So it has been a little more than a month since I dived from a full time job into a world considered as uncertain by many- Freelancing. As expected, it was a journey puddled with many ups and downs, many lessons were learnt, many mistakes were made and countless experiences were gained. So here I am, after one month of voyaging into open sea, recounting my experiences.
The first thing you have to be prepared when opting for freelancing is uncertainty. You are leaving the shores for open oceans, where the tides are high and sun is scorching above your head. There is a sense of fear, deep inside your heart. A fear of uncertainty. You are going against what is considered as normal by the society and are opting out of the regular “go to college, get a good job and work till retirement” cycle that dissolves the life of everyone around you. You have to thread your own path and can not seek guidance from most of the regular Joes around you. Sounds intimidating!
But as they say Seek it and you shall find it. Along with the fear of uncertainty comes the excitement of adventure. This uncertainty comes with its own set of advantages. You are not going to be chained to your cubicle from 9 to 5 for the rest of your life and will be free to explore the world. You can explore the talents hidden deep inside you and learn new skills and put them into use without bothering about petty office politics. All this is equally liberating. Just have faith in yourself and keep going. All it needs is a little courage and self-confidence.
The next thing you have to be careful is not to be bothered about what others think and say about you. Once you opt for freelancing, you will find a whole herd of people stacked up against you. They will tell you again and again that you are opting the wrong path and are destined to be doomed. You may be tempted to try proving them wrong. Never make this mistake. once you start working for “proving them wrong” instead of “following your heart”, your work start suffering. You will no longer be working for your goals, instead you will start doing things that get you their approval. Remember, freelancing has an inherent limitation that it takes time to build up, you have to toil hard for years before you start realizing the benefits. You can not compare yourself with the out of college grad who is getting a hefty package. Never do that. Have patience, it will pay off in the long run.
The third and most important thing about working as a freelancer is that you have to be careful about how you are spending your time. You must have heard this countless number of times that “Time is our most precious asset”. (Read more about how to utilize your time to become extraordinary) However, once you start working as a Freelancer, it assumes even more significance. As a freelancer, there are no deadlines from your boss- as you are your own boss (another wonderful merit of freelancing). However, this can make you lazy. You start postponing things. You loose track of the number of hours you spend doing mindless activities. If you start playing more games, watching more movies and having more fun time instead of spending more time mastering your craft and honing your skills, then you are going to perish soon and will ultimately give up. Always remember that every day counts. A day without practicing your art is a day pulling you away from your goals. So set deadlines for yourself and stick to them.
Also, keep learning new skills and be aware of recent developments in your arena. Remember, as a freelancer you should be the best in your craft to survive and get paid (finances are equally important). Practice daily, Be updated, work hard and follow a proactive approach and soon you be a seasoned sailor of the sea.
Wish you all the luck and success in your ventures. Happy Freelancing.
Also published on Medium.