5 Disadvantages of Freelancing (And Why It’s Still Worth It)

disadvantages of freelancing

You might be surprised for us to admit it but, yes, there are many disadvantages of freelancing. But, there are disadvantages to everything. Whenever you enter into a new working arrangement, it’s worth considering the pros and the cons so that you can prepare yourself for every aspect of your new venture.

So while this post is going to take a look at 5 of the biggest disadvantages of freelancing, we’re also going to show how to overcome them so that you can live the most fulfilling freelance lifestyle possible.

#1 Lack of Coworkers

Maybe if you are 100% introverted, this isn’t a problem for you at all. But if you are like most people, you crave some sort of human interaction from time to time. If you take the typical career path, then you’ll probably have coworkers. Even if you only get to interact with them on your 30 minute lunch break, it’s still a regular connection that’s built in to your day.

As a freelancer, though, you probably won’t have anyone. Just you and your computer. You’ll interact with clients, of course, but that’s not quite the same.

How To Overcome It

Just because you run your business alone doesn’t mean you have to be a loner! There are tons of freelancer communities out there to join where you can find like-minded entrepreneurs to socialize and even partner with. 

The Legiit Official Facebook Group is full of freelancers (and customers) who are looking to perfect their talent and grow their business.

The WorkFrom Slack Channel gives you access to chat, Zoom, and skillshare with thousands of remote workers around the world.

And then there are local meetups, coworks, and even coffee shops where you can find other folks to befriend and work with daily.

#2 Total Self-Reliance

Freelancers aren’t just lacking a built-in social structure. They are also often building a business completely by themselves. You have to rely on yourself to market your skills, land clients, fulfill orders, handle customer service, and more. 

If things go wrong, you are typically the only one to blame. There is no one to pass the buck to or share the responsibility with.

How To Overcome It

First off, try to recognize that pressure and responsibility as a good thing. While it might make you anxious, it can also drive you to perform better. Since your success or failure is solely in your hands, you have complete control over your own destiny.

Next, realize that you actually don’t have to handle every aspect of your business by yourself. It might be a good idea when you are just getting started, just to save money. But once things are rolling, don’t be shy about outsourcing tasks like simple communication, bookkeeping, and even fulfillment.

#3 Always Being on the Clock

Freelancers often feel like they have to be ready to answer messages and emails 24/7. If they don’t they could lose a sale or upset a regular customer. This feeling of always being on the clock is one of the more common disadvantages of freelancing, and it can make people feel stretched thin between work, family, and leisure time.

How To Overcome It

One of the most biggest reasons people decide to start freelancing is to enjoy more freedom. If you feel enslaved by your business, obviously something is wrong.

So let us make it clear: you are NOT always on the clock. You are in charge of your own schedule. 

The best approach is to just make your communication guidelines clear to your clients. On your website or service description, state explicitly how long you will take to respond to inquiries. If you don’t check your messages on weekends, make that clear too.

Generally, people only get upset when their expectations aren’t met. So if you can manage those expectations, most customers will be respectful of your time. And the ones who aren’t probably wouldn’t have been very good to work with anyway.

#4 Unpredictable Income

Most traditional jobs come with a predictable paycheck that gets doled out every two weeks or so. You tend to know exactly how much money you’ll be taking home from month to month.

As a freelancer, of course, you are only making money when you have orders coming in. You might bring in a ton of business the week of Black Friday, for example, but only drive half as many sales during the entire month of December.

It can be tricky to plan your finances out when you never know exactly how much revenue you’ll be pulling in at any given point.

How To Overcome It

First, you’ve got to see unpredictable income as an advantage as well. Since you aren’t tied into a salary set by an employer, that means there is no upper limit on the amount of money you can make. That’s why it’s completely possible to become a six figure freelancer.

Additionally, it can be worthwhile to view your revenue in terms of averages. Rather than building your budget around what you made this month, consider budgeting based on the average of your last 6 months. This helps you balance out the ups and downs that come with running your own business. For more advice on things like setting aside money for taxes and building up your savings, check out our guide to Financial Planning for Freelancers.

#5 Trouble Getting Paid

Anxiety around a freelancer’s unpredictable income gets exacerbated when a client doesn’t pay on time. If you search around the internet for a while you can find plenty of stories from freelancers about chasing down clients for months before getting paid. Or worse, being completely scammed into working for free!

It’s a common problem, but one that freelancers on Legiit never have to worry about.

How To Overcome It

You can protect yourself legally from being stiffed by customers by ensuring you never work without a contract first. Still, when you’re working with clients from around the world, enforcing a legal contract can be difficult or prohibitively expensive. Plus, even well-intentioned customers are just forgetful or busy, so you’ll likely waste a lot of time emailing reminders and gently-worded nudges.

Thousands of freelancers use Legiit every day to avoid the worry altogether, though. When a customer places an order on Legiit, they have to provide funds immediately. The money gets placed in escrow, and once you complete the order, it will be released to you automatically. So you never have to chase a client down to get paid as long as you do the work.

Freelancing is Worth It

Despite the disadvantages of freelancing, it is still a fulfilling and profitable business venture. Every situation in life has its advantages and disadvantages. Your job is to make the most out of it and carve a path to success.

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