Going freelance for the wrong reasons can turn out to be a ruinous business both financially and professionally.
It is clear that there are very good reasons to be freelance: the freedom to choose the type of work, the place, the hours and the clients… But before making the decision, it is advisable not to get carried away only by positive claims.
- Get up late and leave work early
It is true that, as a freelancer, you can choose the hours you work. But if you think that means you can sleep until the middle of the day, and then you can stop working in the early afternoon, you are obviously in for a good surprise.
You may be more productive at night, and get organized to get work done smoothly. But surely your clients will expect you to respond to them within traditional business hours. So you better be prepared to answer the phone starting at 9 in the morning.
- Get rich
You better not decide to freelance just for the money. You may get good clients and things go really well for you. But from there to getting rich there is a long way. You must bear in mind that to make a lot of money you need to do many projects, and you only have two arms. Only by having people in your charge could you manage a much larger volume of projects. Working alone is complicated.
So, more than money, focus on doing something that you like and that also allows you to live well.
- I hate working with people
That that freelancers work alone, isolated, totally independently, is just a myth. As a professional, you always have to work with people . You always have a customer that you must reply to. And many times you will have to work with an agency, or with other professionals.
If your idea is to freelance to “forget about people”, it is better that you think twice.
- So I can spend all day with the kids
Unless you decide to work only part-time, the most normal thing is that your intention to spend a lot of time with your children is incompatible with your freelance activity. To begin with, because work is not going to leave you enough time to take care of them: changing diapers, playing games, doing housework, etc.
In addition, it is very possible that being at home with your children becomes a great distraction, a real obstacle to completing your projects on time.
This does not mean that freelancing is a bad option to spend time with your children. In fact, it is usually a much more flexible activity than almost any salaried job, and it will surely allow you to take them to school and pick them up, attend some of their activities, etc.
It’s just about being realistic: you’re not going to be able to work at home and dedicate all the time in the world to them.
- I can charge whatever I want for my work
You can set whatever price you want for your work, that’s true, but then you can’t expect someone to hire you if you’re out of the market… Don’t expect miracles. The prices of the competition, your experience and the quality of your work will be some of the fundamental variables that will mark the limits of your rates.
- Being freelance is very easy
Being a freelancer is one of the most complicated jobs, in the sense that you end up being solely responsible for EVERYTHING: finding the job, doing it, collecting it, making budgets, paying your taxes, doing promotional work …
Keep in mind that there are many tasks for one person. The illusion, and the ability to organize, are key.
- So I can always have the house in order …
The theory is very good: if I work at home, I can use the time to keep it in order. But then it is not so easy. If you get up and, instead of going to work in your paid activity, you dedicate yourself to cleaning and cleaning the kitchen, the most normal thing is that you lose half the morning. And you will not charge for it …
Obviously you have to keep the house in good condition, but you should organize to do so without affecting the hours of your paid work. It is a question of organization. In the end, in this respect the situation is not so different from that of a wage earner, who must do household chores outside of working hours.
- Work will come to get me
You can spend hours in front of the screen waiting for clients to get in touch with you… You have to work a lot as a freelancer before you can “start working” on a project.
- Without a boss, at last
Many people “flee” from salaried work to avoid having a boss always on top. But what we sometimes do not take into account is that, to be freelance, we must become our own boss. And that is sometimes hard. You have to be on top of yourself to deliver work on time, to stay demanding and motivated even on the least fun tasks.
- I’m going to save a lot of money
It is true that working from home you can save a lot of money for example in fuel. But you must also bear in mind that your electricity, gas, internet and telephone bills will increase. You can deduct part of these expenses, but do not expect miraculous savings.
Also, from time to time you will want to leave your house to change of scene, and that will take you, for example, to a cafeteria. Not to mention the times when you don’t have a lot of work. If you get bored, you can end up buying anything.
11 Much more free time
If you organize your freelance activity well and have a bit of luck, you can enjoy a lot of free time. But if you don’t, your workday can become endless.
The main risks are two: on the one hand, that you take on too many projects and spend the day and part of the night trying to meet deadlines; on the other hand, that you leave the tasks for later, and that when the deadline approaches you have to work tirelessly.
- Prestige (and understanding)
Still today, for many people freelancers are a kind of “weirdo.” That “working from home” and without fixed hours does not seem a serious thing, and people find it difficult to understand that you are really working, and that you do not spend the day sleeping, playing the computer or watching television.
Sometimes this brings its problems. For example, when distributing tasks in pairs. It’s easy for the other party to assume that since you’re home, you should take care of all the associated tasks. When in reality, you also need to dedicate a fixed time to get your income.
It is also very common for people with free time to always try to stay with you, as if you had nothing to do …
Is the best job in the world
Things are not easy, and we must always be realistic. All of these “wrong reasons” can serve as a warning to those who are thinking of taking the final step. But it is also true that, with work, organization, talent and a bit of luck, being a freelancer can be the best job in the world.