I have been freelancing for over 2 decades now. It is not a smooth ride. Some days are good and some days are not so good. This is the year 2022 and after having worked for over 2 decades, living a freelance life is something I am proud of.
The Internet is a great medium. Very powerful to say the least. The stories such as Singles’ Day sales of Alibaba convince me that the best is yet to come. I can see more opportunities coming on the internet with the introduction of 5G all over the world. The spectrum lays down a huge and equal, leveled playing field for those who are willing to cash it with both hands.
As a freelancer, one of the most important things that pave a long way towards your success is time management.
Self-employment is not easy, it requires the same level of commitment of time and effort as one is required for a 9 to 5 job.
Staying on the clock, following a timetable could be tough, especially, when you are on your own in your home office with no other individual to support you for work. It requires discipline to continuously hunt for new projects, communicate with clients, managing time for completing existing projects on time while staying on budget.
I’ve observed, another prime reason why some freelancers are compelled to go back to full-time jobs is that they get the projects done but they do not deliver them on time.
The time lag weighs in heavily in disrupting the bad schedule and then you get caught in a vicious circle of poor project management. This happens because you win new projects but you are unable to deliver the old ones on time.
A freelancer can make a living on freelancing alone. Yes, they can. I’ve been there, done that.
How to become a successful Freelancer?
- Learning technical skills.
- Learning communication skills. Written English is very important.
- A good sales pitch to win projects.
- Quick response to the client’s messages. Remember, communication is the key.
- Maintaining a timetable for the project and making sure it is followed closely.
- Don’t over promise and under deliver. Reverse it.
- Do not show tantrums in your words. A nice, easy message shows your flexibility as a human.
- When you get the job done, ask for payment. Don’t feel shy
- Except for Fiverr, gently ask your client to review your work and give feedback. Fiverr hates this question somehow. However, on Upwork, you can request your client to provide their feedback about your work.
- Spare time for yourself in a day. Work out because freelancers spend a lot of time sitting on their desks. If they do not indulge in physical, recreational activities, they may suffer health issues
- Weekends are your family time. Hang out with friends and family.
- Don’t overeat at work. Maintain a balanced diet.
- Get a minimum of 8 hours of sleep.
- Do not sit continuously on your seat for over 30 minutes. Take a 5 minutes break. Take a walk or walk a talk.
- Listen to your favorite thing before you start your work.
- Write notes when you wrap up the work at the end of the day. See what have you accomplished from overnight notes and what is pending. Prioritize pending tasks the next day.
Freelancer’s Success in Pakistan in 2022:
When we look at the career earnings of successful freelancers. Someone who makes $30k or above in a year is making good money. The chances are, they are self-employed but there is also a chance they balance their money.
One of my favorite books Rich Dad Poor Dad provides great lessons. You should save some money for the rainy days and also never put all the eggs in one basket. It means, you should invest — so the same money comes in handy in the future.
Remember, you can’t freelance yourself all your life. There will come a point when you won’t have the same drive to progress towards work as you probably had in the beginning.
The fire in the belly beings to diminish as the years wear on. It is very important to form a team that could take care of your work and at the same time, it is equally important to invest in other businesses so you can enjoy the profits down the road.
Yes, freelancing could help in making some serious money but this should not be at the cost of your health. One can survive their good part of life doing freelancing but as time wears on, the passive income desires would be a handy approach, particularly in the long run because as you grow old — you can not sit on your desk 24/7.
The bottom line is, a successful freelancer has to plan their course of action.