Freelancing is a lot like juggling. Except, you start with two items, then three, then four, and very soon you’re handling an entire box of items.
It’s the fastest way to learn how to juggle many items.
Freelancing does not need your permission to give you an exponential learning curve. That’s the paradox and the beauty.
But jokes apart, freelancing is a challenge and a pretty good one.
I just started, barely two months back, and let me tell you-I haven’t made a shit ton of money, but I’m learning a ton. On my own.
I’m not writing this to tell you how to excel at freelancing or make a ton of cash. What I want to talk about are the things I learned in nearly two months.
Take this as first-hand documentation for my personal blog, but also a nugget of wisdom for you.
I’m going to divide my learnings into three parts. The “good,” the not so good, and the “it is what it is.”
So here it goes, I guess…
1. The good things about freelancing
1. The good starts with the amount of freedom you have. Like literally nothing is off-limits. You can choose who you want to work with and start chasing them like right now.
Cold emailing, outreach, or pitching from day one becomes your full-time job.
2. You don’t have to worry about factors like your degrees, qualifications, or resumes. You start and end at one thing and one thing only.
The courage to present your skills and solve problems for people.
3. You become confident about your skills and the kind of results you can bring to your clients.
It’s not only the satisfaction of a job well done but also putting out something meaningful in the world.
4. None of your days will be the same because every day is a challenge.
You celebrate small wins for a moment, pat yourself on the back and move on to chase even bigger challenges.
Freelancing kinda does that to you. Because there’s soooo much to learn…..
5. Your income is a roller-coaster, but you still don’t leave the ride. After all, that’s what “amusement” parks are for, right?
Managing finances also becomes your full-time job.
It can be tedious at times but, it teaches you how to budget because you might not get a similar income next month.
2. The not so good things about freelancing
1. The beginnings are always the hardest, and that’s not any different with freelancing. The problem is that there isn’t any single hard thing. There are a bunch of them.
In fact, now I finally understand why business courses are called management. Because it is all about managing. Anything and everything. Your skill is what you bring to the table, and management is what you learn every day.
It happens to the best of us. Because the journey looks different for everyone, but at that exact moment, it’s tough to get over it.
3. Patience seems like a nice skill to preach when you’ve learned it over time. Freelancing is a bit different. It does not care about your will to be taught patience.
It forces you every single day to be patient while you’re growing indifferent. You need to play the long game and, for that, it’s better to have an affair with patience.
You can be one step away from getting that dream client and, you might give up thinking I’m not made for freelancing. Patience is a way of life here.
4. The income roller coaster is a double-edged sword.
Everyone has bills to pay. As college grads or freshers, it might not be an issue, but for someone who left their job, it’s a matter of concern.
Downer months can take a toll on your budget and finances, but there’s only one person who can change that. You know who.
The model is so volatile that it’s hardly sustainable if you just do your work. You have to be a jack of all trades. Mastering one isn’t going to cut it.
3 The it is what it is about freelancing
1. Here comes the good client-bad client part.
Starting out, you’re going to experiment with a lot of different folks, prices, and services. You’ll get all types of clients and slowly discover the appropriate way to deal with them.
You’ll deal with:
- Soul-sucking clients
- Make you feel valued clients
- Everything is only professional clients
Each one will teach you a lot and will help you discover the type of people you want to work with. The choice lies with you.
You can’t save yourself from every bad experience there is because it is what it is. But you can definitely try to avoid them by observing the red flags.
2. The unplanned courage. The courage to try new things, change patterns and break free from things holding you back.
You’ll feel like a new person daily. The one who has to muster up the courage to experiment with something new for growth. Like a life-scientist of sorts, if that’s a term.
From charging a new price to consultations. From launching your product to hiring someone. Freelancing is a pudding of overwhelming experiences. But hey! It is what it is, right?
The final showdown comes to deciding the kind of life you want for yourself.
A full-time job or freelancing or both or one after another. None of the choices are wrong. It only depends on what you want.
My experience with freelancing for the past 2 months has been bittersweet, to say the least.
With that being said, I love how much I’ve explored. The experiences, learning, income roller-coasters, and everything in between.
Freelancing is a long-term game that gets a little more challenging after every level. It doesn’t get easier. You just get better.
You are the master of skill and management. Constantly looking for ways to evolve yourself on a month-over-month basis.
So get some skin in the game and experiment every day.
You’ll discover new things about yourself, the good, the bad, and the it is what it is.