I was a freelancer. I know the struggles of being a freelancer. I know how it feels to go looking for the next client. I know the pain you sometimes have to go through to explain your value to a bad client. I know it all. Which is why I chose myself.
I’m not saying nobody should freelance. Some people actually like to freelance. However, I know many freelancers out there who can’t wait to escape the freelancer life.
You may be one of those, but you’re afraid to quit freelancing. Maybe you wonder how you are going to support your needs without clients paying you. Maybe you are afraid of having to go back to a 9/5 job. Maybe you just don’t know what else you could do.
I’ve got good news for you!
Being a freelancer is just like being an entrepreneur
Being a freelancer, you may be viewing your job as just any other job. However, you’re missing something: since you haven’t got a boss, you are your boss!
Sure, sometimes a bad client can act like a boss. And generally speaking, even a good client will somehow be a bit of a boss.
But other than that, you are the boss. You have to find new leads. You have to make sure your work is always the best it can be. You have to find ways to meet deadlines even when there doesn’t seem to be enough time. You have to keep your finances in check. You have to make ends meet. You are the one managing it all!
If you think of it, it’s not much different than being an entrepreneur (Click to Tweet). You’re already doing most of what an entrepreneur has to do. Let’s say you are a solopreneur.
And from the outside, from the viewpoint of someone who has never been a full-time freelancer, freelancing looks every bit as scary as starting a business.
How do I find clients? how do I make sure the client pays on time? what would I do if I couldn’t find new clients for a couple of months?
So being a freelancer, you’ve already completed Entrepreneurship 101 (Click to Tweet).
Now’s the time to play with the big guys!
What’s the difference then?
The biggest difference between freelancing and running a business is scalability.
Freelancing by definition doesn’t scale. You can try smart tricks, but scaling is almost impossible because being a freelancer your biggest resource and asset is your time and your time is limited.
Sure, you could hire some help, but that would make it an agency, thus a real business.
And by the way, turning your freelance career into an agency would be fine as far as starting a business is concerned. It might even be a good choice for some. But if you already find freelancing painful, I guess you won’t have much more fun running an agency.
A real business, on the other hand, needs to be scalable. It needs to have the option to keep growing. It needs to have systems in place so that it can keep on functioning even when its owner is not there. And all of this while turning a profit.
So what are the options?
That’s easy: be your next client!
What is it that you do best? what is it that you can offer to people in your niche? what is it that you can see yourself working on every day?
Depending on your expertise, you’re in a great position to hire yourself to build a new product.
A lot of founders haven’t got the skills and experience to build the product they have in mind. So they either try to learn the skills so they can build the product themselves (at varying degrees of success) or they have to take out their wallet and pay to hire a freelancer. A freelancer just like you.
You may still have to ask for help in the form of hiring another freelancer or taking on a partner to fill the holes in your skills set.
However, it will be much easier for you because you should know how to be a good client for a freelancer and being an expert in your own field will make it easier for you to know what you want and for the person who is helping you to deliver it.
See, I need money first!
I can hear you saying that you haven’t got the money to hire someone. Or maybe you simply don’t want to spend your money on your idea.
I’ll be honest here and I know you already know it: most things in life aren’t free. And if you want to start a business you must be ready to part with some of your money.
That’s how entrepreneurship works: you need to invest in your ideas to see them grow (Click to Tweet).
The first thing you need to invest is your time. Then your skills. And if those aren’t enough, you need to invest your money to hire some help (Click to Tweet).
If you can manage to keep doing some client work while beginning your own project, you should have no problem with this.
But remember to treat your project as if it was a client’s: don’t neglect it so you can take on more paid work.
There’s no easy to follow recipe here because it all depends on the product you want to build.
Just don’t get discouraged because you think you can’t do everything on your own: if you like the idea and are confident with your initial research, go for it!
Running a business often means delegating, even if you are a solopreneur, so learn to ask for help when you need it and don’t try to do it all yourself if you’re not the right person for the job (Click to Tweet).
Remember that one of the key characteristics of a good business is to be scalable and to be scalable, you need more than two hands and one brain.
You may not want to hire somebody full-time and I don’t think it would be necessary at the beginning. Just get freelancers to help you when you need it.
As a business owner, you should focus on what you do best, on the things that you can do to really add value to the business. Don’t waste time doing things which you can’t do at their best or that won’t add much value to your bottom line.
You’re already half-way towards becoming an entrepreneur
So don’t be afraid. Go ahead and start your business. Listen to the people around you and build something they need.
Hire yourself to build the product you have in mind but be a good client, so that when you’ll finally be able to give up freelancing to focus on growing your business full-time, you’ll have good memories of your freelancing days, and especially about that last one client!
Are you a freelancer? would you like to start your own business? why haven’t you done it, yet?
I want to teach you how to go from freelancer to entrepreneur
I'm currently working on a course to teach freelancers how to start their own business and achieve the freedom they've always dreamed about.
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