The Dark Side of Freelancing: Its Not as Easy as You Think

I am a huge advocate of Freelancing not just because this saved me when I shut down my very first business but this, of course, is the future. (I would be sharing that story some other day.)

Freelancing is not for everyone. This is more challenging then you have been told. This is not easy money. The ever-changing world of emerging technologies makes it even hard.

The purpose of this post is not to discourage you but make you aware of some of the top challenges you should be prepared for.

Let’s discuss:

  • Forget the difference between day and night, you have to deliver your work on time. It can’t be automated and needs a lot of legwork. It’s not for lazy people.
  • Your income is directly proportional to the number of hours you’re working. The number of hours is fixed, unfortunately, so you have to increase the amount (keeping the quality constant) per hour but that also comes with a limit.
  • You are NOT your own boss but are going to have multiple clients (read bosses). Have patience and strong communication skills or be willing to learn.
  • You need to be a one-man army and are supposed to manage anything and everything including Business Development, Client Relationship, Invoicing & Signing Contracts, Keeping track of taxes, and Personal Branding. Get ready to wear a lot of hats and be very disciplined.
  • No job security, no paid vacations, no health insurance, no employer benefits, no unemployment benefits, no paternity leave, and no paid time off. Earn enough to pay for everything yourself.
  • ROI which rises and falls “like a bipolar”. The bucks stop with you and you have to hustle 24/7 for new gigs at times. Freelancers have to be very disciplined to keep the balance of business development and working on the projects.
  • As a full-time freelancer, you need to keep an eye on emerging trends and should have the ability to quickly figure out which trends would benefit your freelance business the most. (Awais Sarfaraz)
  • Paypal is the most widely used payment gateway and it has NO replacement. Paypal doesn’t support Pakistan and Government seems less interested to find out what it takes to make a good case. This is a must for Freelancers who want to up their game and come out of Freelancing portals.

Anything else you would like to add? Share in the comments below.