The internet is full of advice and information for freelancers, often written by freelancers or people who want to make money off of them. A lot of this advice and information is great and incredibly useful for those of us early on in our freelancing journey.
But today, I want to dispel a few freelancing myths based on things I have read online that have left me smh and saying “UHHHH, NUH”.
Because quite frankly, there are things about being a freelancer that you definitely *shouldn’t* believe, especially if that information is the basis for you to stick your middle finger up at the corporate world and try to make it on your own.
Freelancing Myth #1: Paying for an expensive course all about creating a course will make you an overnight success
Courses won’t make you an overnight success, and they might not even be right for your business. I’ve been freelancing since September of last year and I still don’t have a course and although I’m not rolling in the dollar (at all lol), I’ve done just fine without forking out hundreds of £’s on a course made by an American entrepreneur who will just tell me how to make a course and how it will “transform” my business. Screw that freelancing myth! I will transform my business with hard work and dedication and not by putting all my eggs in one basket.
Creating a course is something I want to look at in the future as a more passive long-term source of income, but I know full well that they take a long time to create (done properly) and that’s time that at the moment I would prefer to invest in going out and meeting potential clients through the method that works best for me – networking.
If you want to create a course, then crack on and if you need some help doing it then make sure to do your research before investing your hard-earned cash. Don’t be suckered in by that Facebook ad which promises instant success at “the low, low cost of $300”.
Freelancing Myth #2: You must know exactly where you want your business to be in 5/10 years now or you won’t be successful
Bitch please, I don’t know where my business will be at in the next 5/10 weeks. Forward planning is important, but do it at the rate you feel comfortable with. Want to set goals just for the next month? Do it. Keep on reassessing on a monthly basis if that works best for you.
When you first establish your business, you will change your mind a lot about things. Embrace it. Experiment and learn as you go rather than having concrete expectations of yourself and your success. Thinking 5/10 years ahead will only cause stress and confusion, so as long as you still want to be in business in 5/10 years, the rest you’ll figure out along the way!
Freelancing Myth #3: “Follow these three steps to earn thousands of pounds in your first month!”
This is probably the most infuriating of the freelancing myths out there, because when you first start your business it can feel like a scramble to figure out how you’re going to start earning.
If I had a £1 for every time I saw bullshit on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Youtube about how you can earn thousands in your first month, or few months of freelancing…well, I wouldn’t need to get my other half to buy the majority of the food shopping.
While I’m sure there are people out there who are able to earn significant amounts early on in their journey, I can pretty much guarantee its because they were in a position to invest a lot of money in their business from the beginning. I was not, and I imagine most people aren’t.
These social media ads and videos are designed to make you buy from the creator (well, 9 times out of 10 anyway). As long as you remember that every freelancer’s journey is different, you’ll be fine. It’s very much like a rollercoaster and sometimes it can be slow to start or feel like it’s on a downward track for a while, but it will pick back up if you’re willing to stay motivated and work on it.
For example, in month 1 of freelancing, I earned exactly £0 of freelance income. In month two, I had one of my best months to date. Followed by another month of £0. But then it picked up again. If you could see my cashflow spreadsheet, it is all over the place in terms of how much I earn in any given month. Yes, it’s stressful but when the work is coming in the reward isn’t all about the money.
Freelancing Myth #4: You just sit around in your pyjamas all day
Many freelancers probably can spend the majority of their day in their pyjamas (I’ve done it on the odd occasion), but I wanted to include this particular freelancing myth as I think it’s a perception others have about freelancers – that somehow they aren’t working as hard because they get to work their own hours from home.
A lot of the time, I am out and about networking or going to meet a potential/existing client. I definitely cannot get away with my pjs in those situations. Plus, I also like dressing the part to get my mindset in the right place for a productive day so the pyjamas are traded for a comfy pair of jeans and a nice blouse/shirt type top. Yes, I might still be wearing my fluffy slippers with this get-up, but I’m feeling much more “on it” than if I was still rocking the jammies.
Equally, if you work best in your comfies, then that’s fine too. We’re all different but I can tell you with confidence that no freelancer is lazy – their business simply wouldn’t work if they were.
So there we have it – just a few freelancing myths that grind my gears. If you’re a freelancer, are there any myths you would add? Or if you aren’t, are there any preconceptions you have of the freelance lifestyle?