When you feel stuck in the nine to five hamster wheel, the thought of going freelance can seem all too tempting. Working from home, being your own boss; making all the decisions and leading the life you want to every day – what could be better if you have the drive and the talents to succeed?
Like everything else that sounds too good to be true, freelancing isn’t a way of earning a massive income working only a few hours here and there when you feel like it. You won’t be spending most of your time lounging by the pool drinking champagne or tearing it up on the golf course. Sure, a few freelancers make it to these kinds of lifestyles, but you can be sure they worked extremely hard to get there.
So, how do you succeed as a freelancer and live the life you dream of?
Run it like a business:
Hard work alone isn’t enough, although you may well find yourself working longer hours at some stages of your freelance journey than you did as an employee. You need to run your freelancing career just like a business, which indeed it is, even if you are the only employee and you work in your living room.
Being in business means knowing your market and being good enough for people to want to pay for your services. If you don’t have the skills, keep learning and practicing until you are good enough – you don’t need to be the best, just do what you do better than most. Next, you have to start selling yourself, which means making contact with people in your industry, building up networks, applying for work, and making pitches and applications to potential contractors to persuade them they need you.
Create the perfect working environment:
Your working environment can be crucial to your success. Making a space just for working, where you won’t get distracted or be disturbed is ideal, and the joy of being freelance is that for most home-based roles, you can work anywhere in the world that has good internet connectivity. Always dreamed of living in a beautiful, exotic location like Indonesia? Don’t wait until you retire, go now and live in a serviced apartment-style complex with coworking space in Bali. As long as you can supply the product people want, they won’t mind where you are, which gives you enormous freedom compared to having to work in a fixed location.
The trick to succeeding as a freelancer is to look at how you can achieve the lifestyle you want without having to wait. If you want freedom and just enough income to get by on, you can work a few hours as you like. It’s all about using the freedom you have to secure your goals in life, without sacrificing too much. You can complete your work when it suits you, so if you want to be out in the daylight in winter, you can work when it’s dark and leave the daylight hours free. You just need to have the self-discipline to get the work done on time and keep your customers happy.