7 Things To Avoid As a Freelancer

May 07, 2024

2014 was my first full time year as a freelancer. So this is my 10th year of going at it. Just now I'm starting to feel like I am getting my business affairs in order. It took a bit of struggling and messing about though.

How about I'll share you some of my regrets, so you don't have to make the same mistakes.

1. Find mentors, coaches and peers

If you’re anything like me, you claim you ‘can figure it out alone’. Might be true, but hiring a coach, finding a mentor and spending time with peers will get you there faster.

The way I found my current coach is by looking who is a few steps ahead in a field I'd like to progress in. I specifically wanted a coach who had done it before and not a theoretical coach. 

Also I use Discord to hang out in online communities with peers. Always helpful to have people around you to ask some questions.

2. Work with ‘hell yes’ clients

Make sure to not get stuck in a ‘golden cage’, working for clients you don’t even like. Make work of finding leads worth running for. 

When starting out, I used to work for large corporate clients, even though I already knew they weren't the best match. It took me over 3 years to get the guts to move on from these clients. 

3. Productize knowledge

Don’t wait 10 years to write a book or create a course, like I did. Build that product on the side, now. The earlier you start, the more you compound your sales, audience and experience.

A good way to start productizing your knowledge, is by sharing actively on social media. You'll build up a library of content you can reuse. More importantly, you'll get feedback from your audience which you can use to build better products.

4. Reflect on my business

You need to pause and observe your situation sometimes. And with sometimes I mean: regularly. For the first 5 years of freelancing I just kept grinding without a break, and in a way it hurt my progress. I kept grinding, burning myself out and failed to see errors and missing opportunities.

5. Build a personal brand

My full time freelance journey began in 2014. I started posting on LinkedIN in 2021… Don’t make the same mistake, get your thoughts out there. You’ll build authority, meet new people and get inbound leads.

After 2021 I've met so much people and even build multiple businesses with people I met online.

6. Do it right, or not at all

I’m very good at half-assing projects. The starting up part is the fun part, which is a typical entrepreneurs’ disease. My advice though: keep your focus.

First off, all projects should be a hell yes, or it’s a no.

Secondly, you'll need to be able to put in the work. I've learned that nothing ever is just a small little projects

7. Read specific books

Up until a few years back I’d just read random business books recommended to me. My business started growing when I would pick a problem and read a book on the matter. I’d recommend these books to any freelancing: Company Of One, Peak Performance and Atomic Habits.


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