I must confess that I have experienced times during my freelancing journey where I felt like I was not cut out for freelancing. This may come as a surprise but I want to be 100 percent authentic and honest with you.
But feeling like you’re not cut out for freelancing is completely different from actually not being cut out for freelancing. As I persisted through my dream to live a freedom-based laptop lifestyle, I learned the difference.
Life as a freelancer is attractive, flexible and you get to be your own boss, determine your rates and set your schedule. But what happens when it doesn’t turn out as planned. Should you quit? I have been freelancing for years and have been there. I know how you feel.
Here are 5 clear signs that freelancing is not working for you and how you can fix it.
You don’t enjoy what you’re doing
When you started freelancing you actually loved what you did. It wasn’t always about the money. New projects got you excited. You were always open for a challenge. But it’s been 6 months now and you start dreading another project. What ever happened?
The answer is simple. You grew comfortable with where you are. And the best way to shake the feeling of dread is to do something new. Try different styles, different approaches, and different methods. Sometimes changing where you work can make a huge difference. Take your laptop to a nearby café and get busy. Introduce something fresh in your work life.
You don’t have a good work-life balance
Have your weekends disappeared? Do you work late into the night every day? When was the last time you actually made time for yourself?
When working at your 9-to-5, it was easy to know when work ended. After work, all you had was free time to do whatever you wished. Weekends were off-limits. But as a freelancer, you may have the entire 24 hours dedicated to work and this can make you lose all sense of personal life.
Set clearly defined working hours and stick with them. If you want weekends off, then set your work schedule in a way that you can have weekends solely to yourself.
You’re overwhelmed with changes in the industry
Establishing yourself as an expert in your industry takes work. But things change pretty quickly. It comes to a point where you start feeling left out on all the latest trends and innovations in the industry. It’s overwhelming and you end up on a plateau with your knowledge and skills.
I struggled with this feeling for a while but during one of my quiet moments it hit me – the reason I was overwhelmed was because I was busy going under in the industry instead of going deeper.
Start off where you’re at and dig deep to find more. Improve on what you know, rather than going after every new thing. Don’t rush it. Take it step-by-step and most of all enjoy the process.
You’re worn out
It’s great to have new clients but if your income depends on acquiring new clients everyday then it can get really stressful. Its’ a horrible feeling to be weighed down by a lot of work.
What helped me was to create passive income streams. Passive income streams help to boost your income while you spend your time doing things you enjoy.
Of course, as a freelancer, you define your income. But chasing after clients who will pay you a low rate can wear you out fast. What will help is for you to raise your rates and go after quality high paying clients who will value your work. You can raise your rates and work for fewer people and still make a comfortable income while you have better working hours.
The loneliness is getting to you
Being a freelancer is a lonely journey. Although you have the potential to earn more, have flexible hours and actually do what you love, you have to do most of it alone.
To beat the loneliness, go for meet ups and meet other freelancers. Collaborate with other freelancers on a project or course. Join a mastermind. Get connected with people in your industry and invite them over for coffee. You’ll be surprised at how many freelancers are in your area.
Are you freelancing? Is it working for you?