THINGS THEY DIDN’T TELL YOU ABOUT FREELANCING

Leaving things out is one of the natural phenomenons that happen with humans in conversations, discussions and more and yes, what that means is most of the time, there are lots people don’t say! There are lots of things people won’t tell you about a particular thing. Sometimes, these things they don’t tell are not intentional and when they don’t, it can be borne out of the assumptions that you’re supposed to know them.

Some other time, some people just love for you to experience and realize them yourselves because telling you may discourage you or make you develop cold feet when the essence really is to get you prepared.

Freelance, just like any other career, has its own challenges and while preparation is a basic tool to get oneself prepared for those kinds of challenges, we can’t always be prepared for it all because we can’t predict some of them. Another thing is, sometimes people can assume that a person interested in a particular field of Freelance knows how to start, where to start, what to invest and what to expect, so they won’t really say much other than encourage them to start.

Therefore, what are the things people don’t say about Freelance?

1. You can start little: I can confidently say that a lot of aspiring Freelancers have watered down their aspirations because of the assumption that you need much to have more but the truth is, there are days of little beginnings to every flourishing and booming career. There were days when they didn’t have that many instruments with quality and all they did was learn to produce quality with the little they had. In other words, an empire isn’t built starting big ‘cos if it were, it would have been something bigger than an empire. So, it takes little to start a Freelance career and as you grow, the demands become bigger and that is normal. A laptop and a ‘browsing’ phone are enough working tools to start a Freelance career in writing (Contents, blogging, etc.). It doesn’t have to be all at once! You can always make do with what you have.

2. It takes time: A lot of times, we’ve had situations and instances of people who unconsciously try to see only the result and not the hard work that made it visible. What am I trying to say? I’m saying, sometimes, it is easy for people to get distracted by the success story and glamour of a particular Freelancer that they think it comes easy. Another time, when people try to see that it couldn’t have happened without an input, they find it difficult to see that it takes a lot of time, patience, resilience and hope to see those results. There are days you’ll get weary, tired and feel like no one’s noticing and nothing is coming your way albeit how much you put and pour into your Freelance career; there are days you’ll be discouraged. You may not get jobs, clients may be nasty, you may not make enough money, someone may owe you or plagiarize your work or use it without giving you the credit that’s due; you may lose some opportunities and all, but those are just a little bad days that teaches us to value the success when it comes; because you worked for it and it didn’t just fall in your laps. Most importantly, it is pertinent to remember that the narrative won’t always be that way. You may not be able to tell how long they last but the end game is all of those things lead you to success. Therefore, a Freelance career isn’t a do it today and make it tomorrow thing, it’s something that takes time.

3. You need to show more than tell: This is very important. Often times people do a lot of telling/saying than showing. It is not enough that you have the desire to be a Freelancer; it’s not enough that you think you’re a good Writer and you need a place to shine. It is not enough that you tell everyone how much of a good writer that you are and all that you need is an opportunity; sometimes and most of the time, people want to see – samples of your work, what have you done, what are you doing, what can you do, what efforts are you making? Show and allow it (your work) tell; that’s how you become found!

4. Take the bull the horn: We can’t keep waiting on and for people to give us opportunities (yea right!); you gotta learn to create one for yourself. Don’t be waiting for people to help you (give you connections, link you up with someone, etc.), pick your freelance tool, maximize social media and create an opportunity for yourself. Sometimes when I share links to some of my freelance works on my social media for people to read, I get comments like link me up and I feel bad not because I can’t alone (I really wish I could) but because people do not understand that I can’t and the only help I offer sometimes is to give them names of websites and social media handles they can follow to get more information like @africanfreelancers but the thing is, that’s not what they want. They want you to help them get a job; link them up with someone but I don’t know anyone and they don’t believe you.

One of the things I don’t fail to stress every time is the fact that I had a very lonely writing journey; very lonely. No one believed in me; there are people who said to me and made me feel that I was a fluke; I don’t have what it takes, I don’t have it in me. No one gave me a platform, I offered myself at a point – I worked platforms for free; even people who had promised me payment didn’t end up paying. I needed to change my own narrative. I picked myself up and renewed my confidence in my abilities and I’m presently not where I aspired for myself, but I’m grateful for how far that single decision had taken me.

The point is, trust God with the little you are doing for yourself, don’t keep waiting for someone to believe in you and push you up! Personally, I believe that’s like waiting for Godot ‘cause at the end of the day, you’d have wasted ample time that could have been used in creating something for yourself to wait for people who may never think you have it in you.

Keep doing and that’s how connections find you – while you’re doing not waiting doing nothing.

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