Why Freelancing Sucks – And What You Can Do To Make It Better
Are you just getting into freelancing and want to know the sucky aspects of it? Maybe you’ve been a freelancer for a while and know what I am about to say, but need some tips on how to make the cruddy aspects of freelancing better? Freelancing is a GREAT career, but it’s not all unicorns and rainbows! Let’s talk about the sucky part of freelancing and how to make it better.
Get ready for freelancing strategies, hacks and tactics to help you skyrocket your success brought to you by Freelancer masterclass calm. You’re listening to freelancing school with your instructor Mike Volkin.
So why does freelancing suck? And how can you make it better? That’s the context of today’s class. You normally hear me talking about why freelancing is great and why you should do it. And I still think that’s very much the case. But there are some sucky aspects of being a freelancer and I’m going to tell you what they are and how you can make them better. The first thing I want to discuss is the dog eat dog world out there of competition. It seems that there are so many freelancers and it’s just growing every year you see the stats from Upwork they do these big studies and how freelancing is just exploding all over the world. People
People just want to make a name for themselves and make a career for themselves and just seems to be an endless supply of marketers and writers and designers and coders. Just the list goes on and on. And every niche There seems to be a flood of competition. Well, how do you overcome that? Well, the first thing you should do is get yourself educated on how to brand yourself and how to niche yourself into the right. Basically, niche yourself the right way into the way that you think that aligns with your passion. And there’s an exercise we do at Freelancer masterclass and how to find your niche and, and really align that with your passion but, but honestly, if you just do the same old Hi, I’m a marketer, I can help you with your marketing. I’m a marketing leader, I have positive return on it. I give positive return on investments for every client, blah, blah, blah. I’m a writer. I do great blog posts and I can really make your stuff go viral. It’s just generic, this generic that that’s not going to get you very far and certainly if you’re a full time freelancer, so
That is one of the reasons why freelancing sucks is that there’s so much competition you do have to know about branding and marketing yourself. Another reason is self motivation is really important for a freelancer, you have to know that you don’t want a regular job and really to experience that hatred have a regular job of you. I really don’t like to use Word hate but if you want to use that term, some people really do not like a regular job getting dressed going to work in traffic and coming home when the man the boss tells you to come home, right? A lot of people don’t like that aspect of it, office politics of it. So in order for you to really be motivated to become a freelancer, you have to experience how much you don’t like
getting a full time job and then you’re going to realize that once you quote unquote don’t have a regular job I say full time but I mean regular job. You have to realize that self motivation is one of the key things
Drivers you have to get up every day and understand that marketing yourself branding yourself getting clients for yourself is the top of the funnel main purpose for your continuation of your job, okay? And if you are not self motivated, none of that will exist. So you have to learn self motivation. How do you do that? There’s tons of ways to learn self motivation. One is just really understanding what value you provide, what passion you provide to this earth, what value you provide to the world why you’re doing what you’re doing. And that’s usually self motivation enough, is not wanting to go back to that nine to five job. Okay? And if that isn’t enough, read a book on self motivation. There’s tons of people out there like Tony Robbins of the world that will give you a lot of yapper a lot of circular logic, a lot of inspirational talk, I find that stuff kind of useless.
Really, because I am the type of person that can be
Just wake up every day and just love what I do and get motivated. I’ve never had that issue. But I do know freelancers that just struggle every day to get up and make money for themselves, right. And if you’re one of those people, learn how to do it through books through courses, or just find your alignment where your passion lies, and it won’t be an issue at all. Another issue, another reason why freelancing sucks is because it’s a lonely way to make a living. You often wonder if anyone’s listening out there. You know, a large part of bringing in clients is creating content. And sometimes you just feel like you’re shouting into an empty room. Is anyone listening? You created a blog post? No one likes it. You created a YouTube video. No one’s viewing it. It’s a lonely way to make a living. You’re in your house many times you’re working for yourself. You don’t have any employees. Most freelancers don’t. So, at some point, you kind of wonder, you know, hey, I wonder what it’s like out there in the real world. Maybe go grab a cup of coffee, sit on the coffee shop. I know lots of freelancers who just get out of the house and use Starbucks.
says their home office. There’s a lot of CO ops. Now if you want to overcome this aspect of feeling lonely as there’s entrepreneurial Co Op offices, I have two in my city alone where you just go and you rent an office for a couple hundred dollars a month, or a cubicle. And you’re among other independent consultants and freelancers out there and you go to work every day and you do deal with that commute. But you have all that regular aspects of get having a job, just you’re going to report to yourself.
Another aspect of why freelancing sucks is you have to learn how to keep it separate, okay, you’ll have to learn how to separate your work in your personal life. There’s a lot of aspects to working on your house that you really don’t know how it’s going to interfere with your daily work day until you experience it. Okay, you have to learn how to manage distractions. All right, so here’s a perfect example not putting down my wife at all. But my wife and I have an 11 week old baby and she’s in the next room over right here. Hopefully she can hear me
In my in my house and I hear the baby crying, I want to go and help out.
I’m at work now. So it’s hard. But at the same time, that is some of the benefits of working for yourself is that you can go and take a break from work for an hour to and work your own hours. And you don’t have to lock yourself in your office from eight to five. But in the case where there’s distractions that take you away from work, you’re going to have to deal with that. And you have to learn how to deal with that. And it’s very difficult sometimes.
