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"I'll have more free time!" and other common freelancing myths



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"I'll have more free time!" and other common freelancing myths

I always think it's really funny when I read how freelancing will give you more free time to do the things you want to do.

At the start, I was under the whole "work from home fantasy illusion" that freelancing would give me MORE time...boy was I wrong. In many ways, it is way more difficult and time-consuming than many full time nine to five jobs I have ever had.

There are no set work hours when you are a freelancer and you have to respond when the client messages, whatever time of day or night, so you end up babysitting your project or email box to ensure you're not missing updates.

And, clients don't understand that you have a life too!

Are you having the same experience? And, what are some other common myths of freelancing? Such as things you believed about freelancing (before you began) that turned out not to be true.

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TheArticulate

This is something I realized when I started doing freelance video work. Yes, while I do get to work from the comfort of my home part of the time, I kind of realized that now all of my time away from my full time work is time that could be dedicated to freelance instead. This has been something that's weighing on me heavily recently and has spurred my decision to reduce the number of wedding gigs I take on outside of my full time job. I've decided that I really enjoy what I do at my day job and will sacrifice the some of the money I make from my side business so I can pursue other things I'm passionate about.

It's really dragging me down recently that when I get off work, I have to look forward to going home and editing another wedding video. I've just got to power through them and get them done so I can be rid of the weight on my shoulders!




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Corzhens

I consider myself a freelancer in my budding writing career even if I have a daytime job in the office. But I have already been experiencing that syndrome of not having enough time to do my writing chores. This it not to brag but I have some commissioned writings and more offers that I already declined for I don't want people to expect writing for them that I would miss the deadline. Yeah, one problem with freelancing is the easy go lucky attitude. But in fairness to me, I want to enjoy my writing. It's not really for the money for more for the enjoyment.




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Tronia

That is a really good point Corzhens. I often feel the same way. There are just so many writing opportunities and it's unbelievably hard to juggle them all at once. You sadly have to sometimes decline clients. It is a good thing to set a limit on the work amount so you don't get completely burnt out and keep enjoying it. We think alike!




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overcast

I think often the writing assignments are easy. And we can easily manage them. But as you can see it'd be reasonable to see that freelancing takes time. And making regular income is lot harder. So the free time is something often we don't get. And for this reason I think people have to take freelancing with it's own share of time management.




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galegatling

I never had the chance to know the feeling of having more time when I was doing freelance jobs. >.> You'll never have a free time unless you only have a solo client with little tasks assigned to you. But that wouldn't be the case would it?




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Tronia

Haha, I couldn't agree more! That's definitely an illusion that I also had before I began working as a freelancer. I thought that I would have way more free time compared to a regular job. Sure, you can have free time but then you won't be a successful freelancer. Freelancing is not easy as it seems... at least not at the start and until you build up your network of people and clients.

Another freelancing myth is that it is supposed to be far less stressful compared to other jobs but it's not true. it's just as stressful because many projects involve a lot of responsibility that's only on your shoulders. It's up to you to deliver the requested service or deal with cranky clients.




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JoeMilford

The myth that it is far less stressful? If I were ever under that false pretense when I started this a few months ago, I am totally not feeling that way now. I have to set such a crazy schedule to keep up with all of my freelance gigs around my "day job", and it is quite the juggling Olympics competition, let me admit. Also, you can put in tons of work for very little pay, and that alone is a stressor because you see all of this time flying bu which you will never get back.




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Fuzyon

Freelancing is definitely a hard job. People think that just because you can stay at home and work you're in a better position but they don't realise how much work you actually have to put in when it matters. Your schedule is flexible but once you start working you can't be distracted by anything else.




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peachpurple

Yes, freelancing job is where you are the boss and the employee, you have to stick to your schedule and hit your daily goal without anyone looking over your shoulders. However, free time means lazy time. When you are free, that means you are not working online. That could be watching videos or playing games.




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TheArticulate

One of the stressful things about freelance work is that you're responsible for the work you do, through and through. If you don't satisfy the customer or you mess something up during a freelance gig, generally you're the only person to blame, which can be pretty nerve-wracking, especially when I'm trying a gig I've never done before.




