Don’t we all dream of having a job where we can choose our working hours? We want to get paid good money for it, too. Unfortunately, that’s not how reality works, yet so many people believe that freelancing is a walk in the park. It isn’t, and I had to learn it the hard way — though not even as hard as some people certainly experience. My vision was to become a freelance photographer, but soon I had to realize that this involved much more than just having the will.
Let me tell you the one truth that I didn’t know about when I started out: Having a successful freelancing career doesn’t depend on how money you have. It depends on how much time you’re willing to put in. Hours, of which there are 24 in a day, are your most valuable asset. At times, I tended to forget that. So, in conclusion, don’t waste time!
Wasted time will be the main reason for a failed career as a freelancer. Today, it’s so easy to stay organized with the help of smartphones and technology, in general. For me, social media is a big waste of time, but some are able to use it in a way that makes it crucial to their success. It’s up to you to determine how much and in what ways to use social media to your advantage — if at all. Yet, as part of your business plan, always regard social media as work, not as fun.
To paint a grim picture of a freelancer’s life is not my intent, though. The truth of the matter commands me to write not what I once believed, but instead what I did, in fact, learn. If it weren’t for the ongoing support from my parents, my quest for freedom would have ended long before I accepted my own failures.
It’s important to take note of one minute detail, though. Lack of talent, knowledge, or experience will never be the cause of failure. Many people much less skilled than you will have had the same chance at succeeding simply because they manage their skills and time much more effectively. That’s all there is to it, really. Time is your friend, for if it’s not, then time will knock your knees. The weight of wasted time is much heavier on your shoulders than having failed after taking a risk.
Another misstep people often take, just like I did, is to forget what the actual goal is. Time can render your vision a little hazy, making it hard sometimes to keep on track. How often do our dreams change over the course of time passing by? If you’re ever unsure, write down your great vision. When in doubt, you can simply read it again, and remind yourself. This will also save you a lot of time. You’ll become more efficient by always knowing why you do what you do.
Take risks, and by this I don’t mean to foolishly attempt walking on water. Taking risks means to do something you never thought you would, but not to put yourself at risk. There’s a fine line, and yet a clear distinction between taking a leap of faith, and believing in guardian angels. They’re not one and the same. To take a leap of faith means simply to say that you want to do something, but know that you might have to take an entirely new route. This doesn’t have to include wandering through a dark forest on an uncharted path.
Always remember the one guiding force through all your endeavors: time management.
Image licensed through CC, by Thomas Hawk