The Jakarta Post
It's tempting to become a freelancer, because of the near unlimited freedom it brings. But do note that there are some difficulties you will face when becoming your own boss. (Shutterstock/-)
Though many chase the freedom associated with going freelance, few can bear the struggles of the first few years. Here are some things you should know before quitting your job to go freelance.
Do it because you love it
Don’t give up your day job just because you want to avoid a problem at work. Being a freelancer is a hard thing as you’ll face many uncertainties that can wear on your emotional wellbeing.
But it is a very different story if you do it for the sake of love, because you will follow your curiosity and won’t feel the pressure of generating some income. When you do what you love, you don’t mind if you don’t get paid at first, or accept low payment. But keep up the good work, and people will notice and money will come later.
Step by step
Don’t give up your day job just yet for something invisible. If you do plan to go freelance, make a step-by-step plan before you’re ready to lose your monthly salary.
Start by taking on a weekend job or sparing one or two hours a day to do freelance work. It doesn’t have to be big, but it will build your confidence to throw yourself in the market and build networks, so when the time comes, you’ll have everything you need and be ready to pursue bigger things.
Have a back-up plan
It takes quite a bit of time and a lot of effort before you are secured financially and ready to harvest the fruits. You’ll more than likely learn by doing, and there will be times when you don’t even get paid; so be ready. Have a financial back-up plan for at least one year so you don’t have to burden anyone while you don't have any income.
Be an artist and businessman
Insecurity is not always bad; it can actually be a great thing. Because you have the urge to make money by doing something – otherwise you won’t earn anything — you can double up your creativity level, while seeing and seeking any opportunity out there.
You are responsible for your own actions
When things go wrong, you have no one to blame but yourself, so you have to pay careful attention to every action you make. Having full control does not mean you can do whatever you like. No matter what, you’ll deal with other businesses, and that means you have to be professional to keep your own venture running.
Let your clients know in advance if you want to take a holiday or travel, or if you can’t be contacted. Be punctual with deadlines and engage in regular networking to build your business.
Contract is important
Whatever your level is, making a contract is important to protect yourself and your money. Treat your service as a real business and make firm terms, such as asking for a deposit before you start doing any work, setting a deadline for payment and fining your client if they’re late in paying you. In the end, you just want to get the money on time in order to pay the bills, right? (kes)