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Fuzyon

Yup. It's also extremely stressful to mess up when you're just starting out and trying to build your reputation. Once you make it through the initial phase things calm down for a bit but you need to have the nerves to get at that point.




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JoeMilford

I didn't really think about this point just yet, and it is a great one. Being your own boss in any business isn't ever easy. You do not have a team behind you to doublecheck and edit your processes and products, and because of this, you might be losing a lot of good possible perspectives on your business approaches. This tends to worry me a lot, but I am still learning as I go how to make some money freelancing as my own boss.




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PinkTurtle

It's true! I agree with you. When I began I though I was going to work less than in my usual job- the worst part is people really think we work less because we are at our own home- but the truth is, I ended up working more hours than in my regular job. some days I'll end up working until 1 am and I began at 9 am, I take some breaks of course but it's still a lot of time. It's really crazy sometimes but the benefits of it are also great so I'm going to keep up doing this job for a while now...




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tingavai

Yeah, when it comes down to it, freelance hurts your time a lot more than any full time nine to five job, you would think that freelancing will open up your time, but instead it eats away any time you have slowly but steadily, specially the long-term projects, when I was working as a translator in a company, I still had a social life, ever since I quitted and became a freelance translator, the time I spent on the computer is even more, specially now that I'm working on a big project, it almost completely deletes any leisure time that I would like to have.




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clara1993

Yes Dear you are absolutely right that's one of myths about freelancing, And that is what is being your own boss, It takes your time and most of times when you are having lots of clients it takes your free times and when you have pending unfinished works to do you'll have sleepless nights untill you finish the job,
another myth about Freelancing is " All freelancers make tone of money" I would believe that if one day I'll quit my regular job to make it full time.




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galegatling

Very true Clara. Some people think that working online means less time beause you are not going away from home or doing any heavy work but what they don't know is when you have lots of projects or pending jobs, you have your hands full and sometimes you can't even go out within the day because of those deadlines. >.>




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augusta

Seminars organised by the so -called experts come with so much illusion.The first illusion is that you can grab money from the internet with ease.It is a fat lie that I have come to terms with ,since I started my freelancing job.

Infact making money online need one being online for some hours and meeting up set time by a client is another challenge.But all in all it a good experience




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tingavai

Yeah, the newbies all thought that it will be a piece of cake to make money online, but in truth my first $5 was a hell to make, at the time I wasn't accustomed to how things work and was almost scammed one or two times before meeting a true client, it was quite a hard but fun time.




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overcast

I started freelancing getting low bid rates. I thought if I do this project I'd be free in future. And things never worked like that. I have to say that this is only going to increase your work hours. So you have to set the rates good way that both people who are into buying your service accept and also people who want regular work can accept too. So it depends on what's possible. Some of the time it's better to consider freelance sites for earning when you are desperate. But it;s better to engage yourself on higher rates otherwise you are locked in.




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Pixie06

There are some days when I don't really have much tasks to do and other days when I have loads of work to tackle online. There are days when I work till very late at night and I know that if I was in a full time job this would not have been the case. In order to earn more online I usually have to spend more hours working online. However, I prefer freelancing as I am doing something that I really love. I so hated my previous job. Job satisfaction is more important for me.




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hermessantos

I have been working as a freelancer for 5 years and from the beginning I have always worked much more than in a normal job.

I always had in mind that being a freelancer was not easy life, but honestly I love what I do and I do not change that for nothing.




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overcast

True. That seems to be the case for many of us. You can see that there are times when the freelancing takes more mental and physical toll too. So it all comes down to how the freelancing reduces the time. But as of now there does not seem to be the case. It's lack of consistent revenue that seems to be making some issues out there. I am working harder on that to fix some of those issues.




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jitendra0341

There are lots of myths associated with having free time and lots of money. freelance don't give you lots of bucks immediately. You have to invest a lot of time and effort before that can be happened. like any other profession you have to make proper planning and time management to make it to big. It says that you will be your own boss. It is not true you are working for some company or even their employees. The client you are working for will make some certain choices of his own that you have to adhere to.




