Freelancers, unless blessed with sky-high confidence and self-esteem, will have a moment of self-doubt during their work day. In fact, I’ve had doubts about whether freelancing is for me during the following times:

  • In the run up to Christmas or a holiday, when ALL OF THE WORK needs doing beforehand. 
  • When dealing with a tricky client, and having no one to talk to face-to-face about it
  • When I’ve taken on too many clients, and I’m doing all of the hours
  • When times are quiet, and I’m scrambling to pay the bills
  • When chasing a client for a very overdue payment
  • When taking on a project that seems far too big and complicated for my skills

But y’know what? Doubts are normal. No one coasts along feeling 100% sure about anything. The key is how you feel the rest of the time. When I feel those doubts creeping in, I remember that 90% of the time I LOVE being a freelancer. When I was a full-time employee, it was closer to 30-40%.

Most of all though, go with your gut. If you have doubts but your gut says go for it, you’re doing the right thing. If you have doubts and your gut agrees, consider other options. Your gut is rarely wrong (unless you’ve had a curry the night before.)

Do you ever have doubts about freelancing?

2 Comments on The A-Z of Freelancing – Dealing with doubts

  1. I’m not even sure if what I do is techically freelancing but what I do know is that I have really struggled with self doubt in the last couple of months. Generally I’m pretty good at just telling that voice to shut up but it is hard! I love what you say about that 90% feeling, I’m with you on that. I do need to remind myself that despite those doubts this is all worth it!

  2. Oh heck yeah! Once in a while I come across a project that’s Really Tough, requiring learning a major new skill (in the current case, a certain semi-obscure “NoSQL” database, when I haven’t dealt with that sort of thing directly at all before), sometimes even outside the range of things I have any knack for at all (like visual design). Sometimes I wonder, am I good enough, smart enough, wise enough, etc. to handle this assignment? All I can do is be honest with my clients, let them know what I think, and let them know frequently how progress is going. Usually it turns out that I can bang my head against that particular wall hard enough to knock it down just fine, without too much injury. Usually the client is perfectly happy with the rate of progress, and the results, even if it’s not up to my own expectations based on skills I know better.

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