Some People Excel At Freelancing and Some Don’t – Which One Are You?


Are you wondering if freelancing life is for you? There’s no denying that it’s an incredible lifestyle if you can make it work, as you can enjoy the freedom of working for yourself, setting your own prices, and deciding upon which projects to take on. You don’t need to take direction from a boss, and you can work whichever hours suit you.

But freelancing isn’t for everyone. There are certain types of people that excel as freelancers, and there are others that struggle to come to terms with the responsibilities and independence that freelancing affords. Before you commit to freelancing, you might want to consider whether the following traits resonate with you. This will help you decide whether or not freelancing is the right choice for you.

You need to be willing to learn. 

To be a successful freelancer, you must be willing to learn new skills and adapt to new experiences. If you’re working in an office job, there’s a good chance your position is quite insulated, and you can get by every day by doing the same things.

As a freelancer, you work in an ever-changing environment and need to be willing to take responsibility for your own professional development. When you work for a company, they may decide to send you for training as part of your job, but when you work for yourself, the buck stops with you. You need to research and undertake any opportunities for self-development independently.

You need to source your own business. 

If you’re a graphic designer for a company, you most likely just work on the projects that arrive on your desk and don’t ask any questions about where they came from. This is one of the best things about being employed; you don’t need to worry about generating business (unless you’re in sales), and you can focus your energy on creative pursuits.

However, as a freelance graphic designer, nobody is going to hand you work on a plate. A huge part of a freelancer’s role is heading out into the world and sourcing your own business. This means setting your prices, preparing a pitch, and negotiating with prospective clients. If you’re not prepared to get out there and pitch for work, then freelancing might not be for you.

You need to work independently. 

Many people look enviously at freelancers because they don’t have to answer to a boss. In a traditional office setting, employees are told what to do, how to do it, and when to do it by. Although some leeway is permitted, they need to deliver work that is articulated by management and is in keeping with the company’s objectives. Although it can result in pressure, being told what to do is comforting for some people and helps them to stay focused.

When you work as a freelancer, you don’t have the security provided by a boss. There’s nobody to tell you what to do or to pressurize you into working in a certain way. While this is liberating for lots of people, it’s not easy to work independently. You need to find your own clients, set your own prices, manage your delivery timeframes, and chase up invoice payments. Motivating yourself to work independently is vital to becoming a successful freelancer.

You need to handle rejection well. 

Freelancing isn’t a walk in the park. While it’s truly liberating in the long run, you have to work extremely hard to find clients to work for. Because of this, there is going to be a lot of rejection. You will find yourself pitching for countless projects without hearing anything back, and time and time again, your estimates will be shut down and rejected.

Naturally, this is demoralizing, but you need to be able to use it to your advantage. To a freelancer, every rejection is a learning opportunity. It’s a chance to pivot and improve your pitch for the next project instead of sitting at home beating yourself up. Rejection is part of every freelancer’s reality, so you need to be able to deal with it well and respond to it positively.

You need to be passionate about your work. 

While it’s easy to earn a paycheck by completing work that you’re not passionate about in order to pay the bills, it’s much harder to work as a freelancer on projects that don’t pique your interest. When you’re working for yourself, you have to be motivated to get up every day and get to work on your projects. If you’re not passionate about what you’re doing, it becomes incredibly difficult to find business.

What’s more, passion for what you’re doing breeds new opportunities. Passionate freelancers are always looking to add to their portfolios and are constantly seeking to improve their skills and practices. As such, they’re able to access better opportunities, which potentially means more clients and more money.

So, do you think you will excel at freelancing? 

The five traits that we’ve introduced here are all characteristics shared by successful freelancers. It’s important to recognize that there’s not one type of personality best suited to freelancing. For instance, the personality of a popular YouTuber is likely to be very different from that of a ghostwriter. But they’re very likely to share these characteristics and have the necessary attitude and aptitude for working independently as a freelancer.

Before you start looking for clients, you need to be honest with yourself about whether or not freelancing is for you. Some people need the additional support and guidance offered by line managers and are grateful for the fact that they don’t have to look for their own business. But if you do match the criteria listed here, and are excited about the prospect of marketing your skills to potential clients, then freelancing could well be the perfect career move for you.

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