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kgord

If all you are doing is freelancing, you are going to be one busy little person especially if you are trying to earn a living from it. It is very time consuming to do marketing, networking, writing, posting, survey taking and other things freelancers do to earn a buck. How about virtually no free time? It seems we are always working!




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JoeMilford

kgord,

I am realizing the absolute truth of what you are saying here on a daily basis. I have been recently experimenting with freelancing as supplementary income--I do have another job which I work from home. It is something you could do twenty four hours a day, to be sure. Many times, I have found, when I am in front of the computer screen, four or five hours will fly be before I even realize it. I am good at time management, but this type of work can definitely suck you in.




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ballyhara

Absolutely, I feel exactly the same way. I was seduced by the whole "make money from home" idea. Seemed like the perfect job, making my own schedule, deciding my income by time investment. Look at me now, working even on long nights, seating in front of my PC or laptop, checking many sites at same time. Maybe is because currently I'm working as freelancer, while I'm still keeping my regular job, so that takes my whole days and nights.




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Cristian

You need to implement some limits and develop a very fixed schedule. Trust me, I understand what you are talking about, I've been a full-time freelancer for about three years when I was younger and it didn't do well for me, especially in the long term.

But I've have grown and developed since then and I actually think I am able at the moment to implement a proper freelance program while gaining all that free time people talk about.
The trick is to work you but off those hours when you really need to work, stay away from any distractions (movies, games, TV, etc) and focus on what you need to achieve on that specific day. Once the time is up, disconnect and enjoy some quality time with your family.

I currently work a 9-5 job plus 10 hours per week freelance work and if I ever hit 20 hours per week I can basically reach my full-time job salary. So if I quit now, I can gain the same salary by working 80 hours per month, that's around 4 hours per day instead of 8. So yeah, I believe freelance can be nice if you are able to manage it.




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JoeMilford

You struck the nail hard on the head when you said that one must have a strict and disciplined schedule in terms of freelancing survival and success. Your second paragraph here is KEY--you have to avoid the distractions--there are so many rabbit holes we could go down while we are online and doing our freelance stuff...and we need to get away from our cells while we are freelancing too, as long as it does not interfere with business...




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fishmonk

People think freelancing is easy and flexible but this is far from the truth. It is true that we have flexibility to choose jobs but we might get some clients who are pretty demanding. Sometimes, a freelancer who strive for perfection may use more effort and even work past normal hours to get a quality job done and meet the deadline set by clients.




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JoeMilford

fishmonk,
i have found out very quickly, as a newbie, that freelancing is far from easy. I was not really under that impression when I started, but I can definitely vouch for the difficulties of freelancing at this point. I could see myself being able to work at this profession twenty four hours a day and seven days a week, and I would still never finish my potential workload.




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Baburra

I am a freelancer and I do think I have more free time than a traditional employee, but the myth that always bothers me the most is that my family seems to think that my time is more flexible than it really is. Whenever they invite me to dinners I am not always available, but they always question it as if I should always be available since I work from home and can supposedly leave for just a few hours whenever I want. I suppose there is some truth to that, but sometimes the dinner is scheduled at a time when I am in the middle of finishing a project or sometimes just right after I have finished a big task wherein I just want to stay home and rest.




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augusta

Yea,I also believe in this mantra of having all the free time,I think I was totally wrong because I spend more time working now.Another myth is making trillion loads of dollar in a shortest possible way,I think this is also untrue.You might be making some stipends in the beginning but definitely not so much.one need to work hard just like offline work.




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JoeMilford

Isn't this the truth! When the boss forces you to leave work because the day is done and your shift is over, then that's a done deal and out of your control. However, with freelancing, primarily done on your personal computer, that thing is always in the room calling out to you and making you think you might be missing some potential earning or possibilities if you don't stay on it twenty-four seven.




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babyblue09

Well, if you had to list the pros and cons of freelance work? Allow me to provide mine too...

Pros:
*Choice and Variety. You have the ability to (eventually) choose clients, topics, and projects appeal to those of us who want to work on certain topics or fields. Granted, you often take an "all comers" approach when you start out, but many/most freelancers eventually focus on anywhere from one to five "niche" expertise areas.
*Scheduling. I'm listing this first because it has, without a doubt, been the absolute best part of this career for me as a mother.

