Debunking 4 Common Freelance Myths
These days, everyone knows a freelancer. It seems glamorous and relaxing, especially while you’re sitting at your desk at 5:00pm on a Friday and imagining your friend sipping a glass of bubbly to celebrate yet another successful week of raking in money while wearing pajamas. Yet, the freelance life is shrouded in mythology. Many people don’t realize what it takes to make it. If you’re looking to transition to life as an independent professional, the first step is to make sure you know what you’re getting into.
1) There’s No Dress Code
This harmful myth perpetuates the idea that freelancers can be lazy. They don’t even have to get dressed in the morning! Make sure not to succumb to this falsehood. If you want to succeed, you need to put in the work. No one is going to hand you tasks, or make sure you arrive in the office or on the worksite. The first step is motivating yourself by setting up a routine. Make sure you’re scheduling enough work for yourself and that you’re waking up every day ready to work hard.
2) You Will Work Fewer Hours than You Do at Your Desk Job
When you’re freelancing, you’re the CEO, project manager, developer, writer, and payroll department wrapped into one. It’s unlikely you’ll be spending meaningless hours on Facebook in the office because you’ve run out of tasks or you’re stuck in meetings, but that’s only because you’ll be spending that time trying to figure out how to file your taxes. In reality, you’ll work fewer billable hours, but you’ll be spending a large portion of your time fulfilling day-to-day business needs. To make some of these auxiliary tasks easier, consider checking out Intuit Quickbooks Self-Employed, which will help you file your taxes. MBO can help you run your office, and Klok is simple to use reporting software.
3) You Won’t Have a Boss
You’ll have to be your own boss, and you may discover that you’re hard to manage. You’ll have to manage clients, plan your workload, make sure you’re getting paid, and follow the law all at the same time. You won’t have anyone to drop work into your lap. The plus side? You’ll receive all of the benefits of doing that work, so the tradeoff is worth it.
4) You’ll Make More Money
While this myth contains a kernel of truth, you won’t want to start working independently with this perspective. In all likelihood you’ll start out making less money than you do at your desk job. You won’t have a stable business immediately.
Because it’s your job to create and source business and to execute on the projects you take on, you’ll probably end up working at a lower hourly rate. Hopefully, as your business stabilizes, you’ll begin to take on more clients, but it’s going to take a lot of work to get there.
You can use a Freelance Hourly Rate Calculator to determine what to charge and track your time with Rescue Time. As you begin to garner an income, you can purchase useful tools that will improve your workflow, like Pipedrive, Mailchimp, or a better pair of work boots. WorkMarket is a great place to source jobs and develop relationships with clients, as well as to find other useful tips to help you succeed. Do what you can to get the planning and busy work out of the way early so you can take on more projects, and increase your billable hours.