The idea of the freelance lifestyle is pretty great. You get complete freedom to work from home on the projects you enjoy, and you get to set your own hours with no boss there to bark over your shoulder. Well, sorry to break it to you, but the reality of freelancing is quite different. For some people, they simply like this idea of freelancing, and that’s ultimately why they end up failing.
I often witness those struggling with their freelancing make excuses like, “If I were freelancing full-time…” or “If only I could find clients.”
Ever find yourself saying the same thing? Making excuses as to why things aren’t going as expected?
The truth to why so many people fail at their attempt to freelance is because of their half-hearted commitment. They only like the idea of freelancing rather than the actual act of doing it.
It’s scary to commit to such a risk. To potentially leave a secure paying job to work for yourself – making your own income. Especially if you have little to no experience in running an actual business.
Validating the idea to freelance
As awesome as it’d be to share an exact path to become a successful freelancer, that’s just not how it works. You want a secret formula to succeed, but it doesn’t exist. The truth is you need to put in the hours to figure out the fundamentals, only then can you start to ask for help on how to improve. You must validate the idea of freelancing before you dive into it headfirst. This is when most people discover they don’t like to work with clients or the hard work that comes with developing your own products.
Everybody wants the success of the person they aspire from, but they don’t want to put in the 100+ hours a week to get there.
As harsh as this will sound, how can you expect to make a living freelancing if you’re not fully committed to it?
Putting in the time to commit
The people that show up every day do it because it’s what they love to do. They aren’t interested in making a quick dollar – that’s just impossible with this type of career path.
Making the commitment to freelance is tough, but there are things you can do to make that process less scary:
- Overlap your freelance efforts with a secure job that will cover your living expenses until things start to take off.
- Make yourself accountable to a partner, the public, and/or a mastermind group.
- Work your freelance tasks into your daily schedule.
With time your commitment will grow, which in turn will grow your freelance business to a sustainable career.
The best advice you don’t want to hear
A brilliant, golden piece of advice I picked up from Sean McCabe, a hand lettering expert that runs a podcast for creatives, is the idea of…
Showing up every day for two years.
- It will make you money.
- It will build an audience.
- It will solve most of your problems.
- It will develop the tenacity needed to survive in this world.
- It will teach you that those who are successful aren’t successful because of some condensed version of their story, but because they made a commitment to show up every single day when it was hard, sucked, and it looked like nothing would ever come of it.
But no one will hear this advice because “Show up every day for two years” isn’t microwaveable. (source)
This is the type of message and advice I want to help share with anyone looking to make a living from their passion.
Freelancing is scary, risky, and most importantly, it’s hard work. But if you can make the commitment, put in the time and effort, then there’s no reason why you can’t succeed at it and make a happy living for yourself and your family.
If you’re committed to your passion, then you’re not alone. Myself and many others reading this post are right there with you. If you want to declare your commitment to freelance and/or if you have any questions about making the jump, then leave a comment below and let’s succeed together!