Being a freelancer is very different than being an employee of a company
owned by someone else. Unlike being an employee, you have all the freedom to
take your work in any direction you choose but also all the responsibility that
comes with it.
Every freelancer must have a solid business plan to be in and sustain a successful business. This should include a strategy for acquiring new work, a set of checks and balances to maintain a high level of quality in the work that is produced, and maintaining the appropriate funding to maintain the business. These three components are necessary to maintaining a healthy business.
As part of being self-employed, there must be a system developed for money management keeping track of the revenue coming in as well as what is going out. There are certain expenses that are tax deductable know them and take advantage of them.
Work hours are one of the leading reasons a person thinks a freelance work style is so advantageous. It is true that a freelancer gets to choose their own hours. But on the flip side, if the freelancer is not working then they are not earning any revenue. Having the freedom to choose your own hours has to be balanced with getting all of the contracts done on time, every time. If you are consistently late with assignments, you will lose your contracts. With no contracts, there is no revenue and the only choice for some is that you must go work for someone else. This is where having the discipline to stick with the long hours pays off. All of your efforts are directly related to your revenue. The more you work, the more work gets competed which is done for a payment.
When it comes to time off, the freelancer has the advantage of taking whenever they feel like it. Emergency situations are never a problem with a boss, because they are the boss. But this again must be balanced. A sick relative or child does have to be taken care of but just because you are a freelancer and the other members of your family are not, does not mean you carry the full weight of the responsibility. Judging what is an emergency and what must be taken care of immediately must be made. There are some that think just because you are a freelancer you can take the time off to entertain a friend when they want you to. The thing most people do not understand is that after taking a day off with work that is needed to be done, then that night will have to be an all-nighter to accomplish the needed tasks. Saying no to people about going out is necessary to make sure you get the work done on time.
Taxes are the biggest headache of every person in the world and for a freelancer it is the same. The main difference is that instead of the government taking a portion of your salary each paycheck for taxes; it is your responsibility to set this money aside. The advantage is that you can put it into a savings account and collect interest on it until you pay the bill. This is a necessary procedure that must be taken. There are many that put off setting aside a portion of their revenue until the tax bill arrives in the spring. This has broken more freelancers than any other single thing. Proper discipline will be the difference in making it as a freelancer or not.