If you are thinking about becoming self-employed you have probably already spent quite a bit of time online trying to find out what life as a freelancer is going to be like. Unfortunately, there are quite a few common misconceptions out there, and you will probably read a lot of myths about the life of a freelancer.
Trust me, I hear it all the time “well, you just get to go to the beach every day, right?” and “oh you’ll never be able to re-mortgage”. To help you figure things out and work out whether going freelance is the best option for you, here are some of the most common myths about freelancing busted.
Myth 1: You Will Never Own Your Own Home
Big old NOPE, right here! Lots of people believe that being a freelancer means that you will no longer be financially stable, this doesn’t be further from the truth. I make more money being my own boss than I ever did working for somebody else, which makes saving dead easy.
Whilst technically it has the chance to be unstable, I always have people wanting to work with me and I have a loyal client-base, so I actually feel more stable than ever. If I need extra money for any reason (we’re looking at going somewhere epic for our honeymoon…) then I just do a bit more work, it’s really that easy.
I bought a house before I quit my job to go freelance because I thought I’d never be able to do it once going self-employed. It’s true, you need three years of accounts before they consider looking at you, but once you’ve got that then there’s no problem. It’ll fly by, I’m already 2 years in and I’m not planning on moving yet, so it’s worked out perfectly for me.
If you are worried about buying a house and then experiencing a significant drop in your income, you might want to speak to dicksonlegal.com or a similar foreclosure expert. They will be able to inform you of the measures you could take to protect your home in the event that freelancing didn’t work out for you.
Myth 2: You Won’t Have To Answer To Anyone Else
Hate to break it to you, but nope! One of the main benefits that most people think of when they think of freelancing is that they can be their own boss and won’t have to answer to anyone else. However, this isn’t strictly true… After all, you will still have to work for clients and make sure that you follow their instructions and stick to everything they tell you.
I can’t just disappear and not answer my client’s emails, they’re the ones that is paying my mortgage and my business expenses. There is always someone you need to answer to if you are going to continue getting new contracts and projects as a freelancer. The silver lining is that you are in charge of the situation though.
I’ve worked in jobs before where I’ve been bullied and harassed but still had to carry on working. When your freelance you can simply decline work if you feel like it’s becoming too taxing on you financially or emotionally.
Myth 3: Freelancers Just Can’t Find Employment
Definitely not true. When I first went freelance I left a great job at a digital marketing agency on the beach. The pay was good, the people were lovely, we had flexi-time, and we got free food on a Friday. What more could I ask for!? This was the number 1 reason I was so scared of going freelance because I actually had a great job.
Lots of people choose to be self-employed because they want to be. They might prefer working from home, choosing the exact projects they work on, or not having to deal with colleagues in the office. In fact, there are quite a few reasons why people choose to be freelance, some of which are outlined at creativeboom.com.
For me, the driving factor behind quitting my job was to regain the work-life balance that I craved. I felt like I was wasting away the best years of my life behind a desk when I could be outside enjoying life. Now that I’ve been my boss for 2 years, there are a hundred reasons I wouldn’t go back to working for somebody else (that’s for another post). It was the best decision I ever made, and my only regret is not doing it sooner.
Myth 4: Freelancers Get To Do Whatever They Want
This is probably the biggest myth of them all! Of course, freelancers can choose what work they take on to a certain degree, but when there isn’t much work going around, they just can’t afford to be choosy. After all, waiting around for their dream project to turn up could result in them missing out on a few months’ worths of work from other less desirable projects. At the end of the day, you need to go where the money is!
It also means that just because it’s 33 degrees outside doesn’t mean you can just take the week off. If you did that, you’d have very unhappy clients and your business would probably tank. But hey, that doesn’t mean you can’t take your laptop in the garden or down to the beach and piggy-back off the café’s WiFi.
Whilst being freelance is full of opportunity and it’s undoubtedly the happiest I’ve ever been in my entire life, it’s not always what it seems. We’re working our butts off over here to keep the roof over our head, and we’re not just sunbathing promise! 🍑