Freelancing is Dangerous

I remember when I was employed – I use to hate it. I have always thought of myself as a free bird who must not be tethered to one place or one job. And so I dreamt. I dreamt of the day I would be free of employment. So when someone told me to try out freelancing, I jumped on the idea.

Who wouldn’t want to live the easy life as a freelancer? Think about it. No 8-5 hours, no workplace politics. Just you working at home or from Java and closing deals on the phone. Sounds nice, eh? Except it’s not.

From my experience freelancers typically work way more hours than you’d think.

Rob Walling put it best in his manifesto “The Micropreneur Manifesto“:

With freelance work, you essentially trade your one boss for many—except now they’re called clients. And they don’t pay for health care or vacation days, or worry about your job satisfaction. Some won’t even feel obligated to pay you for the work you’ve done.

So as you dream of leaving your job, be careful not to get stuck in a new rat-race. What you should work towards is becoming a business owner (as opposed to becoming “self-employed”). That is, putting structures in place that will ensure that you are not the one-man behind the whole show. Hire freelancers/employees. Do not become your own slave.

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  1. My advise: Do both. Don’t leave your job, do the freelancing as a side business.
    OR make sure you have many “baskets” to fall back to in your freelancing jobs. For example, a local freelancing job and a few on the Internet.
    Always spread your risks. The rich also have bad luck but because they have so many alternative businesses going on they don’t fall to the ground. For example, Nakumat had very bad luck a few years ago. One super-market was demolished, another went up in flames … yet they are still at the top.

  2. Jaffar Mohamed says:

    The bad thing about advice is that it is always based on personal experience, yet different people have different experiences. What works for Mr. X will not work for Mr. Y.

  3. The rules for getting out of the rat race are the same guys, be your own boss, take as little debt as possible and work smart if not hard, they will never change even in 100 years.

    People come and go and the rich get richer.They cry about getting stuck and can never get out of the race,they get kids who also get stuck in the race, and the cycle continues.

    I was going thru’ this document (below) yesterday night and wondering; All they see in Africa is Oil, gold,diamonds period. If you dont have what they NEED your not worth mentioning, thank God/Allah/Budhaa we do not have those conflict minerals .

    You wonder why the British/Americans are suddenly moving into Somalia to set-up Embassies/High Commisions ?!

  4. monstercoder says:

    well i disagree compketely with this post… If u freelance doing tying or blogging the that may be a consern.. But i am an electrical engineer.. Work online.. Make sometimes 6 figures in a week.. In a mnty… Wouldn’t compare to wat i would be paid… And i can work on my own projects… And i dont pay 30%tax like every one else..

    • I am a sociologist specialised in community development and capacity building. Can you give me any leads for online work? I am already doing some consulting on a part time basis.

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