Estimated reading time: 2 mins
Life as a freelancer – to those who have never done it – might sound ideal. What could be better than not having a boss, being able to set your own schedule, and picking and choosing the work you want to do? To those who spend their lives chained to a desk, it sounds ideal.
As any freelancer knows, however, it’s not always quite like that.
Freelancers tend to have to deal with a lot of fear when it comes to their work. This can sometimes be enough to make some return to the world of employment, just to try and quash the voice in their head that is constantly shouting with doubts. That’s a real shame, because many of the freelancer fears have solutions – you just have to be willing to look for them.
FEAR: Not Having Enough Work
If a freelancer is lucky, they will never struggle for work. They will always have their new project planned the moment their current one finishes.
However… it’s pretty rare for a freelancer to go through their career without a few phases when they don’t have as much work as they want or need. The fear of those dips and slow downs is often enough to truly trouble the ability to sleep at night – so how can you handle it?
Fix – It’s not easy, but even if you are working a huge number of hours per day on your current project, you still have to set time aside to look for other work. You also have to make sure you are well and truly promoting yourself as well as you can. It’s easy enough to build a site selling your skills and work on digital marketing strategies to make sure that potential clients can find you rather than you constantly having to go to them.
FEAR: Falling Ill And Not Being Able To Take Sick Days
It’s a sad reality that freelancers often have to work (quite literally) from their sickbed because, of course, they don’t get sickness benefits. Not only does this make life difficult when you’re actually going through it – few of us can work to the best of our abilities when we’re running a fever! – but it can also cause concern even when well, worrying about the possibility of it happening.
Fix – Every time you have an invoice paid, put aside a small amount – 5% will be sufficient – and use this fund as a sickness benefit for yourself. It’s not a perfect solution, but it will stop you having to work when you really should be resting.
FEAR: Getting Tax Wrong
Tax when you’re a freelancer can be a minefield. There’s no convenient accounting department to do it for you, so you’re stuck trying to learn all the rules, regulations, and filing requirements for yourself.
Fix – As soon as your income allows, hire an accountant – they are worth their weight in gold. Considering making a mistake on your taxes could literally land you in prison, this is something that no freelancer who is serious about their career can afford to scrimp on.