10 questions I asked myself before I started working as a freelancer

Becoming a freelancer is not difficult. At least formally. A short registration with the tax office is enough. It is much more difficult to leave the comfort zone of being an employee and to be able to survive economically successfully on the market as a freelancer for years. This requires a lot of courage, personal responsibility, discipline, motivation and dedication.

I know both sides. In comparison to the employment relationship, many hours of work were unpaid for me as a freelancer. I am not talking about working hours on customer orders. Rather, it was the unpaid hours for acquisition, advertising, finances, etc.

In case of failure I could no longer blame the boss, colleagues or the company structure. When I made mistakes, the criticism was directed directly at me. As a freelancer, I now also have to pay for seminars for further training out of my own pocket. AND – For many, the most important argument for a permanent position. The regular receipt of salary.

Privileges for employees

So, it is not easy to leave this comfort zone. I speak from personal experience. For example, my former employer offered me

  • a generous monthly salary
  • an open-ended contract
  • Company pension
  • Working time on a basis of trust
  • Christmas and holiday bonuses
  • Company outings
  • paid seminars and holidays for further training
  • Capital-forming benefits
  • free drinks and fruit at the workplace
  • last but not least: nice colleagues

Doesn’t sound so bad, does it? Many of my former colleagues still enjoy working there. Still, I was always thinking about my future as a freelancer.

Ten questions I asked myself before I went freelance.

Before I quit my job, I asked myself important questions about my future as a freelancer.

  1. Why do I not want to work as an employee (despite all the advantages)?
  2. Can I sleep well even without a regular income?
  3. Am I willing to take on more personal responsibility?
  4. Will I work with real passion as a freelancer?
  5. Do I have enough reserves to be able to bridge at least six months without receiving payment?
  6. Are my professional skills sufficient to be able to offer potential customers significant added value with my services?
  7. Do I have entrepreneurial skills in addition to my specialist knowledge?
  8. Am I willing to invest time and money in my further education?
  9. Is my family or my life partner behind this decision?
  10. Why should customers commission me of all people?

Some questions I could answer relatively quickly. On other questions I pondered for several days and weeks.

Why leave the gilded cage?
Privileges as a freelancer

So, there are numerous arguments in favour of the employee existence. Why is it still worthwhile to work as a freelancer? Everyone has an individual answer to this question. My answer is quite simply – freedom -.

Freedom is a very powerful word. To clear up misunderstandings. Even working as a freelancer is no guarantee of freedom. For example, good telephone accessibility can considerably restrict the freedom to freely arrange working hours. Also, the freedom to decide whether or not to accept an assignment often depends largely on one’s own financial situation.

Of course, there were also phases in which I could not really act freely as a freelancer. This was especially true in my initial phase. For me, however, it was always only decisive which possibilities and chances a freelance activity offers me.

Opportunities for freelance work:

  • determine working hours freely
  • Free choice of work location
  • Freedom of decision when accepting orders
  • greater influence on the level of my income
  • Room for manoeuvre in health and pension insurance

Conclusion

This contribution has a clear objective. It should make you think if you are thinking about starting a freelance activity. Maybe you will realize after careful consideration that a life as an employee simply suits you better. This is also perfectly okay as long as you are happy with this decision. Should you decide to go freelance despite all the obstacles, I would like to conclude this article with a little quote: “The ship is safe in the harbour, but that’s not what it was built for.

What questions do you ask yourself before you start freelancing? Write in the comments and share your thoughts with other freelancers!

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