On the back of advancements in transportation, communication and technology, globalization has brought about myriad of changes to the world’s business arena including the outsourcing, offshoring and as of lately freelancing. Geographical distances have been shortened and eliminated in many cases, enabling people from across the world to collaborate in seamless fashion and on the fly. While conventional employment 9AM-5PM is here to stay, at least in foreseeable future, telecommuting and freelancing have been on the rise in recent decade as millions of people worldwide continue to embrace it and take it to the next level.
Despite all the popularity, freelancing isn’t necessarily for everyone. Similar to entrepreneurship, freelancing entails dealing with uncertainties on daily basis. Unlike conventional employees who work 9AM-5PM, freelancers don’t have it all figured out, instead they have to go out there and make things happen. For starters, in addition to being professional in what they do, they have to be very creative and resourceful but most of all, exceptional sales people in order to find prospects and ultimately convert them into clients. Freelancers can’t afford to fail for that could mean the end of them and their freelancing careers.
While job security is long gone, for as stated by Henry Ford “the only real security that a man can have in this world is a reserve of knowledge, experience and ability” many people worldwide still live with and believe in a myth of job security. Such people are risk averse and shy away from entrepreneurship or freelancing as they perceive it as extremely risky. Without getting into whether or not risk taking is right or wrong, it’s abundantly clear that freelancing isn’t for faint hearted. So, do you have what it takes to freelance and should you consider it?
First qualifying or disqualifying question is how do you feel about risk taking and are you willing to live with uncertainty for prolonged period of time? Considering that breaking into freelancing isn’t easy due to various challenges i.e., competition, prospects/clients’ acquisition, inconsistent revenue frequency and amount, among others, risks and uncertainties run rampant which requires the highest level of courage, confidence, persistence and creativity on the part of freelancer.
Second question is how persistent and tough you really are? Due to risks, challenges, uncertainties and myriad obstacles associated with freelancing, it’s of utmost importance for a freelancer to have a strong resolve and persistence needed to overcome the most arduous of challenges and obstacles along the way, particularly in the early going.
Third pertinent question is whether you have the required experience and ability to wear multiple hats simultaneously? By the sheer nature, freelancing is a lonely affair and as such, calls for freelancer to wear multiple hats e.g., marketing, business development, finance, etc. at the same time. Forget all the talents and experience you may have in a certain field, if you aren’t able to effectively promote yourself and build a pipeline of qualified prospects which are to become your paying clients, you’ll be doomed before long.
While many other traits and attributes are clearly necessary for anyone to make it as a freelancer, risk taking along with persistence and ability to wear multiple hats at one time are the most pivotal of all. If now you feel that freelancing is right for you, learn what it takes to excel as a top-tier freelancer and where to start building your pipeline of prospects. Happy freelancing!
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Great post Student of Life. It’s true. First the uncertainty scares people away from freelancing, then people quit because they can’t stay persistent (my brother did) and finally, some leave because they figure there’s a lot more work involved than what they thought in the first place.
Thanks Vladimir! I appreciate and value your comments on freelancing as you’ve been doing it for 6 years and know exactly what it takes to make it and stay relevant.
Keep it up!
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