Working as a freelancer is a dream for many people. But does anyone have what it takes to become one of them? Definitely not! Although many can deliver specific tasks, remaining in the business and leveraging all the opportunities requires a big dosage of resilience and preparation. Freelancers are small entrepreneurs who can organize themselves very well. Hence, to start this activity, you would need to consider if you are willing to develop the following aspects.
Being motivated is essential to succeed as a freelancer. But starting with motivation is not enough. You need to find ways to boost it and recharge it whenever you need it. Since you won’t be surrounded by workmates and colleagues to have a civil discourse, you will rely only on your own capacity. Working alone is the biggest challenge to overcome the lack of motivation. So, the best strategy would start by finding a digital network that supports you. Also, you can rely on an off-line network of friends and relatives to cheer you up. When that is not enough, then try with personal development courses and your local church, among others. You can also read anonymous motivational stories from sites like The Doe. What is really important to understand is that you will need a continuous source of encouragement and a positive approach to your work.
Not all freelance jobs are specifically related to technology. However, to process and deliver your work, you will need to rely on technology. That includes research, formatting, and so on. The good news is that you can improve as time goes by. At first, you might work well with basic tools but you can improve as you practice and need to use them. Some of the basic tools include word processors, PDF programs, and editing software. For any type of work, you will need at least one of them. For instance, if you work as a writer, a word processor is essential. If you need to prepare your portfolio, you will need to convert to PDF several files. This format ensures a better quality of presentation. Also, when potential clients access the documents, they visualize exactly what you prepared. Most importantly, you can convert many types of documents and formats to PDF without losing data.
The first approach to freelancing might lead you to think that you will work at any time of the day and will do whatever you want. But that is far from reality. Freelancers need to have a huge dosage of discipline to be able to deliver on time and with high-quality. Moreover, distractions are always around and you would need to be strong to skip them. They can consist of procrastination or a bunch of friends who always ask you out. To strengthen your discipline, you should be able to prepare and follow schedules, create plans, and organize your work. Moreover, you should know your body, follow healthy routines and be able to stick to a plan. And, most importantly, deliver what you offer to your clients. Self-discipline also applies to the kind of things you do to improve your work. Among them, courses and workshops that keep you updated with the latest technologies and the field you work on.
Becoming a freelancer implies becoming a small size entrepreneur. In the beginning, you might only need to handle basic activities related to your field. But if you want to advance and grow up to get more clients and more work, you will need to do many things. That includes marketing, finances, operations, tech support, and everything you need to stay in the business. Although you can outsource some functions, you always need to be in total control of everything. Lucky for you, you can learn many of those skills. As you learn to handle all of them, your freelance business can grow too. You might also need to travel to a foreign country to complete this training or some professional task. Make sure to obtain an international driving permit to be able to drive around the new city and quickly get things done.
You may consider working as a freelancer as an adventure. Since you will need discipline, motivation, and other numerous skills, you will need to treat it like that. But if you do it well the results can be very rewarding. It is about being patient and resilient until the best opportunity appears. Most importantly, it can become the definitive step to scale your profession and career.
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