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— n
1.  a. Also called: freelancer. a self-employed person, especially a writer or artist, who is not employed continuously but hired to do specific assignments

In my words,

1. a. Also called: freelancer. a self-employed person, required to find their own work, someone who risks a comfortable salary for something that they love, totally worth it, but scary as hell

I think that’s a pretty good definition. I get asked a lot why I decided to leap into full-time freelancing to focus on my own freelance business, probably because it sounds like a risky decision. But, I’ve never been a very risk-adverse person. Like I mentioned before, I knew it was the right time for me to take the leap, because I was so unhappy at my current job. I wasn’t being challenged as a designer, felt myself getting worse and no longer loving the thing that I had spent so many years learning.

I know that I will come across people who will ask me what I do, and when I finish explaining, they will still have a blank look on their face. This is because, not everyone will understand. Not everyone’s brains are functioned to think like mine, like a crazy person, like an entrepreneur, like a creative. That’s just how the world works. Don’t dwell on this. Explain what you do and move on. There is no reason to have to convince someone that what you are doing is a good idea. If you think it’s a good idea and you’re good at, then do it!

But, no matter how good you are at something, the road will always be bumpy and you will be scared. I promise. But don’t assume that you are going to fail. Instead, make long term goals for your business, create a personality that readers/clients/customers can associate with your brand, and budget wisely. Don’t be careless with your money, and especially with your time.

And, to make the most of a scary situation, enjoy the ride.

Great articles to read related to this topic:

Failure: It’s Not That Bad

Quit Your Day Job – Making the Leap to Full Time Freelancing

Melissa Breau Goes Full Time Freelance and Tells Us About It (a story of a fellow creative who went freelance and answers some questions)

LINKS: image source

  • Thanks so much for this & these links too! You’re totally right, you have to keep going no matter what, and trust that you can do it.
    I just took the jump myself, so here I go on my new adventure!!

    • That’s so exciting! Of course, I wish you the best of luck. If you ever need any help, I’m here for you!

  • Amy

    Amanda, your blog is awesome and I appreciate your candor about freelancing in all your posts! This really hits home for me, as I’m currently balancing a full-time marketing/art direction job and then freelancing at night. My day job isn’t fulfilling, not a challenge, creatively stifling…and it’s really starting to depress me. However, I know I’m not financially ready to make the leap, as I’m the main supporter for myself and my boyfriend. It’s such a tough call! I’m hoping I’ll be more prepared on all fronts by the summer; waiting to make the leap is getting harder day by day…but I don’t want to be foolish. And I’m slightly terrified of how I will continue to pay the bills, as I’m sure every freelancer can relate ;)

  • Hi Amanda,

    Thanks so much for including my post in your list. I’m so honored. :D

    And you’re right – there are some rough spots and downright terrifying moments when you make the leap to freelancing. I would never recommend doing it the way I did, but I wouldn’t change my choices for all the tea in China. They are, after all, what has brought me to where I am today…and I really like where I am these days.