Cons:
*Sporadic Payment Schedule and Amounts. It is the number one complaint that most people have about freelancing, and it's quite logical. It takes a while to develop a set of clients whose payment schedules vary enough to have a constant flow of cash.
*Separation of Work and Home. i know you know what I specifically mean by this.
*Health insurance. This career would not work (for me) where Im not in a traditional heteronormative marriage with someone with a traditional job.




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JoeMilford

I am with you on the sporadic payment issue. There's one institution that owes me about fifty bucks right now, and I just can't get them to pay out. I know that is not a lot of money, but every little bit helps, and I must admit that I am getting a bit tired of these guys holding out on me. I mean, I did the work, and so I really would like my compensation, you know? I do like some of the flexibility that I have in terms of working from home, but I do miss the benefits and regular pay of a regular full-time job, which I am working on getting again.




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Joteque

Those are some good Pros and Cons babyblue09. You've hit the freelance nail right on the head. It's pretty much uncertain and at the same time limitless on the possibilities that exist. Just about everything is for that matter. I use to sell clothing from the back of my car a long time ago. That was my day job and at times I go out there and there was nothing but fresh air at the end of my journey to feel good about. Other times I would have a complete sell out with clients calling and asking how soon the next shipment would arrive. I guess it's the same thing with freelance where one time you have alot of great paying clients and lots of freetime and you could choose to do your work from anywhere, even on a cruise ship sailing on the high seas while fulfilling the umpteenth order! The other time you're home in your home office juggling your time and space with home life and online work fulfilling the days task. Life's a peach or an orange, make lemonade, have multiple streams that pays and manage your time and strive for the best that is!




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jaymish2

@joteque I completely agree with your sentiment to have multiple streams of income. What we all tend to forget when we are freelancing that we are running our own business. If you ask any business owner this is not an easy task. They are many articles on burning out for entrepreneurs. One of the reasons given for failure by freelancers is that they don't treat this as a business. I think we all need to change our mindset.

Freelancing is not easy. The advantages are that you have more flexibility than employment and your potential in terms of income is dependant on you. In my opinion, it's very hard to juggle employment and have a freelancing career. One has to suffer. It's normally freelancing. This is very sad as you cap your income potential.




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vinaya

I am a freelancer. Sometimes I don't have time, I work 12-13 hours in a day. Sometimes I don't have any work and I am free to do what ever I want. When I do not have freelancing jobs, I go back to my blogs, upload new contents and revise old contents.
I don't live with "I will have more time" myth. As a freelancer, you will always be occupied. Even when you don't have any work, you will have to constantly apply for work or market your services.




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mildredtabitha

I also experienced this before I started forum posting. I used to be given work by my employer even while I was sleeping. I wanted to write during the day only but sometimes I was forced to write even at midnight. I felt it was taking too much and all of my time. I continued writing for the site since I had tried bidding before and it didn't work while on that site, I was emailed work to do frequently.


So after I learned about forum posting, I switched to it and felt relieved. Now I can read for exams and do forum posting in the morning because it is convenient for me.




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JoeMilford

I like forum posting as well. It is a bit cumbersome time-wise, but bidding for lower and lower pay for bigger and bigger writing projects at some of these sites is a real pain. I find that forum posting gives me more freedom to write, in terms of topic choice and time management, so I enjoy the perks of that. The forums seem to "always" be there and pretty reliable, but other freelance opportunities, in my opinion and experience, are not all so reliable as the forums.




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jaymish2

I agree@JoeMilford that forum posting can be preety reliable. Bidding for work on bidding sites like upwork is a real nightmare. You never know when you will get any work. However forum posting can be quite tedious and especially in the evenings it leaves you with very little free time. I agree that free time for freelancers is a complete myth. I think freelancers often work harder then employees.




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Corzhens

I agree that we need to have focus on our work because freelancing is indeed a kind of business that managed and operated by only one person which happens to be you. My main line in freelancing is paid forum posting and I feel stuck with it for the moment because I couldn’t diversify to affiliate marketing no matter how I like. I have no time to spare because my freelancing work is done only on my free time from my office job.




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