer is immune to sickness, nor are any of us capable of completely isolating ourselves from family or other emergencies. Emergencies are a normal part of life, but for freelancers they can be even more difficult because there’s rarely anyone else can take over the business.
When there’s no one running the business, income and everything else suffers — often making the situation even worse.
5. Fighting negative perceptions
There are all sorts of negative perceptions towards freelancers, both personal and professional. Professionally, freelancers are often thought of as less serious or less skilled than a larger business, and this can lead to fewer contracts that are worth less money.
On the personal side, it’s often difficult to get away from the perception of having lots of free time or being able to go out during the middle of the day.
The good news is that all of these freelance challenges have a universal solution — and that is to start looking at your freelancing like a business, and not a job.
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