If you have ever daydreamed about setting your own hours, working from home, and choosing your clients, then you have surely thought about freelancing at some point. The freelance market has been steadily growing over the last five years and people who decide to take the plunge are reporting greater happiness than before. Still, it is a daunting career move that unnerves even the most confident. Before you take the leap of faith into the freelance world, there are some easy ways to test the waters and get the ball rolling.
Anything, but not Everything
Productivity author David Allen’s most famous quote is, “you can do anything, but not everything.” This is the perfect place to start, as you ponder a freelance career. It is important to narrow your focus. This means that within the industry itself, and the skills you are offering. Think of it this way, have you ever gotten a great multi-tool device that does all things well? Me neither. Narrow your skill set to your most marketable and well-developed skill. Start there.
This seems obvious, and an obvious obstacle, but it need not be insurmountable. There are two ways to go about gaining the all-important experience. You could work in the industry that you hope to freelance in. This allows you to build a reputation within your field, develop connections that you can maintain post 9-5, and most importantly, develop and polish a unique skill. If you can’t break into the industry the traditional way, or don’t want too, you can also get experience and build your portfolio by doing some work in exchange for testimonials or foundations for your resume. Notice, I did not say free. To simply offer up your time and skills for free will not advance you in the direction needed. However, if you get some value, even extremely long-term, unpaid value, out of your interaction than it may be worth doing to gain experience.
Get Over Yourself
Often the biggest obstacle towards achieving what we desire is our self. We create nightmare scenarios and allow self-doubt to flood our minds. But ask yourself, what is really the worst that can happen? You are not going to starve to death on the cold pavement outside your home. Maybe it is a failure, but in the long run, would you consider taking a chance on your own skills for once in your life a bad decision. Get over yourself and set some achievable goals today.
No. You Do Not Need It to Start.
Stop saying it is too complicated and overanalyzing every step of the way. That is just allowing yourself not to begin because you are afraid of the results. You do not need a business name to get going. You do not need a business bank account. You do not need to have an L.L.C. established. You do not need expensive inventory tracking software. You do need to get started and make mistakes, then learn from them what you truly need
An ounce of action towards building your freelance business is worth more than the pounds of thought you have already put into it. The countless hours spent daydreaming at your desk of the independence that thousands of workers are experiencing right now can be yours. There is no one place to start, so start in one place and move on from there. Action, not thought is the priority here.
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