Many of us dream of freelancing: to be free of the 9-to-5 rat race and our bosses’ demands, to have the freedom to get up when we want and choose our own hours, and to never have to negotiate rush-hour traffic or bad weather again.
But it’s not all smooth sailing. Freelancing takes a certain type of person to be successful – here are eight sure signs that person isn’t you.
You can’t motivate yourself
If in order to get something done you need to have your boss standing over you, you can be pretty certain freelancing isn’t for you.
When you work for yourself, you have only yourself to rely on for motivation. As a deadline looms, there’s no one there telling you, “Three hours to go,” and for some people, the lure of Facebook is just too hard to resist.
You don’t have a backup plan
Employment offers you the security of a set wage each month: You know what your earnings will be and can budget around it.
Freelancing doesn’t offer this luxury. One month you might be overwhelmed with work, and the next you could find yourself with none. If you don’t have a plan to cover you for a slow month, make sure to come up with a foolproof one before you even think about taking the plunge into freelance-land.
You’re a social butterfly
Freelancing can be a lonely existence, something many new freelancers are ill-prepared for and find it hard to adjust to. If you just can’t get through the day without a bit of lighthearted office banter, you’ll probably struggle with nothing but daytime TV and the postman for company.
You don’t like taking risks
Giving up the safety and security of a full-time job to work for yourself is a big step – and an even bigger risk.
Even the day-to-day life of a freelancer is flooded with risk since you never know what’s round the corner and can’t be entirely sure where your next paycheck is coming from.
Chances are, if it all goes wrong, your old job is not going to welcome you back with open arms, and in this market, you might struggle to secure a new job elsewhere.
To be able to take that step and hand in your notice, you need to be partial to a little danger.
You’re not determined
While every line of work requires determination, you’ll probably never need it more than when you’re freelancing.
You need determination to market yourself, determination to get your work done when the sun’s blazing outside, and the determination not to give up, even when it feels like everything’s against you.
You want to ‘get rich quick’
Chances are, you won’t. In fact, you probably won’t get rich at all, and if you do, it’ll take discipline and a great deal of time and effort to do so.
If you only want to start working for yourself because you believe it’ll be the answer to all your money problems, think again. When your dreams of four-hour weeks and monthly holidays in the Bahamas don’t come true, you’ll lose all your drive and motivation. Stick with your day job and keep playing the lottery in the hope that one day, it just might be you.
You can’t face working for free
Because sometimes, you’ll have to. Whether it’s to demonstrate to a potential client that you’re worth what you say you are or to fix something a current client isn’t happy with – sometimes you’ll have to go above and beyond and not get paid for it.
If you’re the sort of person who’s always out the door the minute the clock strikes 5, you’ll probably find it hard to deal with the expectations clients could have of you in the freelance market.
You don’t believe in yourself and your work
Confidence is key, and without it, you’ll never be as successful as you could be.
Chances are you’ll devalue what you’re worth, try too hard to please, and spend too much time worrying about not being good enough.
Until you know you’re absolutely the best at what you do, you might want to refrain from handing in your notice.