3 Reasons Why YOU Should NOT Become a Freelancer

Tue, Sep 15, 2009

Featured, Inspiration

3 Reasons Why YOU Should NOT Become a Freelancer

There are certain traits required of a freelancer for him or her to become successful at what they do, and let me be the first to tell you, freelancing is not easy. Yes, ultimately you’ll end up with more freedom and spare time on your hands, but until you’ve mastered the art of efficiency and time management, you’ll have a lot of sleepless nights and manic weekends full of work.

Therefore, YOU should NOT become a freelancer because:

1. You’re lazy

If you don’t have the drive to work and be productive when employed, what hope do you have when you don’t have someone watching over you all the time, making sure you’re on schedule? Freelancing requires you to have passion and energy about your field of work – that’s what makes you want to get up in the morning and get to work. If you keep your bad habits whilst freelancing, it can prove to be very detrimental.

2. You’re not disciplined

Discipline is an extremely important trait that any freelancer needs. Discipline in the sense that you can produce a schedule, and stick to it. In the end, we all procrastinate and delay to some extent, but if you don’t have the self-control and discipline to minimize your unproductive, wasted time, forget about freelancing. A time-wasting, unproductive freelancer is an unsuccessful freelancer. If you’re going to end up spending hours upon hours longer producing a piece of work due to your laziness, then what’s the point of becoming a freelancer in the first place? You’re meant to be saving time, that you can spend on things that matter more.

3. You’re not interested

Whether or not you perform to a high degree when it comes to work is solely down to one thing, your interest in the field. A person can’t be enthusiastic about their work if they don’t have a deep interest which emanates outside of their freelance work. You can usually identify if you have a deep interest in a topic or field by looking at your hobbies. If your hobbies identify with your desired field of freelancing, that’s a very positive sign.

The point of this article isn’t to defer you from freelancing, it’s to simply make clear to you that without the proper skills in place, the chances of failure are high. Instead, it should inspire you to try and obtain the skills and traits mentioned.

The decision to become a freelancer is not a light one to be made. It requires long, hard thought as your career, family and way of life is at stake. Only proceed if you know you can be a success, not if you think you can.

If you enjoyed this short, inspiration article, please don’t hesitate to:

The Grand Marketing Manual for Freelancers

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This post was written by:

- who has written 42 posts on Freelance Apple.

Taiyab Raja is a web designer and entrepreneur who runs an interesting, captivating freelance blog, designs awesome websites for 6creations.com, and in his spare time owns noobs at Halo.

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25 Responses to “3 Reasons Why YOU Should NOT Become a Freelancer”

  1. Liz Says:

    Well said! Freelancing IS starting a business and … you best LOVE it, cause it is your LIFE.

    Man…. i frickin’ LOVE IT ;)

  2. remi Says:

    “Only proceed if you know you can be a success, not if you think you can.”

    I call B.S.! To be a successful freelancer, you have to embrace failure and realize that you may not be a success.

    What holds many people back is because they’re not sure they can be a success. NOBODY knows for *certain* whether or not they’ll be a success. You have to be willing to take a chance and … if it doesn’t work out, try harder. If it still isn’t working out, maybe you should go back to conventional employment.

    I do like your #3 point however, and I might even take it a step further. You should *love* what you do if you want to become a successful freelancer. Sure, it won’t all be fun and games … but you should really enjoy your work!

    Freelancing definitely isn’t easy. But man is is fun :P

  3. Daquan Wright Says:

    I agree, and it’s why I encourage people to work regular jobs to gain some “real” discipline. When it comes to working for yourself, all you get is what you put into it. If you put nothing in, there isn’t any reason to expect anything. It’s also why I like freelancing while working a full-time job, testing with little risk. Time management and project management are key when you are doing work by yourself.

  4. Taiyab Says:

    @remi: Valid point raised, yes you do need to be ready to embrace failure as it is a natural part of freelancing but your mindset should be such that you know you’ll succeed in the end.

  5. Roberta Says:

    Frankly I’m quite insulted by this post… Who in their right mind whould say they are and always will be, lazy, undiciplined or uninterested??

    These are not the real questions you should ask yourself if you want to go into business and you’re deciding whether you should go freelance or whatever other options you have. One reason I would personally not want to go do freelance work, is that you are paid by the amount of work you do: if you want to make more money you have to work longer hours.

    You could instead want to do work that will continue to bring in money once you’re done with the work, like selling a product rather than a service.


  6. Mark Says:

    You’re right. Even though others view it as such, freelancing is not easy. There is nobody to tell you when to start your work or finish it. If you are not disciplined it will not work for you.

  7. Alex Blundell Says:

    @Roberta I doubt this article was meant as a ” 3 things to ask yourslf before becoming a freelancer”. Its more of a statement. Telling people that if you are like this, just dont bother as you will not suceed, and you’ll annoy the hell out of anyone you wonrk with.

    Just my 2c

  8. Kyle Says:

    I think this is a lot of bullshit. The design community needs to be more about supporting each other and working together. This is just a very negative article especially during a time of economic hardship.

  9. Taiyab Says:

    @Kyle: You really have no idea what the article is trying to achieve do you? It’s meant to open your eyes to the situation you’re in, and make you feel inspired to do something (like freelancing). I suggest you re-read.

  10. Roberta Says:

    @Alex Ok, but what is the purpose of the post then? And what about successful freelancers who have the self-knowledge to admit that they have their lazy and undisciplined moments, and post ways of dealing with this on places like Lifehacker? I mean, what good is it telling yourself I’m lazy, I won’t amount to anything anyway, so Why bother trying?

    I just think it’s a very negative message to spread…

    You guys probably have the impression i’m trolling here, since the site is called FreelanceApple anyway, but I’m quite serious…

  11. Richard Hamilton Says:

    Good post. While there are a few other good reasons for *not” becoming a freelancer, these are at the top of the list and apply equally to entrepreneurs of all stripes.

  12. Vimal Says:

    Does the above points matter if a person is a full time employee and does freelancing on his free time ? :)

  13. selcukengin Says:

    customers want to deal with institutions instead of people.. because they don’t want their work depending on a person.

  14. The Golem Says:

    I would disagree with you. If customers wanted to deal with institutions as opposed to dealing with people, freelancers would not exist. The fact that we do and we make a living from it is testament to the fact that customers are totally fed up with institutions and businesses charging ridiculous prices for simple tasks.

    The advantages of hiring a freelancer vary from price to the quality of the service you will get. It is well known that a business will be looking to get your work to you as fast and expensive as possible, or else the institution will not survive. A freelancer will not only be cheaper, but generally will give you more of a quality service.

    If you hire a freelancer and then compare that to the quality, price, efficiency, client care which you receive compared to an institution, you will perhaps change your mind.

  15. svnlabs Says:


    Important thing is we have work to do… :D


  16. Andrew A. Sailer Says:

    This blog helped me explain this subject to my son. Thanks :)

  17. Winston Forston Says:

    Awesome post, very good points. Just being here has improved my knowledge and I am looking forward to it as a very good information hub, I will say there are hundreds of posts to really take a look at. For instance this post and the replies. I must say that I got the most of the information from the replies here. Points were really talking about the experience here. I love to be the part of this and gain some good information. Thanks!


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