7 Ways to Overcome Your Fear of Becoming a Freelancer

Have you always wanted to freelance but fear has gotten the best of you? Here are 7 ways to finally put your fears to rest and become a top freelancer in your field!

Being a freelancer has a lot of perks. You set your own hours, determine your own rates, and, for the most part, get to pick your own clients. But it has a dark side, too: A side that can make you so fearful of what it contains that you decide to set aside your dreams of becoming a freelancer, never to know what it feels like to be your own boss and highlight all of your talents… until now, that is.

By the time you’re done reading this, you’ll be ready to bury your fears in your backyard, using them as the fertilizer to the plethora of flowers that will bloom in their place. They will be in your past and freelancing will be in your future.

With that kick-butt thought in mind, here are seven ways to help you start your life-transforming process and become the freelance writer, programmer, editor, designer, developer, or other type of freelancer that you were destined to be.

#1 Don’t Try to be a Master Without First Being an Apprentice

Two young stylish woman using laptops back to back on a green lawn

It can be overwhelming to think about being a successful freelancer when you have barely entered the novice phase. You quickly become hyper-aware of all you don’t know, which can scare you into doing nothing, never being able to make the first move.

However, you need to remember that no one starts out a master. There is always an apprenticeship of sorts that teaches you what you need to know to excel in your field. Essentially, you have to crawl before you walk and walk before you run.

So, relax a little and let yourself go through the process. With enough practice and persistence, you’ll soon have others looking at you and wondering how they can get where you are, the master of your freelance field.

#2 Dip Your Toes in the Water Before Jumping Right in

Attempt to completely overhaul your life in one swoop and it’s no wonder you are filled with fear. It’s like jumping in a pool of water without testing it first, feeling the shock of its coldness as it jolts every centimeter of skin on your once very warm body.

Most freelance jobs can be done on a part-time basis which gives you time to settle in and raise your comfort level. Plus, taking this slow and easy route will help you build your client base and gain referrals, making the switch to freelancing easier once you decide that you are ready to do it all day every day.

#3 Keep a List of all of the Perks of Freelancing

Office workplace with laptop and notepad

When I first started out as a freelance writer, there were many times I just wanted to give up and quit. It seemed as if I was a mile out to sea and simply treading water, not making any real headway toward the safety of the shore.

I longed for the days of getting a steady paycheck every other Friday and of paid time off on holidays or if I wasn’t feeling well. I missed getting to clock out after my work day, as opposed to living in my office and thinking about what I had to get done 24/7.

As tempting as it was to wave the white flag in surrender, the things that have always kept me going are all of the perks that I have as a freelancer. I get to set my own schedule and don’t have to ask for time off when I need it, running the risk of being denied. I also set my own rates and work as much as I want, giving me unlimited income potential.

Besides, how can I beat getting to work in my comfy clothes or eating lunch when I am hungry as opposed to when I get time? When I was in law enforcement, I spent my days either in my uniform or dress clothes for court, only able to eat when everyone else decided to obey the law.

#4 Have a Backup Plan

If the idea of failing as a freelancer absolutely terrifies you, then create a backup plan that you can fall back on if your fears were to ever come true. There’s nothing worse than not feeling like you have choices, so you’ll want to set your options up beforehand, meaning that you’ll always have a contingent plan if things don’t line up like you hope.

Have employment prospects in mind and stock up your savings account. That way, you have nothing to lose by giving this career route a try as you will be okay regardless of how things work out.

#5 Start Networking with Other Freelancers

It always surprises me when I see other freelancers who have the same concerns and fears that I do. It reminds me that I am not alone and makes me realize that if they can overcome them, I can too.

A great place to network is LinkedIn. You can connect with or follow others in the freelance position that you want and learn from them. Ask their advice and read their posts to give you the courage to overcome your fear, just like they did, in pursuit of your career-related dreams. If you’d like to connect with me on LinkedIn, feel free to do so as I will do my best to encourage and support you in your journey!

Additionally, you may want to check out freelance sites that hire people doing what you want to do. I personally use Elance as they hire freelance writers, in addition to other individuals who freelance in web design, programming, and more.

#6 Let Go of Your Excuses

Woman drinking coffee and using digital tablet in the morning

The way I see it, you have two choices in life: Make excuses or make changes. Excuses do nothing more than hold you back and rob you of your dreams whereas changes are what can take your life from “I’m okay” to “Oh-my-gosh-pull-me-back-down-because-I-am-floating!”

How do you let go of your excuses and move past them? First, you need to recognize when you are making them. Then, you’ll want to ask yourself whether or not you would let a loved one get away with making that excuse. If you wouldn’t, don’t let yourself get away with it either.

#7 Do One Thing Today that You Would Do as a Freelancer

The best way to conquer your fears of becoming a freelancer is to start to do the things that freelancers do and prove to yourself that it can be done. This will allow you to build the self-confidence necessary to excel. It will also give you the experiences that will help you grow and become better (allowing you to move from novice to master).

For example, if you’re interested in freelance writing like me, you can start by setting up your own blog and writing there. Then, as you gain a following and a little momentum, you might decide to do a guest post on someone else’s blog. From there, you could query magazines or online publications and offer to write for them.

Before you know it, you’ll be a sought after freelancer that is actually turning away clients. I never thought it would be possible, but I am in that position right now so I know you can be, too!

Do these seven things and let your fears of freelancing melt away. All that will be left is the strong, powerful woman who lies underneath; the woman dying to get out and take her swing at the world; the woman who is a freelancer!

About the author

Christina DeBusk

Changing careers mid-life from law enforcement to writing, Christina spends her days helping others enrich their businesses and personal lives one word at a time.

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