A Day in the Life of a Freelancer.
The reality of Misconceptions
Working from home and freelancing myths are inseparable.
There’s a big caboodle of misconceptions that can ruin the image of a successful freelancer.
Or the expectations of a stay-at-home mom.
Or the desire to keep working of a retiree.
From envy, to shock, to sincere encouragements, I’m sure every freelancer, ‘newbie’ or ‘veteran’, has lived through them all. These are just few emotions people express when they hear you say “I’m going to earn my living working from home!”.
Myths and misconceptions are a dangerous combination when they affect aspiring new freelancers.
Friends and families can be affected as well. Not everyone fully understands freelancing and what it implies, so your loved ones might worry you’re making a mistake.
The important thing to remember though is working from home is not “play”. You’re not just aiming to earn pocket money and a freelancing career it’s definitely not for the lazy!
Here’s a more “complete” list of common freelance misconceptions:
Freelancers work for pennies
I began freelancing while in college. It was the only way I could afford to pay for it and pursue my passion for traveling in the meantime.
I explained all of this and more in my interview with my dear friend Ramona, Freelancing Success Story: Studying and Focusing on Volunteer Work.
For a beginner freelancer who didn’t really understand much about working from home, paying for 3 years of college and traveling each semester is quite an achievement.
Not many become rich, but they shouldn’t get discouraged by the idea that freelancers only earn few pennies per gig.
So, don’t become a pessimist because of this myth! Hard work pays off.
Freelancers have so much free time
Many think that, if you work from home, you must be free all the time. Boy is that a misconception!
If anything, freelancing while juggling college or parenting or even a full time job leaves you with little “me” time.
This may be considered as one of the downsides of freelancing. Whether it’s a full time job for you or just a side hustle to earn extra income, freelancing is going to be time consuming!
On the plus side, you learn a lot about productivity, without even being aware of it. And on top of it all, surely you’re freelancing gigs imply working on something you love.
Freelancing is not a real job
“You’re freelancing, I see. But that’s until you find a job, right?”, is a very common reaction from people who don’t really understand freelancing.
The problem with this misconception is that it affects both the freelancer and his/her loves ones.
It affects aspiring work-from-home entrepreneurs because of course, freelancers don’t earn big money right away. Hearing day after day that this isn’t a real job might just make you wonder, is this the right lifestyle choice for you?
It can also affect loved ones and immediate family.
Because it can get frustrating to see your husband/your daughter/your girlfriend struggling to make ends meat as a new small business owner.
If you don’t believe working from home is a real job, then you probably think your loved one is ‘playing’ and wasting their time because they’re lazy.. Which brings up the next misconception!
Freelancing is for lazy people
Have you ever heard someone say they’d love to stay at home too, and get paid for it? Or worse, being told “you’re just not used to a 9 to 5 work schedule”.
Truth be told, if anyone chooses freelancing because they think it’s all fluff and games, they’re probably going fail fast.
Which means working from home is really not for the lazy!
Freelancing means you have to work hard to convince potential clients to pick you for the job. And once you do, you have to work, work, work to get the job done right. You probably also have a deadline, so you can’t waste time.
Basically, a successful freelancer shouldn’t find the time to get bored!
Freelancers are always lonely
So many people have chosen to work from home also because they are introverts. So, being alone and focusing on work shouldn’t be a problem.
But what about those who are socially active and, all of a sudden, find themselves ‘trapped’ inside their own home?
We live in the era of communication, so it can’t be that difficult to organize a night out with friends or invite someone over. Maybe invite yourself over.
And you know what the great thing is? Freelancers get to say “I can move my stuff around and work around your schedule”.
Freelancers can’t save for retirement
This should be interesting enough to describe in a few words.
Investments. Private pension plan. Simply putting money aside starting now.
Just off the top of my head, these sound like good alternatives to a traditional retirement savings plan!
The truth is, retirement is serious business and it’s only natural that your loved ones will worry about you ending up old and broke.
However, if you do your research starting as young as possible, you can start working on your pension plans right away.
These are just 6 of the many misconceptions about working from home that are out there. Myths or not, they probably exist for a reason.
If you aren’t motivated to do any real work, you’ll probably end up having way too much free time.
You’ll end up lonely because who wants to hang out with the person who complains about working for pennies,. Ultimately, your really won’t be able to save for retirement!
What do you think? Is freelancing a good career choice or a misguided one?