7 Signs That You Are Not Ready to Freelance

7 Signs That You Are Not Ready to Freelance

Choosing your career path can definitely be one of the most daunting things one can do. When deciding whether or not you should go freelance is no different. There is plenty of uncertainty and it takes quite a bit to be successful at it. For some, they have the confidence, and for others, not so much. When sitting on the fence between going freelance and not going freelance, it is sometimes nice to know if you are ready to make that. To be on the safer side, here is a list of signs that you are not yet ready to commit to freelancing.

1. You have strong doubts to begin with. 

This can pretty much go for anything. When you plant those seeds of doubt in your mind, bad things can happen. The fear of becoming a failure in freelancing will hold you back from many opportunities, and in the long run can cost you money. Part of becoming a successful freelancer is confidence. Not just confidence towards success, but confidence towards reaching failure as well. It is never a good idea to get into something that you are going to be afraid of the whole time you are doing it.  

Photo by Simon Migaj on Unsplash

2. You think that life is easier when you freelance.

Contrary with the point above, one of the main reasons why people move to freelancing is so that they can work on their own terms. Some think that because of this, things can be much easier. Truth is, when it comes to the work itself, it isn’t. Sure, you can vacation and travel a lot, but you also have to put in an excruciating amount of work to be able to sustain that lifestyle. It is easy to see the beautiful side of freelancing from people you see in social media. However, there is a reason why they don’t show you the dark side of it.

3. You hate marketing. 

We get it. You’re a designer, not a salesman. It isn’t necessary to enjoy it, but to hate having to market yourself so that you can reel in some business for your freelancing gig, will only hinder you. Successful freelancers spend way more time marketing themselves than they do actually working on what they truly enjoy when starting. This is the area that causes a lot of designers to fall out of wanting to freelance to begin with, so if you begin to hate marketing, you will not make it anywhere as a freelancer.

4. You have very little professional experience. 

One of the biggest motivators for someone working to be a designer is the ability to freelance and not report to anyone. People look to freelancing to get that initial experience in working with clients. Coming out of college, it is always good to pick up a decent gig here and there, but it is never a good idea to start building a freelancing business with very little professional experience.

The business side of design can only be understood by working with it for a good period of time. Most people looking to freelance first thing never make it because they don’t quite understand how the market, people, or design standards work. Also, learning more about business in general will help you thrive in your freelancing career down the road. If possible, pick up a job that’s related in your field and learn, learn, learn! You’ll know you’re ready once you get that knowledge that you need.

5. Risks make you uncomfortable. 

Investing time for your freelance business instead of working a typical day job is a huge risk in itself. If you are not the type who likes to bank on your own abilities to be successful, freelancing is simply not for you for the time being. Becoming a freelancer is almost like starting a business that requires much risk that is backed by confidence. Some common risks that people face are things such as turning away high dollar clients, investing time on a project with skills that you may not have, or outsourcing a high priority project to someone you don’t know. If these types of risks make you feel uncomfortable on a regular basis, then freelancing can probably take a back seat for you.

6. You can’t handle rejection. 

If rejection is something you can’t handle, then it is a miracle that you still are a designer. Rejection is a hard pill to swallow at times, but part of being a freelancer is being able to make taking rejections a habit. When starting to freelance, you will be looking for partners and clients, and it is very likely that almost everyone will say no. People may not want to work with you or like what you do and that period can be rough before you get your first yes. Being a freelancer means looking ahead of those rejections and plan accordingly. Falling apart from rejection is something that you cannot do as a freelancer.

7. Hate working on weekends / after hours. 

As a freelancer, freedom can be great…for the most part. Part of having such freedom is also allowing some of that extra time to work if necessary. Not everything will go according to plan throughout the week, so whether it is working a little late into the night or extending a project into the weekend, it is almost always to be expected. Those extended hours can often times make or break relationships and credentials. Being somewhat willing to work through those hours have to almost be embraced. If you feel that you fall into any of those points above, then you may want to hold off the option to freelance until you feel like none of these apply to you. It is very easy to feel like you are ready, when in reality, you may need to rethink your options.