When I started as a freelancer a couple of years ago, I had no idea that this will become my full-time occupation and my major source of income. I started out of sheer curiosity but now I feel I have found the right job for me.
Being a freelancer can vary from great (as is in my case), to so-so (as is for many people), to devastating (as is for those who do not qualify to be their own boss). I don’t mean to insult anybody but being a freelancer is not for everybody. The fact that freelancing is fashionable or that you have heard of somebody, who has made a lot of money from freelancing, is hardly a serious motive for you to jump into the deep waters.
I have noticed that I am a role model for many people. While this is sometimes kind of flattering, I am usually annoyed when somebody copies my ideas and actions and later comes on sobbing that I have misled him or her. Yes, I know many people who have tried to make a living out of freelancing and who have failed because their judgment about their skills was somehow inadequate. In my opinion, some of the reasons why people fail as freelancers are as follows:
1.Lack of skills. When you have a full-time, 9-5 job you develop the skills required for this position and more or less you forget everything else, because you simply don’t need it. But when you work as a freelancer, you can rarely afford such a narrow specialization, even if there are a lot of projects, which require exactly the skills you currently have. No, I don’t mean that you should know 10 programming languages, 5 databases and operating systems, PhotoShop, Flash, and every other major technology on Earth in order to be a successful freelance programmer but you do need to know a lot and to maintain yourself it top shape. So, if you are not willing to constantly update your “knowledge base”, then a 9-5 job might be the better choice.
2.Inability to communicate. I work mainly with technical people and it is true that most of them do not know how to communicate effectively. Of course, there are many exceptions to the rule but generally speaking, the majority of people who have the technical skills for freelancing, have no sales and marketing skills, which are equally important. Sales, marketing and communication skills as a whole might be a small portion of the skills you need but without them all your technical expertise is void.
3.Time management and other organizational issues. Being your own boss means that you have to manage effectively your schedule. I admit that even for well-organized people “Deadline” is a dreaded word and often a deadline = a missed deadline but when you simply don’t know how to work, when you are most effective, how much workload you can handle, etc., failure is round the corner.
4.Poor English. English is the …