Freelancing is a rewarding and exhilarating career move for anyone who wants more freedom and flexibility in both their schedule and their earning potential. However, the road to becoming a freelancer isn’t an overnight success, and there’s very little chance that you’ll enjoy a six-figure salary and Mai Tais on the beach within days of your new freelancing lifestyle. It takes patience, commitment, and effort to turn a freelance gig into a full-time job, but it certainly can be accomplished since it’s been done by so many before you. One way to make your freelancing efforts a bit easier is by knowing exactly what you shouldn’t do. In this post, we will learn from the common mistakes many freelancers make and what you can do to avoid them.
The first mistake we’ll look at is not setting a routine for yourself. Failing to set up a routine is one of the biggest pitfalls of so many first-time freelancers. After all, wasn’t the purpose of becoming a freelancer to escape the drudgery of the traditional 9-5 office job? Yes, but a basic routine is still necessary for financial and career success as a freelancer. The best freelancers understand that self-discipline is a necessary component of their work. Freelancers are their own bosses, so they must set their own rules. Have set times in mind of when you will work, when you will finish working, and where you will work. Something as simple as a routine will provide you with the focus needed to get your freelancing work done.
Trying to do everything at once is another extremely common mistake that freelancers who are just starting out make. You may feel that to hustle you have to take on every single job or income opportunity that comes your way. But when you do this, you just spread yourself too thin. Not only will you quickly exhaust yourself, but this method will prove to be counterproductive, and therefore you won’t be doing as much as you potentially could be doing. Instead of trying to do everything at once, pick which jobs or gigs you want to do and can reasonably take on and put all of your focus on those. Don’t think about anything else until you have that work done.
When you are in the beginning stages of your freelancing journey, it is easy to get sucked into 12 hour days and the workaholic lifestyle. Set boundaries for yourself so that you don’t end up neglecting your personal life. In addition to having a start and end time for your freelance work day, make sure not to neglect the areas of your personal life such as your relationships and your health. Without maintaining important connections with loved ones and keeping your mind and body in shape, it will be extremely difficult to have the energy needed to be successful in your work. Make it a priority to balance your work life with exercise, hobbies, and quality time with friends and family.