Let’s say you have multiple kids and they all want daddy’s attention or mommy’s attention, and they don’t respect a closed door in the home office. That’s something you’re going to have to deal with. And the solution that could be that Co Op office that I just discussed. Another reason why freelancing sucks is you get really excited about making money, right? That first multi thousand dollar contract you’re bringing, you’re like, Whoa, somebody’s paying me $10,000 for a month’s worth of work. That’s incredible. And then you start
Think about all the different ways you can start bringing in clients it really once you get that first one or two clients, there’s that hurdle that you just pass you like, Oh my god, all these ideas start coming in your head and you start to get really excited. And then you start going in all these different directions, right? Well, if this can make money, how come I can’t do this, or maybe I should add this to my business, everything becomes an opportunity. And then when that happens, everything becomes a distraction. Okay? So you really have to manage that and really reel that in and become focused as an entrepreneur and tell yourself that this is the way that I make money now, it doesn’t mean I’m blocking out everything. I’m going to write down ideas. I have what’s called an Evernote app on my phone where I get ideas, I just don’t want to deal with them right now. And then I flush them out later and see how I can I can build my business. But at the same time, I need to stay laser focused on my core central passion about making money. Another reason why freelancing does suck is finding clients does kind of suck i personally
like it because it’s my specialty. And I teach that a freelancer masterclass how I find clients and how you can too,
but with an employer that that the stress doesn’t exist. Alright, finding clients is something that your employer will do for you if you even need to do that. You know, if you’re an HR rep, for example, or a designer, for example, you never have to worry about bringing in clients for your employer. That’s not something you have to do. But if you’re a designer or an HR rep consultant, or freelancer, you’re going to have to learn how to bring in clients. All right, and those two usually don’t translate well if you don’t know how to do that. So you have to learn how to find clients. That’s often the biggest hurdle and reason why it’s called us freelancing is called a side hustle. is because a lot of freelancers don’t know how to do that to make that a full time gig.
Another reason why freelancing sucks is it takes hours to get used to
me mean sorry, the hours take some time to get used to you know if if you feel that
Saturday and Tuesday could be the same for you. That’s possible that you could be a great freelancer. Many, many people, millions of people across the world think that Saturday and Sunday is fun time. And many freelancers don’t ever experience a weekend day the same that they do as if they were working for a full time Freelancer for a full time consultant. Or I’m sorry, geez, my focus is off now. They don’t experience the same hours I do working for a full time employer. Now, you can structure your day as a freelancer to say Saturdays and Sundays are off. But if you’re someone like me, and you know that other freelancers out there are competing for your business, and that Saturdays and Sundays are not time off. It’s an opportunity for you to get ahead and scale your business when other freelancers are taking time off then. That’s, that’s bad. If there’s guys out there like that like me, that can take the
business from you, if you’re in my niche, and I’ll be working on Saturdays and Sundays and you’re not, so you have to have that mental mindset of is today Saturday, it doesn’t really matter. Okay? That doesn’t mean you’re working seven days a week. That just means you’re structuring your weekly different maybe Tuesdays are your day off. I highly encourage you taking a day off. But if you’re taking the same days off as your competitors, then you are putting yourself in alignment with those competitors. Okay, you got to think about how you’re going to separate yourself from competitors. Are you Saturdays Saturday mornings is ketchup time. I like to catch up on work that I missed out on, or I’m not falling behind on. I’ll take Saturday. evenings and afternoons off. Sure. But Saturday morning is my work time. Thursdays are usually my day off. It’s just something the pattern of my day I just something I
told my clients is that Thursdays I don’t take appointments. I’ll talk to you on Saturday mornings, or I’ll catch up on work on Saturdays. It’s just my flow, you’ll come up with your own flow. Another big reason why freelancing stuff
There’s no benefits, no work equals no pay. If you’re sick, you don’t get paid. Okay? There’s really no way around that, except that you have to manage. Try not to be sick. So there are ways to do that a lot of people ignore their health and I could make a whole video or podcast about this as managing your health as a freelancer. Actually, that’s a good idea. Mike, I’ll note that down. I take as a freelancer, I take daily vitamins I take supplements, because now my health is that much more important, especially as a child, you know, child children have germs, they come home with all sorts of stuff that you can get sick from. You have to really manage that keep up with your fitness.
I like those watches that force you to do 10,000 steps a day and remind you that if you’re, if you’re not going to hit that number, if that’s what it takes for you to get fit, then go ahead and do that schedule an hour a day for fitness. You’ll be surprised at how little you get sick. I rarely get sick maybe once a year. I’ve won a couple years recently where I didn’t get sick at all.
And when I do, it’s very minor. Okay?
It used to not be that way when I was working at an office, as an employer or for an employer, I get colds and stuff because other people come to work sick. I get frequent, frequently sick just like everybody else. But now I don’t. Another reason why freelancing suck. It’s it sucks is it’s difficult conversations are more frequent. So negotiating pay, determining your scope of work deadlines to clients, all that kind of stuff sucks. But I’ll tell you a solution to that is experience. It gets better over time, I really don’t have an issue negotiating pay. In fact, I rarely even have that conversation with clients now. Just because of the way I structure my discovery calls and I tell them flat out what, what it’s going to cost and I build my value in and they don’t even question it. scope of work does. It’s always going to be there because you have to determine what you’re going to be charging your client for, and the deadlines to the client. But that’s a conversation that just gets easier over time. So I hope you understand that
freelancing is not all cherries, rainbows and unicorns. I’m not sure how cherries got into that sentence but rainbows and unicorns are always great. But freelancing is a fantastic way to make a career but there are some crappy aspects to it and I hope this video and podcast helped you understand those aspects and how to overcome them. Good luck. Thank you for joining us for freelancing school. Be sure to subscribe to get the latest updates on the show. Go to freelancing masterclass calm to become a master freelancer.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai