I love being a freelancer. It made a vast, positive difference in my life in a plethora of ways. But, there are plenty of things that can interfere with that success. Because working from home isn’t always fruit cakes and teddy bears. In reality, it can be exceptionally rough.
However, taking the reigns and managing your life for the better is often worth the trouble.
Well, as long as you love what you do.
7 Drawbacks of Being a Freelancer
Now, don’t get me wrong. I love what I do for a living. I have some great opportunities that have let me do a lot of stuff over the years.
I just want to point out some of the things that make freelancing exceptionally more difficult than a traditional 9-to-5 job.
Once you tackle these obstacles, you’ll be well on your way to being successful.
1. A Lack of Accountability
Probably the most difficult aspect of being a freelancer is the lack of true accountability. There’s no one standing over your shoulder telling you to, “get back to work.”
Other than yourself. And that’s where a lot of people start to fail…including myself.
It’s incredibly easy to talk yourself out of working for the day. If you’re prone to depression, it’s that much more difficult to stay motivated.
2. Less Interpersonal Interaction
Outside of the current pandemic, being a freelancer often eliminates a lot of actual human contact. Sure, we can get on Slack or video chat on Google Hangouts. But it’s just not the same.
I’ve been working full-time from a home office since 2013. I don’t have many friends outside of the Internet, and I don’t get out as much as I should.
Lately, I’ve been suffering from severe cabin fever. It’s to the point where I’ll brave the insanity of masking-up for Walmart at the drop of a hat.
However, a lot of this has to do with me on a personal level. I could go out any time I want. But, where do I go in the middle of a pandemic to meet people?
3. A Myriad of Distractions
It’s easy to get distracted when you work from home as a freelancer. Personally, I wind up getting sucked into YouTube. And a lot of the time, I’m not really watching anything. I just scroll down looking for something that piques my interest.
Kids, neighbors, power outages (thank you Xcel), Internet outages (thank you Xfinity), and addictive games are but some of the distractions I face on a daily basis.
But are these distractions incidental, or by design? It’s easy to say you weren’t productive today because you were distracted. Are you using it as an excuse to limit working?
4. Heightened Sense of Financial Budgeting
One of the most important aspects of working from home is being able to handle a budget. And I’m not just talking about your bills.
I’ve mentioned this aspect in many a blog post because it’s a vital component to properly supporting yourself.
Taxes, vacations, sick days, retirement, insurance…all of these are your responsibility to manage. You’ll most likely not have an HR department to manage them for you.
5. No Overtime Pay
At most businesses here in the United States, you’re mandated to receive overtime pay if you work over a certain number of hours. This often translates to time-and-a-half. Depending on the job, that’s a lot of money.
As a freelancer, you really don’t get that option. You’re most likely paid per job, which means you’ll make the same amount no matter how long it takes you.
The other side of this, though, is that many of the jobs you’ll complete pay far better than any overtime pay. It just depends on how many clients you can line up and what you charge clients.
6. Dealing with Unruly Clients
Speaking of clients, being professional is difficult when some clients are hell-bent on being negative and hateful. I’ve dealt with my share of unruly clients, if ever so briefly.
This is because I understand my worth and skill. I have no problem with turning down jobs from disrespectful clients because there are plenty more positive people out there looking for talent.
But sometimes, you’ll have that one client who says or does something that winds up sucking the life out of your day.
7. Constant Target of Scams
Perhaps it’s just me, but it seems like I am the target of scams more often, now that I’m a freelancer, than before. I think a lot of this has to do with how easy it is for someone to contact me.
My favorites are the scammers on Facebook who’ll talk me up and profess their undying love in less than 20 minutes. And no, these are not fans.
Emails, chats, and videos are often plagued with scammers. And this says nothing about the clients who go out of their way to try to rip you off.
What Kind of a Freelancer Are You?
I know it sounds like a rough existence. But I really love what I do for a living. Once you get past these things, you can really accomplish a great deal of good for yourself.
But if you have thin skin, are incapable of staying motivated, and don’t have a strong sense of determination to reach your goals, it’s damn near impossible to replace a full-time income.