At the Learner Doer community, we preach freelancing. We have shared multiple articles on the pros of starting your journey as a freelancer.
However, we don’t want you to keep in the dark. Just like everything else, freelancing can also have multiple drawbacks.
These drawbacks might harm you in the long-run if you just went straight into freelancing without reading this article first.
So here we are going to talk about the less glamorous part of freelancing. Let’s jump right in.
1. The first gig is not going to be easy
You must have heard this couple of times. But what exactly does it mean? Is it that it would take months to get your first freelancing project? Is it that you’d have to work for free?
The answer is ‘maybe’ and it depends on the niche and industry of your freelancing gig. Let’s say that you’re looking for projects in a highly saturated market. And if that’s the case, it might take you some time to get your initial work.
Other than that, it’s highly likely that you’d end up working for free at the early stage. It happens due to the lack of personal branding and confidence.
That is why a lot of people don’t survive the initial stage. They end up losing the faith and would quit. It’s also one of the many reasons that people don’t start freelancing at all.
2. Struggles with a fair price
Many times, due to the fear of losing clients, new freelancers would seal the deal but at the expense of low rates. This might destroy your career.
Because once you set a rate for yourself, it would become harder to increase. It would take more time before you set the rate which you think you deserve.
In addition, you’re not just setting the rates for your gig, you’re also setting your standards in the industry. So when you start making connections with other freelancers, they would judge you on the same benchmark.
The other reason behind failing to set the just rates—is that you don’t have the knowledge. In the freelancing business, there are no pricing standards. Every freelancer has their own rates and specialization.
Therefore, it can get hard to figure out the best price point for your rate sheet. Consequently, you end up losing a lot of money.
3. Forget the weekend
We are not saying that you can’t enjoy weekends, but because you’re your own boss. Chances are, you’d procrastinate till the weekend shows up and now you must complete the task before the deadlines knocks on your door.
If that’s not the case because maybe you manage to schedule your working hours accordingly (which is highly doubtable). Then there are other reasons.
For instance, you take some projects just before the weekends and now you have to work on the weekends so that you can submit them on Monday.
If it’s not the work, then there are some small things which needs your attention. Like editing your portfolio, taking care of the content calendar, making little changes because your client doesn’t like the design, and so on.
These things will keep you occupied and the next thing you know—Monday is already showing up on your door. This vicious circle is hard to break when you’re a freelancer.
4. The money problem
Although you make good money once you successfully build your freelancing business. Nonetheless, it doesn’t stay. And the reason is not that hard to guess—irregular money.
Unlike your traditional full-time job where you get monthly payments, here you have no monthly checks. The money varies according to the client, deadline, project, short-term—long-term project, and a lot more.
Consequently, your spendings also follow the same route. It is directly dependent on the pattern of your payments and deadlines.
So one day you’re the richest man in the world, but the next day, you are like, “let’s survive on chai and biscuit today.”
Because of all these reasons, it gets hard to save any money or even track it.
5. People think you can’t find a job
Now this one is funny but sad at the same time. Your friends, college mates and your family members don’t understand what you do.
So most people make the opinion that you don’t do anything. While there are many reasons behind that—no proper sleeping routine, you always have the option to both work and hangout, etc.
These reasons confuses your folks and they don’t take you seriously. Because it’s not that simple after all. You can’t tell anybody that you have to leave for your office when you’ve got some work to finish.
Overall, freelancing is still a far-fetched concept. Especially for your parents and that is the reason they won’t understand the nature of your work.
6. Your problems are also different
We are talking about all kinds of problems here. Problems related to projects, industry, clients, and people.
The first one is that you’ve to take most of the projects that come initially because you must learn the skills during your amateur days.
Then there are issues related to creative blocks. For writers, it’s writer’s block and we have covered how to overcome it. But it doesn’t matter though. Everybody in the creative field faces this once in a while.
People judge you a lot. Yup, everybody who wants to become like you, would judge you even if you put the comma in the wrong place.
Other times there are some smaller issues that are enough to break off your productivity. These things are mostly technical like, wifi, slow computer, discharged devices, etc.
7. Productivity is hard to maintain
While you might think that it would be easier to make good money once you get enough clients. However, it’s not that simple.
Most of the time, it’s harder to make your client stay than getting new clients. It’s all because of productivity. Productivity is a big key factor in deciding your career as a freelancer.
And the irony is that productivity becomes really hard to maintain. As you’re literally working online, without anyone keeping the track of you.
As a result, it’s so easier to open a new tab and start watching cat videos on YouTube. You can always find tons of reasons to distract yourself.
Therefore, the freedom to choose can also ruin your productivity and procrastination can easily take over your freelancing career.
Freelancing by no means is easy. You have the freedom to choose everything and that can also counterattack you. Plus there are tons of other problems you face when starting out.
However, our intention is not to demotivate you but to tell you the truth. Internet is full of people bragging about their freelancing lifestyle but they don’t tell you their failures.
The struggles they survive and how they almost wanted to quit. So before you go for freelancing, you must be aware of this side also.
But in the end, if you feel like you can work through these problems, then we are more than happy to welcome you. After all, freelancing is all about accepting the challenges and keep moving forward.