5 Crucial Things to Know Before You Start Freelancing

1. You have to change your mindset from being an employee to a freelancer.

When you start freelancing, everything you knew goes out of the window and suddenly you are in charge of everything. There’s no one to tell you to get up in the morning, there’s no one to make you do things you don’t want to do, and there’s no one to guide you daily about the things you need to do. .While this can be incredibly liberating, it also means a huge shift in mindset that needs to take place.

While we are an employee, we are working for someone else. Everything we ’re doing was working towards their dream, their goal, and their rules.

In my experience, when I started freelancing,  I became the driver of my life and my schedule. I didn’t have to get my work checked by my supervisor most of the time or be at the office physically.

Chances are, if you are used to having a boss that had set your mind to rules that you need to follow, then it can be really difficult in the beginning. It can be quite hard being your own boss, and you might not always be able to manage your time and money well. That is, you may be a lousy boss. Don’t lose hope though because if you really wanted it, everything will come into place. If you can’t do it on your own, there are mentors that willing to help you. Remember to put this in your mind, if you are not happy with your current income, then it means to say you need to change. You need to take control. Start by investing more time for yourself than your current job. Things will Get better if YOU get better.

2. You have to be emotionally and mentally prepared

It was just in the recent years that freelancing has become really popular in the Philippines. It was not accepted fully in the society and many people thought that freelancers are just wasting much of their time on their computers.

Some would say, “ Panay computer ka na lang, ano ba yang ginagawa mo may trabaho ka ba?”, or “Tatamad tamad” or “ Sayang naman pinagaralan mo asa bahay ka lang”

If you are one of those who receives speculations from skeptic people, just continue working, strive for excellence and show them great results, they will just stop doubting over your chosen career

There are times aside from your family, you will doubt yourself too especially if you are still a newbie. You might doubt your skill, might have a second thought if freelancing is really for you and might think of giving up especially if you don’t have clients yet after months of trying.  Giving up shouldn’t be the option. Just continue to keep trying. You will have your time soon.

To help you become very confident in freelancing,  study how to become an effective freelancer. However, if you are abroad, and your friends have no idea about freelancing, then join a  freelancing community. The Filipino Virtual Assistant Group that will support you all throughout in your freelancing journey.

3. Rejection is part of the job

I know, I know. Being rejected is very difficult that’s why once you start applying for a Virtual Assistant job, you have to expect that there may be application rejections, not only once, but it can be multiple times. But don’t lose hope. There are plenty of companies hiring and there’s a higher chance that you’ll get hired because of the demand. Rejection comes often, but don’t take it personally. Don’t get discouraged, just keep grinding. Just do an excellent job even in your resumes. Clients will just come to discuss business with you.

4. Money management is the Key.

Financial literacy is very important to succeed anything in life. I have to give you a real talk on this. Assess your financial situation. Find out how much you need to spend in a month. Then figure out how many freelance work or projects you need to complete in order to sustain the needs. Before you dive full time on freelancing, take heed of the following:

Start building your emergency fund.

This is an equivalent to 6 months of your monthly expenses which you can use in the future just in case things didn’t work out as you planned. Don’t quit your job yet,  if you don’t have any savings. Start freelancing part-time while working abroad so you can save faster. Build your freelancing portfolio and gain reputation online.

Like me, I have been preparing before I finally quit my current job. I have my own list of goals, plans, and savings so I can be financially secured to do freelancing full time by June this year.

I am working as a teacher in China who works 15 hours a week and I have my ESL and freelancing job at the same time during my free time.  You might be asking why I do freelancing? Well, freelancing can give you time and financial freedom wherein you don’t need to go abroad or get stuck in an 8-5 mundane job just to earn. The goal of doing freelancing full time will give anyone more time, flexibility even working at home.

Stop spending on things you don’t need.

We are stewards of money. Sometimes, the lack of money is not because of the lack of income but the lack of discipline in spending habits. Sometimes, we become so impulsive on buying things that we actually don’t need. So, before buying things, “Kailangan ko bang bilhin to ngayon (Do I need to buy this now)?” when you are thinking of purchasing anything.

You need other sources of income

If your current salary can sustain the needs of your family and have enough to buy your wants and build your dreams, then you probably have a better-paying job. But if you think your current job is just enough to sustain your daily living, then having another source of income is not a bad idea at all.

Learn to Say No.

Some people labeled OFW (not all) as their money bank. They always expect that you have a lot of earnings because you are working abroad and they would expect you to treat them and have “pasalubong” for them. Well, if you have the luxury of money to live up to their wants, just go ahead. If you only just have enough, learn to say NO. You try pleasing other people, you might have missed saving for your future.

5. Successful Freelancing Takes Time

Don’t expect money showering down from the sky as soon as you jump into the freelance lifestyle. In the beginning, if you haven’t mastered any high paying skills, salary and benefits negotiation, time management, client networking, and financial planning then you cannot expect to be on top of the game the first time you try.

Learning how to balance your new roles will take time.  I recommend to give yourself at least three months of serious efforts before you expect to earn a better income. It may happen that some people earn much faster but again have a realistic expectation. This is not a get-rich-quick scheme.

Now, there are actual ways to do be able to succeed in freelancing faster. If you do the research on how to go freelancing by yourself it will, in the end, take a longer time for you to succeed.

Remember, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together”.  Known successful business owners like Warren Buffett and Mark Zuckerberg, had Mentors, Coaches or Consultants at one point of their lives. They’ve surrounded themselves to people that are been successful in their field.  Meaning, they couldn’t have been an expert in their field if there’s no one that guided them to be able to do so.

Like me, I enrolled in freelancing and digital marketing courses, I have mentors, and I joined communities that guide me to be able to develop the high paying skills much faster. I surrounded myself to people who achieved already what I want to achieve. We don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Trends and experts exist for a reason: they work. Hundreds and thousands of freelancers have walked into your shoes and have paved a way.

Walk on a path, embrace it and you’ll make your life significantly easier.

Take a look at the best in your field and Steal as much as you can: develop the same habits, use the same techniques, shortcuts, set ups and principles. Here is the truth about success: there is always a clue. They aren’t hidden, you just need to look for them,  use it to your workflow advantage.

This is the end for Day 2,  I hope you have learned many things today.

As a bonus for subscribing to the 5-day guide I added here the Action Item Checklist.

Analyn Mauri
Filipino Virtual Assistant Coach(China)

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