3 Warning Signs You're Not Cut Out For A Freelance Career

Dec 24 2013, 2:17pm CST | by

3 Warning Signs You're Not Cut Out For A Freelance Career
Photo Credit: Forbes Business

The allure of freelancing is ever so tantalizing: independence, control, flexible hours, and the freedom to create whatever kind of business you want, with a pot of gold waiting at the end of the rainbow.

But freelancing isn’t for everybody, and the sad truth is most freelancers struggle to cobble out a living, work under constant pressure, and put in far more hours than they ever imagined.

If this makes you more intent on being a freelancer rather than less, then congratulations. You’ve exhibited the first sign that you’re cut out to be a freelancer: relentless determination.

1. Can You Do Whatever It Takes?

It’s easy to say you have relentless determination, but another thing altogether to demonstrate it. Here’s a little story. When I was starting my career, I worked under a man who became one of the most successful entrepreneurs in the packaging industry. One day we were trying to move a very large band saw into the warehouse. After half an hour of trying to muscle it through a doorway, he completely lost his cool and grabbed the saw by the blade to pull it through the door. He cut his hand to the bone and ended up spending a couple of days in the hospital, but mission accomplished.

Now, I’m not saying a person has to go to this extent to be a successful freelancer. But right then and there, I knew definitively that this guy was not going to let anything get in his way. He applied that same ferocity, intensity, and single-mindedness to every business challenge that came his way. So the question is this: How far are you willing to go? Remember, when you’re freelancing, there’s no net, no backup, no bailout. If you like to play it safe, freelancing is a tough row to hoe.

2. Can You Always Be Closing?

In his famous Glengarry Glen Ross speech, Alec Baldwin presses his salesmen to always be closing, always be selling. It’s another over-the-top example, but the point is crucial. If you’re uncomfortable selling, you’re in for a rude awakening because clients have to be sold. No matter how nice you are, how competent you are, how brilliant you are, nobody is going to hand you business. You don’t charm your way to success; you sell your way to success.

This is why social media sites are a deadly trap for would-be freelancers. They encourage a mindset that says, if I just put out enough great content (whatever that means), if I just connect with enough people on LinkedIn, if I just accumulate enough Twitter followers, I’ll magically develop a client base.

Wrong.

Social media sites are useful adjuncts to a sales and marketing plan, provided you knock on a lot of doors, shake a lot of hands, kiss a lot of babies, and ask for orders. Otherwise, you’re just wasting your time.

More AllBusiness:
The Top 25 Home-Based Business Ideas
10 Websites Where You Should Have Your Company Profile Listed
25 Frequently Asked Questions on Starting a Business
The 10 Most Creative New Business Ideas Out There/>/>/>/>

3. Can You Put In the Hours?

Let’s suppose you have relentless determination and you love to sell. Is success around the corner? No, because there’s one more obstacle staring you in the face — a 60-hour work week. Remember, you don’t have a team behind you to balance the books, prepare taxes, design business cards, print business cards, set up phone lines, update computer programs, make copies, expedite rush orders, pay suppliers, and the 1001 other things that every business needs to handle.

Once the shine of independence and control wears off, freelancers are left with only the dull drudgery of carrying out thankless task after thankless task. Now, a lot of people thrive on multitasking and have the energy and enthusiasm to sustain them for 60 or even 80 hours of work, week after week, year after year. If you’re one of those people, my hat is really off to you because you have the ingredient that is so lacking in failed entrepreneurial startups.

A willingness to work covers a multitude of sin, and as Ashton Kutcher said recently, “I believe that opportunity looks a lot like hard work.” I believe he’s right. Even when freelancers are risk-averse and have below average sales skills, they can succeed anyway simply by putting in the time — not always, but often./>/>

Can you put in the time? If your answer is yes, it may be time to ditch the corporate time card and start punching your own clock as a freelancer.

Read all of Brad Shorr’s articles on AllBusiness.com.

Related Articles on AllBusiness:
Self-Employment and Entrepreneurship Are Here to Stay! Are You Ready?
6 Simple Tips to Set Up a Functional Home Office
Do You Have What It Takes to Start Your Own Business?
Filing Your Taxes For 2013: The Home Office Deduction Will Be Much Easier/>/>/>/>

For more great small business articles such as The Top 25 Home-Based Business Ideas and Keeping Your Business Ideas Confidential, visit AllBusiness.com and AllBusiness Experts. For local business information on 15 million businesses, be sure to check out InBusiness.com.

