It’s not easy starting out as a freelancer. There are so many things that can go wrong with a freelance career, and you have to learn how to deal with them in order to avoid burning out.
The truth is, even the most experienced freelancers worry about their careers from time to time.
According to a survey conducted by the Freelancers Union and Upwork, more than half of all freelancers have experienced burnout in the past year. The most common cause: stress from finding new clients.
The same study found that 70% of freelancers are concerned about their financial security. That’s understandable given the instability of freelance income, but it’s also understandable why financial worries would make it even harder for those same freelancers to find and keep clients.
You might be worried about the competitiveness of your niche, or about whether you’ll ever make enough money to quit your day job. You might worry that your clients won’t keep coming back, or that you won’t get any new clients at all.
Worries like these are normal — but they’re not productive. If you let them run free in your mind, they can slow down your progress and even derail your freelance career for good.
But it doesn’t have to be this way. You can get over your worries and move on with your freelance careers if you follow these steps:
|Recognize and address your worries about your freelance career.
|Identify the specific challenges or concerns that are causing you anxiety.
|Seek support and advice from other freelancers or industry professionals.
|Develop a plan to overcome your worries by setting achievable goals and taking small steps.
|Build confidence by focusing on your strengths and past successes.
|Stay proactive and continuously improve your skills and knowledge.
|Embrace a positive mindset and cultivate resilience in the face of setbacks.
|Network and connect with potential clients or collaborators to expand your opportunities.
|Stay informed about industry trends and adapt to changes in the freelance market.
|Prioritize self-care and maintain a healthy work-life balance.
1. Getting Over Fear
The first step in getting over fear is understanding that fear is just an emotion. It doesn’t mean anything about who you are as a person or what kind of success you can achieve as a freelancer. In fact, some of the best entrepreneurs such as Elon Musk in the world have had to deal with crippling fears before their first successes
Instead of worrying about things that may or may not happen, it’s better to focus on the present. You can set goals for the future and make plans, but don’t let your worries stop you from moving forward with your freelance business today.
Freelancing can be challenging, but there comes a moment when it all clicks into place. Discover how to reach that point of ease and success in our article on The Moment When Freelancing Isn’t Hard At All.
2. Find a Healthy Balance
Working 24×7 might sound cool but it really isn’t. You have to give time to yourself as well and that’s where finding balance comes in. Figure out what works for you and keep doing it. This can be anything from working out daily to practising yoga once a week or meditating every morning – whatever works best for you!
Working from home as a freelancer offers flexibility, but it also comes with unique challenges. Discover practical tips and strategies for freelancers who work from home in our insightful article at Tips for Freelancers Who Work from Home.
3. Be Organized
Don’t get me wrong! I am not saying that you should keep your desk clean all the time in order to be organized (although that will help!). But, being organized means you should have a clear cut idea about what tasks you need to complete at the end of each day or every few hours. Make sure you don’t procrastinate because that will only add more piles of work to your plate!
Building a client base as a freelance copywriter or editor takes time and effort. Learn effective strategies to build your freelance client portfolio in your spare time in our detailed guide on How to Build Freelance Copywriting & Editing Clients in Your Spare Time.
4. Know What You Want To Achieve
The first step towards improving your freelance career is knowing what you want to achieve. What do you want in life? Do you want to earn more money or do you want to have a happy family? It would help if you had a goal so that you can work towards it.
In additional, without a clear goal, you will have a hard time figuring out the next steps that you need to take to improve your freelance career.
Here are some ways to help you set your goals and find the motivation that you need:
Set S.M.A.R.T. Goals
S.M.A.R.T stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-bound goals. This is a common technique used by many people and companies to set their goals and accomplish them.
Is freelancing just a side gig for you? Learn why it shouldn’t be and what you need to know about freelancing as a full-time career in our comprehensive guide on Why Freelancing Isn’t a Side Gig and What You Need to Know If It Is Your.
5. Don’t Compare Yourself To Others
We all want to be successful in our own way, but sometimes we measure success by comparing ourselves to others. This comparison game can be dangerous because it can sabotage your self-esteem and cause you to doubt yourself.
So instead of measuring yourself against others, measure yourself against who you were yesterday or last year. This is a much healthier and more accurate way to track your success as a freelancer because it is based on your own personal growth rather than what others.
