Another week, and another person I work with is deciding to ditch the nine-to-five and make their fortune as a freelancer. Which has me thinking. As much as I enjoy the security of a salaried position and the atmosphere of working in an office with other people, there’s a part of me that wouldn’t mind working from home. It’d save on ironing for starters.
And I’m not the only one.
On Twitter, down the pub, on the bus – it seems like everyone I speak to quite fancies jacking in the daily commute and setting their own hours. But very few of them seem to do it. But why? Why aren’t you a freelancer?
If you’re anything like me, it’s fear.
Fear for your Finances
I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but according to every single newspaper, TV station and placard-waving loon is claiming that we’re in the middle of the second Great Depression. Roaming bands of bailiffs are turfing families out of their homes for coming up a few pence short on their mortgages, and nobody seems to have two pence to rub together.
So it’s no wonder that you’re not keen on leaving behind a guaranteed wage for the murky waters of generating your own income. The last thing you want is spending the rest of your career going slowly mad, eating tins of cold beans while writing out drafts on the back of litter.
But it’s not just that loss of a salary that’s a cause for concern.
Fear of Uncertainty
When you’re working for someone else, chances are that they’re providing you with the work. They’re going to all the trouble of sourcing all of the leads (or paying someone to do so), and you’re just providing the service or product. Simple. The stream of business keeps coming, you keep working, the wages keep getting paid.
But when you leave that workplace behind to strike out on your own, suddenly there’s no guarantee that the work is coming in. You’re competing with other, better established companies and freelance copywriters to secure clients, and people like to keep their lead generation secrets close to their chests.
And these fears of not getting enough custom, or enough cash just feed into the third, most terrifying fear of all.
Fear of Failure
Nobody likes to fail.
And when failure carries a financial penalty, the thought of having to break back in to a faltering jobs market, and the stigma of knowing you’re not as good as you thought you are, you can be damn sure that you really aren’t going to enjoy this failure in the slightest.
So you stay where you are, taking your wages, and falling asleep on the bus. Dreaming about working at home in your pants.
How Do You Defeat Your Fears?
I don’t have the solutions to these problems. If I did, I’d spend my days sprawling on my couch, in my underwear, typing away on my laptop. But I’m hoping for a discussion in the comments section below.
So what’s stopping you going freelance? And if you’ve taken that leap, how did you deal with your fears?
Share your stories in the comments section below, or on the PCN forum.