Common Myths Of Freelancing

How many of us have worked for a company or a department or a manager and thought we could do it better? 

The vast majority of successful freelancers have had that very thought.  Could you do it better?

Working from home and/or being your own boss is often viewed from a somewhat romantic perspective.  Here are some myths and myth-busters to help you decide if going solo as a freelancer is the path you want to travel. 

The vast majority of successful freelancers have had that very thought.

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Freelancing Means I Can Work When I Like:

Sometimes it can do but that’s entirely dependant on your clients.  Deadlines are often given for contracted work and not meeting them is unacceptable without exceptional circumstances. 

Also some clients will require a high degree of communication with you during your freelancing projects.  This may well require you to keep the same business hours as they do.

Working From Home Means I Can Sit Around All Day In My Pyjamas:

Remote working does indeed have this “perk” but research shows that you will give a better performance if you behave exactly as you would if you were going to the office. 

Arriving at your work space, groomed and dressed in office-wear can have a positive psychological effect on the work you produce.

Now I Can Finally Give Up My Job:

Many freelance consultancies start up their business alongside either a full or part time job.  Doing this gives you more stability and allows you to build up your business experience as well as a client base. 

It’s not advisable to leap straight out of employed work into freelancing.  Burning your bridges is rarely the sensible route.

Freelancing Means I Don’t Have Anyone Telling Me What To Do:

To some extent you’ll have more freedom, sure.  But for the most part your clients are your boss and it’s just a different mouth the orders are coming from. 

You could even go so far to say that keeping your clients happy is even more important than keeping a regular boss happy.  One wrong move as a freelancer could mean no further work from that client. 

Make no mistake that people who employ freelancers talk to each other too and mud sticks!

Being Self-employed As A Freelancer Will Make My Life Easier:

This is a myth perpetuated by the media and anyone who has ever bandied about the term “work life balance”.  So you’re a Mum with two small kids and you want to spend more time with them and cut childcare costs? 

Can you imagine having the same work load as you would in an office, with two demanding children sat next to you?

9 times out of 10 you’ll find yourself working harder in setting up your freelance consultancy than you ever did in the office.  You’ll work hard trying to get clients, trying to impress clients and trying to keep clients. 

You’ll also work hard on marketing yourself and making the accounts balance.  9 times out of 10 you’ll find yourself still needing that childcare too.

Once I’m Successful I’ll Have Financial Freedom:

That’s every freelancer’s goal and it’s a very positive aim to have.  But remember that working for yourself has no safety net.  If you need time off for illness, family emergencies, holidays etc. then your income ceases. 

Try to have a savings account in place that you can draw on in an emergency.  If your freelance consultancy is doing really well, consider payment protection insurance – though this can be an expensive option.

Need more freelancing advice?  Keep a look out for future expert advice here.

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