How to Grow the Balls to Freelance

Thu, Apr 8, 2010

Inspiration, Skills

How to Grow the Balls to Freelance

Speaking to an experienced coder, I began to wonder why he chose 20 years of employment over being his own boss and freelancing. So I asked him, “Why don’t you consider freelancing?”. The answer he gave was something which concerns many people who want to become freelancers, or those of us who only freelance part-time. He replied “I don’t have the courage to quit my job and go solo”.

This is a real concern. When most of us started freelancing, it was hard. When you don’t have cash coming into your account, how will you pay the bills? How will you pay off the mortgage? How will you buy basic necessities? So this article will show you how to (metaphorically speaking) grow the balls to become a freelancer.

Your Job

I would not recommend that you quit your job first and then start freelancing, especially if you are the sole bread-winner. I have found that the best way of approaching a freelancing career is to go in slowly. Try to speak to your boss and arrange that you change your work from full-time to part-time.

This would give you time to grow a freelancing career in the time where you would have been working for your employer. Time is needed to set up a business, and freelancing is a business. A business sells a product to the customer and a freelancers sells their skills to a client. Spend time setting up your name in your field and fishing for clients, but do not get worried, as it can take a while to get going.

When you have started to make a decent income, which added to your part-time job should at least equal what you were making as a full-time employee, look into quitting your job.

Many people who work in full-time employment can not change to a part-time contract. This is an understandable problem and is usually what holds people back. I would suggest working on the weekends and drilling some excellent time-management skills into yourself. The first few months will be extremely difficult, however, once you can see that working 8 days a month is significantly increasing your income and you feel if you worked full-time as a freelancer you would made a better living, then it may be time to quit your job.

A possible alternative solution would be to take your annual leave and work during the holidays as opposed to holidaying. This will give you excellent footing to start a freelancing career.

Before you quit your job, there’s a little more to consider.


Think of the worst case scenario. You start freelancing and you do not get any work and despite doing what you love, you aren’t really making a living. This is why it is necessary that before you quit your 9 to 5, you must consider having a stash of savings.

You should have enough saving to carry on in your normal life style for over 6 months. An easy way to start saving is to put a percentage of your monthly wage into a savings ban account where you can not touch it. When you have enough in there to go on for more than 6 months without working, then you are in a position to quit your employed job and become your own boss.

Giving two fingers to your boss

Only quit your job when you can see a real income from freelancing and when you can, then start enjoying your life by doing what you love. Leave your old work place on a positive note. When I quit my job, I felt like punching my boss in the face, but that wouldn’t have achieved anything. If you leave on a positive note and screw up at freelancing, your old work place may take you back. Never have the attitude that you will mess up, but we all ought to be on the safe side. For advice throughout your freelancing career subscribe to our RSS and head to a successful freelancing career.

How did you quit your job? Are you nervous about starting freelancing? Share your thoughts below
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This post was written by:

- who has written 54 posts on Freelance Apple.

Shoaib Hussain is an web entrepreneur who was formerly a freelancer. He is the main writer and owner on and aims to enlighten young freelancers with his vast experience and deep knowledge. Shoaib Hussain also spends his time giving advice to budding freelancers and helping web businesses.

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7 Responses to “How to Grow the Balls to Freelance”

  1. Mickey Says:

    Being the sole bread-winner it was a tough move, just as this article describes. I simply worked later and later into the evenings building up the freelance side of things, so that when I finally left my full-time job I already had a pretty full freelance schedule.

    I also spread things around. I have some blogs I write that make ad money; a few companies that I have consistent work from; and a variety of other clients that I do one-time work for (new sites, mostly). Even if one aspect of it slowed way down, I still wouldn’t be dead.

    So far, so good!

  2. Jordan Walker Says:

    I would agree with Mickey, it is hard being the bread maker, but as soon as the significant other lands a job. I am off to freelancing and more education.

  3. Eddie Alberto Flores Says:

    I’m currently transitioning into full-time freelancing. The best way to do it is to research, plan, and be mentally prepared to anticipate obstacles. In terms of research these are some books I found helpful: Principles of Successful Freelancing by Miles Burke, Purple Cow by Seth Godin, Getting Real by 37signals.

  4. Louisa Says:

    Going part time is a great way in. I asked to reduce my hours at work, which they were happy to do. That was only in January. Now I’m finding the part time job is really getting in the way already. I’m busier than ever which is great!

  5. Nicole Foster Says:

    The second point is very true. You need to have a decent savings before stepping into freelancing or you will end up behind on bills.


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