Just like with small businesses, many freelancers give up the ghost before their first year comes to an end, and it’s back to working for somebody else again. The pressure to make your own money is the number one reason for this, and it is easy to understand why.
The first year can be tough, but it’s a lot tougher if you’re making mistakes, particularly mistakes that you don’t need to make. Let’s have a look at five of the biggest mistakes freelancers make in their first year.
They Work Too Hard
This one might sound a little strange, as you’re supposed to work hard, right? It’s so easy for freelancers to lose sight of what turned them to freelancing in the first place, which is choosing your work hours. So choose wisely, and work smarter, not harder. Manage your time and don’t lose sight of the big picture. You don’t want to burn out from working too hard when you don’t have to.
They Don’t Have a Financial System
Freelancers often get carried away by the fun side of working for yourself, particularly in the early days. As limiting as it may sound, having an organized financial system can often be the difference between the freelance life working out and being finished within the first year.
You should be recording all of your in-goings and outgoings from day one, and by using a fake pay stubs generator, you can create professional invoices in a matter of moments to send to your clients, and keep for your records. If you keep on top of these from the start, you will be able to set budgets and know exactly where you stand throughout the financial year.
They Do Their Taxes at the Last Minute
Not sorting your taxes is not advised in the self-employment world, as there’s no excuse for it and could cause you issued later on. Keep on top of your finances throughout the year, and the tax return should be as simple as entering a few numbers and sending it off, which should be done as soon as it becomes possible to do so.
They Say Yes to Everything
In the early stages of a freelance career, it’s easy to say yes to everything because it feels good to have clients and to have a steady stream of income. The problem here is that you’re not vetting clients and picking the best work, you’re just taking anything on. This often leads to freelancers burning out, as they take on the low paying work and find themselves working crazy hours for poor pay.
Learning how to say no is an empowering feeling. You may have to scrimp and save for a while, but when you get that big client who pays triple what a poor client does, you will find yourself with a rush of adrenaline and the momentum that you need to keep pushing for the best, rather than settling for anything that comes your way.
Freelancers who have been working successfully for years are still prone to the occasional bout of procrastination. It’s one of the perks of working for yourself. You can afford to do this when you’re successful and commanding big day checks, but not when you’re just starting out.
Bad habits die hard, and freelancers who procrastinate wildly in their first year are unlikely to make progress required to keep doing it for the rest of their professional working life. It is better to put the smartphone down, turn the TV off and get back to work. There will be plenty of time for chilling out when all of your work is done for the day.
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