Outsourcing work on Upwork can be a game-changer for freelancers. Discover the top 10 best practices for effectively outsourcing your projects on Upwork in our informative article at Top 10 Best Practices for Outsourcing Your Work on Upwork.
So what’s the takeaway here?
If you’re worried about your freelance career, my suggestion is to try and enjoy yourself. You also have to think realistically about what’s actually going on—are you really worried about losing business, or are you just afraid to take that next step?
Whatever the case, try and get a handle on things. Talk with other freelancers, read some motivational articles, take on a few new clients; there are many ways to put your career back on track. And remember—with hard work, diligence and a positive attitude, you can achieve just about anything you want.
Here are some additional resources to explore:
5 Common Fears People Have About Freelancing and How to Overcome Them: Learn about common fears associated with freelancing and discover effective strategies to overcome them.
Freelance Crisis: How to Deal with the Challenges: Gain insights into the challenges faced by freelancers and find practical tips on how to navigate through a freelance crisis.
What You Should Do If You Want to Go Freelance: Explore essential steps and considerations for transitioning into a freelance career successfully.
Here are some frequently asked questions about freelancing:
How do I overcome the fear of freelancing?
Overcoming the fear of freelancing requires acknowledging your concerns and developing strategies to mitigate them. Building a strong support network, setting realistic expectations, and gradually transitioning into freelancing can help alleviate fear and increase confidence.
How can I manage the financial uncertainty of freelancing?
Managing the financial uncertainty of freelancing involves creating a budget, establishing an emergency fund, diversifying your client base, and setting realistic financial goals. Additionally, considering freelancing insurance options and maintaining a consistent income stream can provide stability.
How do I find clients as a freelancer?
Finding clients as a freelancer involves various strategies, such as networking, building an online presence, leveraging social media platforms, attending industry events, and utilizing freelance job platforms. Offering high-quality services, showcasing a portfolio, and seeking referrals can also help attract clients.
What legal and administrative aspects should I consider as a freelancer?
As a freelancer, it’s essential to consider legal and administrative aspects, such as registering your freelance business, understanding tax obligations, creating contracts or agreements with clients, and protecting your intellectual property rights. Consulting with a legal professional or accountant can provide further guidance.
How do I maintain work-life balance as a freelancer?
Maintaining work-life balance as a freelancer requires setting boundaries, establishing a schedule, prioritizing self-care, and learning to manage time effectively. Creating a designated workspace, setting realistic expectations, and embracing time-management techniques can contribute to a healthy work-life balance.
Q.What is freelancer anxiety?
A. Freelancer anxiety is the stress and worry associated with the ups and downs of running a freelance business. Some people experience it as a tightness in the chest, others as an inability to concentrate, or maybe a sense of unease. The physical sensations are as varied as the people who feel them, and everyone experiences them differently.
Q. How can I get rid of freelancer anxiety?
A. There’s no doubt that freelancing is a stressful profession. The stakes are high in the sense that you are your own boss. That means you are solely responsible for making things work and bringing in the money.
If you’re going to be a successful freelancer, you need to be proactive about stress management. Fortunately, there’s plenty of advice out there for how to beat anxiety, become successful and make your work life less stressful.
Q. What should I do if I have a fear of failure as a freelancer?
A. You can start by dealing with the fear of failure itself. Stop telling yourself that you’re going to fail or that there’s something wrong with you. These are negative thoughts, and they have no place in your brain. Instead, focus on what you want to achieve, rather than what you don’t want to happen. For example, instead of thinking “I’m going to fail,” think “I’m going to succeed.” It’s that simple.
Q. I’m afraid of not being able to pay my bills as a freelancer. What can I do?
A. This can be a very real concern for many people. But it’s important to remember that nothing is permanent. There will always be ups and downs in life and work, and it’s up to us how we deal with them. If you’re having trouble paying your bills right now, don’t panic! Take some time to figure out what steps you can take today to improve your situation.
Costantine Edward is a digital marketing expert, freelance writer, and entrepreneur who helps people attain financial freedom. I’ve been working in marketing since I was 18 years old and have managed to build a successful career doing what I love.