Avoid These 7 Bad Habits To Become a Successful Freelancer

Wondering How to Launch a Successful Freelance Career?

There are plenty of things to love about freelancing — flexible hours, personal fulfillment, and limitless growth potential.  But how do you make sure that you’re setting yourself up for success in your freelance career? Here are 7 bad habits to avoid in your freelancing career.

1. Not Effectively Budgeting and Planning

Success in your freelancing career requires that you’re able to support yourself month to month while at the same time investing money in the projects that will launch the creative career you’ve always dreamed of. While it is important to take risks, it’s also essential to plan out where you’d like to see yourself in 30 days, 6 months, and a year from now so that you can make sure you’ve got adequate resources to support your practical situation in the here and now, and your creative career in the long run. Teaching on Skillshare is a great way to make passive income and ensure you have a stable foundation to make it from month to month.

2. Lack of Focus on Your Business Idea

While you may want to start selling your crafts goods online, showcase your products at the next big conference in town, and help your friend make party favors, a lack of focus can take away from your ability to advance your next business idea. Freelancing requires discipline and taking bets on projects or ideas that you have a hunch can succeed. While not every bet you take will turn out as expected, it’s important to find focus on one project that you want to run with. You can always iterate and make changes as needed, but trying to do too much at once can you leave you with no initial success to build on.

3. Failing to Invest in Yourself

Each project and idea you launch is an opportunity for both personal and professional advancement, but you can’t always go at it alone. If this is your first time working for yourself or you’re building your own website, no one is expecting you to be able to figure it out on your own. Seek out resources from your network and online classes that can help you learn and grow, which in turn will help your business succeed in the long run.

4. Self Doubt

Working for yourself can be a challenge-- you don’t have built in accountability, feedback, or team celebrations to help keep you going. In fact, you may be exposed to more people than not who will question your business idea or freelancing project, which could cause a huge setback in your creative process. The true test of a successful freelancing career is the ability to withstand all of the doubt that you may feel both internally or from the feedback you receive from your network. A great way to test out your confidence in your business idea is to teach a class-- it will force you to articulate what you feel confident about in your freelancing approach. This is your career and your passion-- don’t let anything get in the way!

5. Not Taking Risks

When it comes to launching your own business or getting started on your freelancing career, there are no guarantees. The best way to figure out what projects have the most potential, or which business ideas will take off the fastest is by taking on a ton of risk upfront. This may be uncomfortable, especially when your livelihood is at stake, but doing what feels easy or what has been working will only keep your growth stagnant. Take appropriate risks and prepare yourself to iterate on your business ideas from the quick learnings you’ll gather.

6. Resistance To Change

You may have already been plugging away at your own business for some time now, and are hoping for the big break where your creative idea will really take off. But sometimes doing the same thing over and over again isn’t going to take you to the next level. Maybe mentors or people in your network have suggested ways you can modify your business model, or suggested new projects you can take on and you’ve shrugged them off. Don’t be resistant to change or trying something new-- the ability to innovate and change is essential to succeeding.

7. Surrounding Yourself with the Wrong people

Your success is dependent not only on your own belief in the limitless possibilites of your creative career, but by the investment that your network makes in your business idea. However, its easy to get sucked in to the doubt of the naysayers or the unrealistic approval of the eternal optimists. Take stock of the network you’re surrounding yourself with, and ask yourself are these people that will critically assess my work and realistically encourage me? Better yet, will they make fun of my career aspirations, or talk about my freelancing work to everyone they meet? Choose your network wisely.