After being fortunate to have some early success when I started freelancing, I enthusiastically encouraged all my friends and acquaintances to give it a go.
“It’s easy! It’s great! You can make so much money!”
This is what I assured those who asked but I was naive.
The freelance lifestyle and career path aren’t for everyone. After witnessing some friends take up the challenge, only to quickly crash and burn, I started telling people why they might like it, not that they would definitely love it.
Like everything, freelancing has its yins and yangs. It suits different types of people and some find it much easier and more rewarding than others.
Here are a few of the things to keep in mind if you have an idea that you want to be a six figure freelancer but you don’t know if it’s right for you.
You need SKILLS
Whatever you’re doing on your journey to becoming a six figure freelancer, you need to be good at it.
There are so many talented freelancers out there. Your work has to be worth paying for just as much as anyone else’s.
If you’re hoping to start freelancing with no background training or practice with what you want to offer, hit rewind and upskill first. Fail to do this and you won’t get steady traction with clients.
Six figure freelancers DELIVER
Doing what you say you will do, when you say you’re going to will get you a long way when you’re a freelancer.
Those who drop the ball, forget about projects or miss the brief aren’t asked back.
You need to treat every client like they are your boss. When you’re only working for them for a brief amount of time, you need to be the ideal ‘employee’ so they recommend you to their peers.
Are you one of those people who struggles to plan, execute and complete the necessary steps for a task without support? If so, freelance success may not come easily to you.
Working for all those different bosses can be fraught with ups and downs. To keep going and achieve what you want to as a freelancer, you need to do just that; keep going.
There will be setbacks, rejections and frustrations. Some clients will be painfully blunt. Some will be just plain horrible. If you’re not good at being rejected, you will need to learn how to push through.
This comes more easily to some people than others. I used to eat a packet of Tim Tams and hide under a blanket watching Netflix for an afternoon after a negative experience. Now I’m down to one Tim Tam and a single episode of Schitt’s Creek. Being called out for not-great work or being accused of failing to meet ever-shifting expectations hurts but you’re gonna need to learn to live with it because it happens to the best of us.
Organisation and financial management are key
Staying on top of your to-do list is as important for your own sanity as well as your clients.
And speaking of organisation, money comes into the equation as well. Freelance work often comes with feast/famine periods. It won’t help if you’re the type of person who spends every dollar as soon as you earn it. You need to have some way of keeping track, ‘paying yourself’ a set amount each month and putting aside money for expenses (tax included).
You’ll be ridin’ solo
Depending on what you do, it can be lonely to freelance. One way to get around this is to visit a co-working space a few times a week. You could also work from the home of a fellow freelancer for company.
What’s more, when you’re a freelancer, the buck stops with one particular little black duck (you… it’s you). There is no blaming inefficient subordinates or inflexible bosses when things go wrong. You’re also in charge of sales, marketing and quality control. It’s a lot to keep up with but successful six figure freelancers figure it out and get into the groove. There are always ways to make these tasks easier and more rewarding.
As you can see, the work you do is only part of the equation for high-earning freelancers. It’s why many people have a try and go back to having a job.
It’s also why I recommend approaching your freelancing gig like a microbusiness of your own. Once you switch to that mindset, the tasks that go along with delivering your product or service will seem less of a hassle and more part of the lifestyle.
Think hard before you jump in! It’s not for everyone and it can be stressful but you get the reward of a potentially great income and a flexible lifestyle.
If you think freelancing is right for you, join the free Six Figure Freelancer Australia group on Facebook.
Read more: “You can be like me!”