Source | LinkedIn : By Virginia Bautista
If you are a freelancer who has been chasing after clients and worrying where to find your next gig even before your current project is completed, then you might be doing the wrong thing. And guess what — before you know it, you’ll risk burning yourself out.
Stop thinking and acting like a freelancer
Some of the most common reasons for burnout among freelancers are the following:
- Chasing after clients. If you’re doing this, you’re not into a freelancing business. You are struggling — struggling to be financially healthy and stable. This is hard because when one project ends, you have to bid again, send a new proposal or wait for a client looking to pay $5 for a service. It feels like starting from scratch every time. This is not only tiring, but also unsustainable.
- Dealing with unreasonable clients. Not all clients and all projects are the same. Nothing can be more frustrating than chasing a client and finding out later that you just got an unreasonable client or a demanding project.
- Finding it hard to say ‘no’ to any project. Sometimes, there are so many “attractive” projects right there on Upwork. So, you keep on proposing or bidding until you realize that there are already so many projects on your plate. You’ve just ended up with so many commitments. This is a surefire way to lose your focus.
- Lack of time for yourself. Let’s admit it — freelancers understand what it means by a downtime or a “dry” season. You probably want to work as much as you can while there are still many projects. The ending? What else but burnout?
- Lack of specialization (or niche) in your services. Just because you can do ‘a lot of things’ doesn’t mean you can offer ‘a lot of services’ to any client. A freelance writer, for example, may be tempted to accept all kinds of writing projects, e.g., copywriting, academic writing, content marketing, competitive analysis, research, etc. instead of specializing only on one or two fields. All of these types of writing have different requirements and approach, and juggling among all of these may just slow down the completion of any project.
Although you can take several steps to overcome burnout and stay motivated, totally avoiding it is still the best option. To avoid burnout, consider your freelance career a business. Most freelancers don’t realize this.
Why? They’re too busy chasing after clients.
If you want to thrive, take off your freelancer’s hat and wear an entrepreneur’s hat beginning today.
Think and act like an entrepreneur
If you began your career as a full-time employee and later ventured into freelancing, you knew at the beginning that you had also ended your “employee” status that made you come to work at 9 a.m. and leave the office at 5 p.m.