Getting started as a freelancer is an endeavor which is both very exciting and highly overwhelming. As you first get started, you think about all of the wonderful things that come from freelancing including being able to do work that you love, having the freedom of setting your own schedule and strengthening the sense of control that you feel over your own life. But as the realities of freelancing start to set in, you might begin to see that there’s a lot of hard work and a number of downsides to starting up a freelance career. Keep in mind that all of life is a series of pros and cons that balance each other out and getting started as a freelancer is no different. If this is the work that you want to do, you’ll have to deal with the downsides to get the upside in order.
Getting started as a freelancer may not be all fun and games, but it is thrilling and you’ll be able to ride the wave of this thrill initially to get the boost that your freelance business needs to get off of the ground. When you are first getting started as a freelancer, you should take as much advantage of this energy boost as possible to take care of some of the tedious (but important) tasks that will carry you through your freelance career as it begins to become something which is more routine. These tasks include things like filing your employment paperwork, learning about freelance taxes, getting your website set up and identifying your business goals. No, these things aren’t fun, but they’re critical to getting started as a freelancer so you might as well get them done early while you’re still excited about your new career.
The main thing that makes getting started as a freelancer difficult once that initial excitement begins to wear off is that most people don’t really know where to start with growing their freelance business. You have to be able to get and keep work, manage a changing schedule, deal with the legalities of working for yourself and still get the ob done. Being informed and organized are the two things that will be crucial to getting started on the right foot as a freelancer. Arming yourself with information about freelance work, general PR, marketing and business strategies and the details of your specific industry will help you to figure out everything that you need to be doing as you get started in freelancing. And keeping this information organized will help curb the feeling of being overwhelmed that may come when you start any big, new endeavor.
The other thing to keep in mind is that, even though you might be working alone, your freelance career doesn’t have to be something which you do by yourself without any help. Look at your support system - spouses, parents, mentors - and know that it’s okay to rely on them to be there for you emotionally when the hassles of getting started as a freelancer begin to get to you. Also consider creating a more work-focused support group to help you get through problems specific to freelancing - a group for freelancers or a network of people working in your field can be a great resource when you’re getting started as a freelancer. After all, you may be starting something that’s new to you but you aren’t re-inventing the wheel so you might as well get advice from those who have done it before you.
Getting started as a freelancer can be difficult. There are problems and hassles and times of stress. But freelancing can be one of the most rewarding ways of working that are out there. If it’s what’s right for you, you’ll be able to find that balance between the not-so-easy details of getting started in the business and the joys that come from the work once you’ve started to get more established.