7 critical things to know before you start freelancing


I would encourage freelancing to everyone, especially those in their early twenties. It’s your greatest asset to acquire a solid set of skills, establish financial freedom, and gain a better understanding of what you want to accomplish in your life.

However, the freedom that comes with being your own boss and choosing your own schedule comes at a cost. Before you begin, consider these 7 critical things:

#1 It takes time to be successful as a freelancer

Don’t anticipate money to fall from the skies as soon as you start a freelance business. Freelancing requires certain skills such as stellar time management, client networking, and financial planning (just to name a few). So, even if you’re talented in your creative profession, you’ll quickly realize that you’ll need to learn new skills to be successful as a freelancer. It’s going ro take some time to figure out how to balance your new roles.

I suggest allowing yourself at least 3 months before expecting to see any results from your efforts. If you can earn a livelihood much faster, that’s fantastic, but keep your goals SMART and plan ahead of time with the understanding that being a great freelancer takes time.

#2 You’re a terrible boss

Few people appreciate how much effort freelancers do on a daily basis. So, if you’re seeking to make a quick buck, you should polish your resumé and go hunt for work since freelancing is many things, but it isn’t quick and easy. Being your own boss can be hard, and you may not always be able to perform the following:

  • Take some time off
  • Eat lunch, know when to end working, and what day of the week it is
  • Tell how much money you make
  • Tell how much money you can spend

Freelancers may face numerous challenges when transitioning from being an employee to becoming their own employer. It’s critical to establish your own boundaries and adopt rules that work for you.

#3 Stress has finally set to get you

If you decide to enter this world, keep an eye out for Mr. Stress, a well-known freelancing assassin. He’s known for creeping into your life softly and unnoticed. His strategy includes making you nervous, apprehensive, and a lousy cheapskate. He’s often reminding you that the rent is due.

To protect yourself from Mr. Stress, you must first recognize his presence. In the freelancing world, that won’t be hard to miss. Next, arm yourself with several months’ worth of living expenses, a decent backup plan in case things don’t go as planned, and a balanced lifestyle, which are:

  • Health and fitness
  • Relationships
  • Career and finances
  • Spirituality
  • Sense of progress

#4 Effective money management is essential

Determine how much money you need to spend each month. Then, calculate how many freelancing projects you’ll need accomplished to make it happen. There are several free apps available to help you track your finances, so choose what works best for you.

Keeping track of what you buy isn’t the most important thing. What you should pay attention to is the unexpected – which are very common when freelancing:

  • Unpaid or delayed invoices
  • Lack of clients
  • Hardware failures
  • family issues
  • etc.

So, plan for the unexpected and leave yourself some wiggle room when it comes to budgeting.

#5 How much to charge (based on the work volume)

For any freelancer, the following is a critical decision: how much should I charge for my work? Should I charge by the hour, project, or feature? The answer to this question is contingent on the response to another question: how many projects do you intend to complete in a year?

Do you want to do a lot of projects to expand your portfolio, or do you want to establish a more exclusive personal brand that only takes on 1-2 projects every few months or so? If you answer that, you’ll be able to crack the code.

#6 Create a prototype before creating a final product

There’s a reason why trends and experts exist: they’re effective. Your line of work, just like the wheel, doesn’t need to be reinvented. Hundreds of thousands of freelancers have gone before you and paved the way. Walk that path, embrace it, and you’ll make your life a lot easier.

Look at the greatest in your freelancing business and adopt all you can from them: adopt the same habits, employ the same tactics, shortcuts, settings, ideas – heck, even the color shirts they wear. The truth is that success leaves traces. You simply have to look for them and incorporate what you find into your workflow.

#7 Don’t quit your day job at first

Try to juggle your regular job and freelancing if at all possible. It might be frustrating at first, but you’ll get a taste of what it’s like to be self-employed. Work on weekends or in your spare time to see whether you can make it full-time.

Once you have a better understanding of what freelancing entails and are sure that you’re up to the task, take the next step. But don’t cross any bridges just yet, as you don’t know what you might find if you do.

Final Thoughts

That’s my list of 7 things everyone should be aware of before embarking on a freelance journey. Although it may not appear to be a dream job, it actually is. Once you’ve covered these things, you’ll have saved yourself a ton of time and energy – something that most freelancers only dream of. Happy freelancing!

Q/A session: What recommendations would you provide to someone considering freelancing?

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Hey there!

I’m Imad, the content creator and online marketing strategist behind The Guemmah Freelance Hub. My mission is to help more freelancers grow themselves, their business, and their profits.

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