Freelancing has always intrigued me — Even more so lately because I’ve been putting in some serious thought towards actually attempting it.
I just haven’t tried yet.
I haven’t tried it yet because honestly, I’m scared — Scratch that, I’m terrified.
I’m sure that many of us have seen this cliche image before —
Or, at least you’ve read or heard some sort of derivative of this in the form of a motivational quote.
“The magic happens just outside of your comfort zone”
Well, in all honestly, I’ve always liked my comfort zone. For lack of a better word, it’s comforting.
I like stability. I like sure things. I like knowing that I have a safety net.
I’d confidently assume that no one would actually jump out of an airplane if they were told it was possibly defective— And I’d suspect that someone wouldn’t even jump at all if they didn’t have a parachute to begin with.
In life, as we all know, there is no parachute. There is no safety net.
Things don’t always go according to plan.
We fail. We fall. We get hurt.
So, when it comes to thinking about being a full-time Freelance Writer, I ask myself,
“Why the hell would I willingly detach the safety net that I already have in the form of my comfortable 9–5 office job”
“Why would I throw away my perfectly good parachute?”
Well, as I mentioned, the idea of freelancing full-time terrifies me.
It terrifies me because I don’t know what’s on the other side of it.
Here’s another cliche quote for you —
“Everything you want is on the other side of fear.” — Jack Canfield
Yes, Jack, I know this.
Yes, this is inspiring to me.
…But, clearly not inspiring enough because I haven’t gone to the other side yet, have I?
I often have to stop and also ask myself —
What if I come to find that freelancing is not what I really want?
What if I take a stab at it and hate it?
And what if I just end up doing what I was doing before?
All of these questions will continue to remain unanswered until I actually take that plunge.
But, to get to the root of the problem, the more important question is this —
What exactly am I terrified about?
The thing is, I know these answers already. It’s the same answers that a majority of people would probably respond with.
The lack of security. Possible financial instability. Possible lack of health benefits. Lack of a 401K.
These are literally the exact reasons I’d give and the exact reasons that scare me, hence why I haven’t tried my hand at freelancing full-time yet.
But then, there are also these things —
I lack a proper degree within the field. I lack professional experience within the field.
But, the most impactful reason is this —
I have a SH*T TON of student loan debt.
The ultimate reason why I have not yet taken the plunge is because of my financial situation. And I will continue to defend that reasoning until my financial situation is completely sorted out.
Working the job that I am currently in is great and all, but most importantly, it’s secure.
It provides me with all of the things that I need right now — All of the things that I had mentioned in my first wave of responses (Health benefits, financial security, a 401K, etc).
It also provides me with a means to an end.
So, the advice that I would give to myself and the advice that I would give to others about freelancing full-time is quite simple.
If you are in a financial position to do so, and you know what you want to do, then do it.
When I was younger, I never realized the weight of my decisions when it came to finances. I never realized the repercussions of some of my actions.
But, now I do.
And I am now trying to make amends so that I can work towards doing what I really want to do.
I’ve used this quote before and will likely use it many times again (Thanks, Oprah!)
“Do what you have to do until you can do what you want to do.” — Oprah Winfrey
At the end of the day, we are the sum of all of our decisions. So, make sure you are making smart ones that lead to where you want to be.