Overcoming The Biggest Challenges Of Being A Freelancing

As much as I love freelancing, I know that not everything thinks it’s all sunshine and rainbows.

Today let’s chat about the challenges that come with freelancing and share some tips to help you handle them.

Finding clients

One of the biggest challenges of being a freelancer is finding clients.

Possible Solutions:

I’ve been thankful that this hasn’t every really been an issue for me. Why? Because I have a strong network of folks who hire me for big-sized projects. Make sure that you’re top of mind with your network by periodically touching base with them and reminding them that you’re available for freelance work. You can do that through email or through social media platforms. LinkedIn is a great one to use.

Keep your pipeline full by thinking ahead. You may have plenty of business now, but do you have any lined up for 3 months from now? Think ahead and be proactive.fle

Managing cash flow

Another challenge of freelancing is managing cash flow. Your income can be unpredictable, making it difficult to plan for the future. You may have periods where you’re swamped with work and making more money than you can handle, followed by dry spells where you’re struggling to pay the bills.

Also, if you’re not accounting for setting aside taxes, that tax bill can really hit you come tax season.

Possible Solutions:

It’s important to develop a solid financial plan. Set aside a portion of your income for taxes, savings, and emergency expenses. Create a budget to help you manage your expenses and cash flow. First, start with how much you expect to earn overall for the year, and what your expenses are. You may find that on certain months you make much more than your minimum, and on some months, much less. On the months that you make more, set aside the excess as a “buffer” to help you get through the months when you make less. It can be difficult to stick t your budget on the months that you’re making excess, but it’s very important to set money aside as a buffer when you’re making variable income like you do when you’re a freelancer.

Maintaining work-life balance

Freelancers can struggle with maintaining a healthy work-life balance. I mean, can’t we all?!

Without the structure of a traditional office environment, it can be easy to let work bleed into your personal life. You may find yourself working late into the night or on weekends just to keep up with your workload.

Personally, I think that this is a plus. I like the flexibility of working late or early or on weekends if I need to get something done because I

But I get how it can get out of hand.

Possible Solutions:

To overcome this challenge, set boundaries around your work hours and stick to them. Create a dedicated workspace that you can leave at the end of the day, and make time for hobbies, exercise, and socializing with friends and family.

Staying motivated

Finally, freelancers face the challenge of staying motivated. Without the pressure of a boss or manager, it can be difficult to stay focused and productive. You may find yourself procrastinating or struggling to stay on task.

Possible Solutions:

It’s important to develop a routine and set goals for yourself. Create a schedule and stick to it, and break your work down into smaller, manageable tasks. Consider using productivity tools and apps to help you stay on track.

Feeling Like You’re An Employee… Without the Benefits

Here’s a common challenge that I hear:

Feeling like you’re an employee without the benefits.

This can easily happen when a company wants a “temporary” worker, but that worker ends up acting as part of the workforce, with the same expectation of the rest of the employees, ie working a full schedule, etc.

Unless you have a very specific goal in mind that is met by doing this, I strongly advise against doing this.

Here’s why:

You’re not getting any of the benefits of freelancing. In this situation, you have a complete lack of flexibility. I hear a lot of people have negative experiences with freelancing, and it often comes back to this reason.

If you find yourself faced with a situation like this, re-examine your why.

These are some signs that you’re not acting as a true freelancer but rather as a temporary “employee”:

  • You’re expected to be available during all business hours, and feel like you need to let them know when you’re going to step away.
  • You “request” vacation instead of scheduling vacation on your own terms.
  • You can’t take on any other clients.

Being a freelancer comes with its own unique challenges. To overcome these challenges, you’ll need to be proactive and take steps to market your services, manage your finances, take care of yourself and your family, and stay motivated.

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