Starting out as a new freelancer is an exciting time, but it can also be a little scary as well. There are so many things to learn about running your own business, and there will definitely be mistakes made along the way. No one is perfect.
Many new freelancers have the same fears, so you aren’t the first to worry about these things. Here are the top four fears of new freelancers.
The Fear of Failure
Actually starting was the hardest part of beginning my freelancing career. I waffled about it for months, even after deciding that it was what I wanted to do. I guess I was hoping that work would magically come to me once I decided I wanted to write, and when it didn’t, I knew I had to step it up, stop doubting myself and get started.
Remember that you will fail at 100 percent of the things you don’t try. Once I decided to get a mentor to help me with the ins and outs of full-time freelancing, my fears were eased, I was raring to go, and nothing could stop me at that point. Fast forward to less than a year later, and I don’t know why I didn’t start sooner!
Asking for Help
Unfortunately, freelancing is not just about doing whatever it is that you’re good at doing. As the owner of a one-man freelancing operation, you will have to wear so many hats, some of which you may not have even tried on before, like marketing and bookkeeping. If you find that you are not great at a particular aspect of your new business, don’t be afraid to hire help in the beginning.
Hiring someone doesn’t have to be permanent. If you are starting a new blog or writing business, you can hire someone to show you how to build, operate, and work out the kinks of your website. Whether it’s for bookkeeping, IT work, or virtual assistant help, you can easily find people who will work on an as-needed basis for what you need, so you don’t have to hire a full-time employee to help you out.
Not Getting Paid
One of my least favorite parts of freelancing is bookkeeping. I’m not great at it, and I do not enjoy it, but as a small business owner, you are the one who has to make sure you get paid.
My advice is to get to know the people you work for, have their names and addresses (especially if your work is done online), and put due dates on your invoices. You can also add a note that says the invoice amount increases by 10 percent if not paid by a certain date, and I prefer to invoice once per month so there are fewer invoices to track.
There will likely be a time that you are not paid timely for a service you provided or simply not paid at all, and all you can do is fire the client and see how you can prevent that in the future. As a freelance writer, I personally like to work for clients that I know are veterans in the industry, and most of my work has come recommended to me from other writers who have worked for the client in the past. This assures me that these clients will pay me.
If you can manage to find clients in this manner, especially once you get an established business up and running, then it will be smooth sailing and you will never have to worry about getting paid.
What Others Will Think
As an introvert, I realize how hard it is to put yourself out there. When I first started freelancing, I didn’t want to tell anyone I knew other than my husband. I was too worried about what other people would think since I left my full-time, well-paying job, and I was worried that if I failed, others would see and I would be embarrassed. I eventually had to realize that if you are so worried about what other people think all the time, then you will never make it very far at all.
Branching out to do what you really want to do in life is tough, and it does involve a certain amount of risk. Sometimes you will fail, but getting out there and actually trying is the only way you will ever know if you can truly succeed. Personally, I’d rather throw myself into it and fail than do nothing and always wonder what would have happened.
Whether you are worried about how to run your own business or simply how to track your invoices, get out there and just start. All you can do is try. Make mistakes and learn from them. Don’t let your fear of failure hold you back from starting a career that you love.
Is there something holding you back from starting your own freelancing career? If you are already a freelancer, what helped you start? What fears did you have to overcome?