Five Ways Aspiring Freelancers Can Shut Down the Haters


You have a dream to be your own boss but zero support.  Friends tell you to go where the money is, your mate may tell you to stick with your regular job, and your family cares about stability.  All of those things may make sense but life is short and letting things pass you by can lead to feelings of regret.  While I just told you something you probably already know, each day is crucial to you becoming the person you desire.

Now, haters are a unique bunch.  Often they have aspirations they want to pursue but don't know how or are scared of failure.  They may have failed at something when they were younger and the memory won't go away.  Although this situation is sad, you don't have to be a part of their misery.  Let a psychologist handle that one.

Back to you.  It helps first to look at all aspects of freelancing or running a small business.  Yes, some areas are easy to enter with low cost and zero overhead...but is it for you?  Some professions may require you to return to school or join a networking group to learn the ins and outs. Do your homework before you tell your boss/job where to go.

While every situation is different, money is earned the same way.  Yup, it's only with an active client base you can experience success and that takes work.  The competition was stiff 12 years ago when the recession hit and the pandemic has forced many to find a new way to make money.  We're not all meant to be cybersecurity specialists, nurses, or Wal-Mart store personnel. This means that more people doing what they can to make things happen instead of waiting on their unemployment check.

So, here are some basics that will let most people know that you're serious.  Yes, there are many books and online tutorials that cover this but you can't always live in the moment.  Having a real game plan not only helps you get ahead but acts as a guideline for when things fall through.

1. Save as much of your money as possible.  If you need to go frugal, go for it because there's a chance that your living above your means anyway.  Most freelancers will say doing work they enjoy for longer hours makes them not miss things like frivolous shopping trips. It also covers you in the case of no-/slow-paying clients.  Also, saving early will spare you from having to lean on haters for spare cash later.  

2. Recognize the difference between a gig worker, freelancer, and small business owner.  While all three pay taxes directly to the government after earning a certain amount, the possibility of growth is key here.  For instance, someone who races through Whole Paycheck as an Amazon contractor may enjoy certain freedoms but this is different than someone who has set up their own delivery operation.  The former may have advantages for students and others looking to make a few dollars.  However, time has a way of passing and one's cost of living is something to consider.

3. Do not make outsourcing companies your primary or singular source of income.  Don't get me wrong!  These are great for getting your feet wet and possibly networking (within designated guidelines) but there's no accountability for when clients go away with your work.  Others that require prepayment (like rideshare or delivery services) sometimes require contractors work all damn day to make a modest living.  Once again, a person may feel being in the outdoors instead of a stuffy office is a better choice for the moment, think about the money, honey.

4.  Make a practical productivity plan.  If you work online, it's easy to get distracted during slow periods.  Allocate how much time will be spent proposing new clients, tending to social media duties, or administrative tasks.  This is different than a formal business plan, as it describes which tasks should be completed on each day of the week.  Newbies often find they want to do it all - from bookkeeping to web design - but maintaining a balance is a challenge, to say the least.  I encourage giving it a try, though!

via Gfycat

5. Brush off the haters altogether.  Sometimes, you may realize they weren't your friends to begin with, and moving ahead may be a sign for you to part ways.  Families may know your weaknesses (and may remember these better than your strengths) but there's no law that says you can't prove them wrong.  Just use caution and keep your network relevant to what you're trying to achieve in your personal and professional life.  Either way, just replace the losers with people who you can learn from and are willing to offer constructive criticism.