Everyone says it’s important to follow your dreams, but taking a leap into the unknown can be a terrifying prospect when you have a steady job in hand. Working in a traditional and stable job has undeniable benefits, both financially and emotionally, even if you’ve reached the point when you feel it might be time to move on and pursue your own ideas.
Even though going full time as a freelancer can be frightening, it’s also a road that many people have travelled before, which means there are plenty of insights and resources available for someone who is considering going for it. From the fear of being alone, without guidance, in your new venture to logistical worries about taxes, and of course the concern about supporting yourself and your family as a freelancer – we’ll take a look at the most common issues that come up when you’re considering taking the leap to full time.
The Fear of Feeling Lost
One of the most inspiring things we’ve seen at Fiverr is just how many people have taken this step towards independence, and how supportive the community can be of people doing so. In the Fiverr community, there are people making a living freelancing full time, both exclusively through Fiverr and by using Fiverr as an additional tool in building their business. Many of them are active in our forum and they are a great resource for someone who is considering making the transition to full time freelancing, but wants to talk to people about the real challenges that this move can include. The ability to get personal stories and insider tips makes the Fiverr forum an invaluable resource. For additional insights from people who have been there and done that, check out our podcast all about taking the leap to full time freelancing from two of our sellers who have successfully made the transition.
If you are interested in a face-to-face experience, many local business networking organizations offer mentoring or coaching for people launching their own businesses.
The Fear of Tax Implications
One of the biggest worries that many entrepreneurs might have about making the move from a traditional job to full time freelancing is the possibility of tax implications. For more info on that, you check out these helpful tax hacks for freelancers. Tax codes are different around the world of course, but most countries have resources available to make understanding your obligations as an independent worker easier. For example, in the United States, the IRS has an entire page devoted just to distributing information, answering questions, and making it easy to get the forms that you’ll need. In the UK, IPSE acts as a central body that freelancers can turn to for information and assistance. Check out what resources or freelancers unions there are where you live and you might be surprised to find out just how much help is out available.
The Fear of Not Finding Financial Stability
Perhaps the most central question that keeps people from becoming a full time freelancer is simply whether or not it’s possible to have financial stability. The broader answer is “yes” but the real answer is that it depends. As with most things, the devil is in the details, but the good news is that you have more control over the situation than you might think. The number one thing you need to be prepared to do is to plan. You should be seeking work for next week, but also for next month. Your work calendar should be steadily filled, not full of mountains and valleys. If you have too many times when work is overwhelming, the quality of your work will suffer. If you have too many times when there’s not enough work, then financial stress might make it hard to maintain your business. Be strategic about the jobs you seek and accept and you have a better chance of keeping an even and sustainable income.
Don’t Let Fear Hold You Back
Becoming a successful freelancer is all about finding the right balance between planning and flexibility. You never know what opportunities might land on your doorstep, but you also need to be prepared to handle challenges without giving up. Keep up to date with tech sites and freelancing blogs to find great useful tools for everything from time management to invoicing, and of course use Fiverr to fill in any skills gaps that you might have as you build your business. Becoming a full time freelancer doesn’t have to be a leap of faith, it can be a process that begins with a few projects on the side and builds up until you have a solid client base. On the other hand, it’s easy to spend years saying that you’ll do it “one day,” so at some point you have to just jump in. Think of the decision as an adventure and let it be the exciting and invigorating experience that it should be.
Have you taken the leap to start working for yourself? Share your experience with us below.