Downside 1: The phone sometimes stops ringing
Relying on a few sources of work, no matter how consistent or lucrative they are, is always risky. Think of it like an investment strategy: if all your eggs are in one basket, and there’s rush on omelettes, you’re doomed for breakfast tomorrow.
Solution: Keep your friends close, and your competitors closer
You might think other freelancers are your competition. Sometimes they are. But more often than not, they’ll pass a job on to you because they’re too busy, or the project is not a great match for their skillset, or it’s a giant opportunity they’d like to tackle with a colleague, or they just sold the movie rights book to their debut novel or whatever. Be there to pick up the dropped ball. Get the ball rolling by handing on leads to people you know. You’ve heard of karma, haven’t you?
Downside 2: You get sick. Like, real sick
This is actually happening to a couple of friends and colleagues of mine right now, one of whom is a freelancer*. And it is terrifying, just to watch. I can’t begin to imagine what it’s like to go through. Not just the illness itself, but the knock-on-effects for someone who needs to work, but simply can’t, can be close to catastrophic. Pray it won’t happen to you.
Solution: Plan for it happening to you
Slice off a fraction of your earnings (no matter how small) each month. Keep it consistent. Put some of it into a sick leave fund (for when you get the sniffles), some of it into health insurance (for when you break something) and some of it into an income protection (for when life comes along and smacks you in the mouth, good and proper). If it’s been a few years and your sick leave fund is piling up, congratulations. You just bought yourself a holiday.
Read the full story at Five Pitfalls of Freelancing and How to Avoid Them