So, you’ve listened to some audiobooks, been to a couple of conferences, maybe even tested the potential market for your product, service or idea. Now what? Psyching yourself up for going freelance isn’t easy. Making the leap may depend on several variants. How much money you have, how many commitments you’re signed up for, and your personality type, to name just a few.
But in the wise words of Nelson Mandela, “Courage is not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it.” You have to face what you’re dreading and overcome it, or you’ll be stuck in your cubicle forever. Two-thirds of Americans are disengaged at work, so stop being one of them. If you’re serious about going freelance, here are a few ways you can pave the road.
Build your network
If you’re not one for social media, it’s about time you made friends, at least with the major platforms, LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. Why? Because you’ll need to start building a following and a digital presence for your future brand.
Designing a social media page and joining groups with similar interests are fairly simple tasks to undertake. You don’t have to spend night and day doing them, just take a few minutes on your way to work, in the mornings, or on the weekend. Check out websites and forums with tips and advice for startups as well.
There’s strength in numbers and the more you can build your network, the better. It’s not limited to online either. Think about attending a local entrepreneur conference or event in your field of interest. You can meet useful people who can help you down the road, from suppliers and customers to journalists and future employees.
Take a personality test
You may want to go a little deeper than selecting images on a Facebook quiz here. In fact, according to those in the know, there are as many as 16 different personality types. How you go about going freelance will depend on the type of person you are.
If you’re strategic and like to plan things out to the very last detail, you may want to spend some time establishing some potential clients for your side hustle. If you’re impatient and headstrong, it may be best to up sticks and quit right now. Think about what’s going to work best for you and how well you can handle the transition, making it as painless as possible.
Visualize your success
A great exercise to get into before going freelance is harnessing the power of visualization. What is it you want to do and where do you see yourself? Using your imagination in a focused way to see the results you want to achieve and spending some time each day on it can help you reach your goals.
But don’t be vague about it. Statements like “I want to earn a lot of money,” or “I want to be happy,” simply won’t send out enough vibes to the universe. Picture your physical surroundings. Do you want to travel and work from a beach hut in Thailand? Think about the color of the water and the feel of the sand between your toes as you answer your email on your smartphone. Want to work from a penthouse in New York? Think about the art you’ll have hanging on the wall. The more you see it, the more you’ll start to believe it.
Carry out some competitive research
Scouting out the competition is essential in order to know what types of companies you’ll be going up against and what their customers look like. Try out their services or buy a product. What do you like about it? What don’t you like about it? How will yours be better?
Is there no competition in the market for what you have to sell? Make sure that’s because you’re on the cutting edge and not because there’s a resounding lack of demand for it. As some experts point out, if there’s no competition, it could be that there’s no business either.
Going freelance may be the scariest decision you’ve had to make recently (after what color suit to wear to your best friend’s wedding, of course). It’s not a decision that should be taken lightly, but it’s also not one to procrastinate over for too long.
Start mentally preparing yourself for leaving the daily grind and when you’ve psyched yourself up for going freelance, don’t look back. There’s no room for self-doubt or bemoaning the absence of a stable income. You were made for better things and before too long, you’ll start to see your hard work paying off. Good luck!
DISCLAIMER: This article expresses my own ideas and opinions. Any information I have shared are from sources that I believe to be reliable and accurate. I did not receive any financial compensation in writing this post, nor do I own any shares in any company I’ve mentioned. I encourage any reader to do their own diligent research first before making any investment decisions.
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