My dream is to get back to freelancing one day.
Having done it before, I know how fulfilling it can be. There are many advantages of being your own boss. You decide what projects to take up. You decide whether to say yes or no to a client. You decide how much time you want to spend on your work.
I started doing freelance work around 10 years back. I began my journey by carrying out some research on the best freelancer websites. Finally, I registered on Fiverr and instantly got some clients because of my portfolio. It was easier back then to find customers, unlike today, when the competition is fierce.
I was a freelance content writer. My work on Fiverr involved creating marketing copies for startups. My clients appreciated my work and gave me good reviews. Looking back, I am so proud of myself for getting the freelance writing gigs on my own. When I got my first $100 from freelancing, I felt on top of the moon. Frankly, even if it were just $10, I would have felt elated because this was proof that I could survive independently. It gave me confidence.
Throughout our life, we are on the lookout for confirmation that we are well equipped to face any challenges that come our way. We are skeptical, though, because we were never taught to venture out on our own. There was always someone to help us, guide us at every stage of our life – at school, competitions, college, corporate life. We could depend on someone (a parent or a teacher, or a manager) to help us out.
With freelancing, you are on your own.
You have to figure things out.
You have to decide how to get money.
You have to research and find out what sells.
It’s all you!
To be a successful freelancer, you need to hustle.
Needless to say, every little profit you get out of it feels like a big deal. Plus, the freedom to work from home and the ultimate control you have over your work is unmatched.
Freelancing is special. It gives you that sense of achievement and fulfillment when work starts coming your way. It is the feeling I yearn for now.
I stopped freelancing 2 years after starting it. The reasons being, my sleep cycle got messed up, and the pay did not match my hard work at the time. I would sleep at 5 AM and wake up at noon. There was no discipline in my life. I had a few passive income streams that paid a few bills, but more was needed. That’s when I decided to get back into the corporate world. I thought I would continue with my side hustles. But life had other plans. My work responsibilities at my day job increased. I had no time left for something I enjoyed.
Does freelancing count as work experience? Does it help your career? Let me tell you this. I got my job after the recruiter saw my freelancing work. All the hard work paid off. I know many freelancers (web developers, graphic designers, writers) getting a corporate job after building a solid portfolio of impressive projects. So I would consider it as a work experience. People are afraid of mentioning “freelancer” in their work resume. They are afraid that the recruiters might think it is a fancy way to say you haven’t worked for some time. The best way to prove naysayers wrong is by building a good portfolio of your freelancing work. No recruiter would say no to a freelancer who has done notable work.
Does freelancing pay well? Yes, it does. Freelancing is hard though, and it is not for everyone. Start small and easy. When you start getting overbooked for a month or two, increase your rate by 10-15%. You don’t have to wait till the annual performance review to get a raise!
Freelancing is the future of work. People are quitting big corporate jobs because working for yourself is mentally more peaceful. I would love to get back to it one day to be my own boss again.
There’s a funny quote out there that goes “I can’t wait to earn a lot of money and quit. So I can start doing the work I like.” Truer words have never been spoken.