Here’s the most common path I’ve seen creatives take to freelancing:
- You’re a work-a-holic at a job you hate
- You decide to make the switch to freelancing
- You quit your job, set up your “business” and get started
- Before your know it, you’re working more than you were at your old job
- Eventually, the fun and passion of running your own freelance business fizzles out and you’re left with exactly what you had before: work-aholism at job you hate.
So why do so many freelancers find themselves discouraged and overworked instead of fulfilled, happy, and filled with passion to live life to the fullest?
There’s one pivotal moment that will determine the happiness of any freelancer.
And it happens pretty early on.
It’s the moment when you start to build your freelance business.
A business or a job?
What most freelancers don’t understand is the different between building a business and building a job.
You’ve probably had a job all your life.
You’ve likely worked at a number of jobs.
You started by doing chores at your childhood home.
Then you flipped burgers as a teenager.
Then, as an adult, you got a job.
So you’ve had tons of experience building a job. But how many businesses have you ever started? How many successful businesses have you run? If you’re like most freelancers, the answer is: not many, probably none.
So it’s easy to, in an attempt to start freelancing, simply start another “job” for yourself.
But you don’t want another job. You want a business. Here’s the difference:
Signs your “business” is actually just another job
If you’re not sure if you’ve built yourself a business or just another job, take a look at a few defining features below:
- A business allows the owner to be flexible with their time and resources; a job forces its owner to work a certain number of hours each day/week
- A business makes money based on productivity, regardless of hours; a job makes money based on hours worked
- A business can be scaled exponentially to make more money or be more productive; a job is a one-person show with no option to grow
- A business is a slave to it’s owner; a job is the master of its owner
So have you started a business by striking out as a freelancer? Or have you just started another job?
If you’re just working “another job” for yourself, then you might as well go back to working for someone else. (Am I right or wrong on this one? Leave a comment and let me know!)
But if you really want to build a business, there’s one thing you really need to do…
Create a solid business plan.
Without a plan, you’re sunk. You’re likely to just start another job. And this time instead of working for someone you hate, you’ll work for a job you hate.
So save yourself before it’s too late.
Build a business, not a job.
(PS: In case you haven’t heard, soon I’ll be talking with freelancers on the new GDB YouTube channel. We’ll talk about finding clients, building a business [instead of a job], making more money as a freelancer and much more! I’ve already got a lot of great interviews lined up and you won’t want to miss them! Subscribe to the GDB YouTube channel now and be the first to see the interviews when they release!)