Source: Forbes Business

 
 

Don't miss ...

 

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/30" rel="author">Forbes</a>
Forbes is among the most trusted resources for the world's business and investment leaders, providing them the uncompromising commentary, concise analysis, relevant tools and real-time reporting they need to succeed at work, profit from investing and have fun with the rewards of winning.

 

blog comments powered by Disqus

Latest stories

NASA's flying saucer among 'Best of What's New'
Washington, Nov 22 (IANS) NASA's Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator (LDSD), a spacecraft that aims to facilitate the safe landing of future Mars missions, has earned a place in the the Popular Science magazine's "Best Of What's New" list.
 
 
Indian helping to light up Gambia (Diaspora Feature)
Banjul (Gambia), Nov 22 (IANS) Like many Indians who are proving to be philanthropists around Africa, Ram Mohan has set up a social business called Comafrique Intelizon Initiative and has embarked on the replacement of candles in villages in the Gambia with solar lights from India.
 
 
Leopards in human areas not conflict animals: Study
New Delhi, Nov 22 (IANS) Leopards in human areas are not always "stray" or "conflict" animals but residents with strategies to thrive in human dominated areas, says the first GPS-based study of leopards in India.
 
 
Golf courses are hotspots for ticks
Washington, Nov 22 (IANS) Golf courses are prime habitats for ticks, the tiny bloodsucking creatures, says a new study.
 
 
 

Latest from the Network

Sharif urges Obama to take up Kashmir issue with India
Islamabad, Nov 22 (IANS) As US President Barack Obama confirmed his India visit for the Republic Day next year, Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif urged him to take up the Kashmir issue with India. Obama spoke to...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Hiding tattoos irks Chris Hemsworth
Los Angeles, Nov 22 (IANS) Actor Chris Hemsworth says he hates having his tattoos covered while shooting for films. In an interview with PEOPLE magazine, the actor also mentioned that it takes hours to cover the...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Bynes has real medical issue: Ribeiro
Los Angeles, Nov 22 (IANS) Actor Alfonso Ribeiro says actress Amanda Bynes, who grabbed headlines recently for her erratic behaviour, acted strangely on the set of the film "Love Wrecked" in 2005. In an interview with...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Walmart 1-Hour Deals also Available Online
The Walmart Black Friday 2014 Ad revealed 9 1-Hour Guarantee Doorbuster deals available in the Walmart Black Friday 2014 Sale. The Walmart Black Friday 2014 sale will start online Thanksgiving morning and lead right...
Read more on Black Friday Countdown
 
Pune FC aim for semi-spot in King's Cup
Thimpu, Nov 22 (IANS) Pune FC will be up against fellow Indian side Assam State Electricity Board (ASEB) in a crucial third round group stage encounter of the King's Cup at the Changlimithang Stadium here Sunday. The...
Read more on Sport Balla
 
We're doing okay: Zak after Robin Williams' death
Los Angeles, Nov 22 (IANS) Late actor-comedian Robin Williams' son Zak says that the family is still coming to terms with life after the actor's death. Zak, 31, opened up about how his family is coping since his...
Read more on Celebrity Balla
 
Indian golfers Shiv, Chiragh tied 13th, 14th at Manila
Manila, Nov 22 (IANS) Indian golfers Shiv Kapur and Chiragh Kumar fired five-under 67 each to finish tied 13th and joint 14th, respectively, after the third round of the $1 million Manila Masters at the par-72 Manila...
Read more on Sport Balla
 
Saarc panel decides to close regional centres
Kathmandu, Nov 22 (IANS) The Saarc Programming Committee, meeting here Saturday for its 49th session ahead of the 18th Saarc Summit, has decided to close down three regional centres and merge four others, bringing down...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Nepal-India border to be sealed during Modi visit
Kathmandu, Nov 22 (IANS) Some parts of the Nepal-India border will be sealed during Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Lumbini, the birthplace of Lord Buddha, an official said here Saturday. Three...
Read more on Politics Balla
 
Australia rest pace trio ahead of India series
Melbourne, Nov 22 (IANS) Cricket Australia (CA) Saturday opted to rest pace trio Mitchell Johnson, Peter Siddle and Josh Hazlewood for the upcoming Sheffield Shield round matches, keeping in mind the upcoming Test...
Read more on Sport Balla