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Beyond Freelance Life

For many freelancers, the income from projects plateaus at some point. You find out that the max you can earn in a month or year doesn’t go beyond a certain figure. While others are fine with this, there are some people who prefer that their income grows over the years as well.

Although you can always work more hours or charge higher, what if you’ve already reached the limits for both? I say, why not make yourself your next client?

After years of working to help build other people’s businesses, it’s always worth to take the chance to start building yours. The good thing about putting your skills for your own advantage is that the returns are limitless. The only restriction is how much you’re willing to grow it.

With client work, you charge a certain price point that’s usually fixed or is capped at a specific amount. While a business that has a product at its core and doesn’t require trading your time is much more scalable profit-wise.

The benefits go on and on, but how can you exactly take your freelancing to the next level by being your next client? Read on to find out!

Choosing Between Your Dreams and Being Practical

freelance client

Everyone wants to land their dream job or put up their dream business. but only a minuscule few get to attain theirs. So where does that leave the rest? To the miserable or mediocre job or business purgatory? Maybe. But do you have to be one of those people? You don’t have to.

I know that for many, there are bills to pay and mouths to feed. That’s why a lot of people go for the more “practical” choice and just take any job that pays them enough to live. However, like beauty, what’s practical is in the eye of the beholder as well. What might be practical for one isn’t necessarily always the same for another.

For example, I had a friend who was envious of her friend for nabbing a sugar daddy. The said friend of the friend broke up with her current boyfriend to pursue a relationship with the richer guy. My friend justified her friend’s choice as the right one as it was practical.

I, for one, don’t really see the practicality in that. I mean, how is it practical that you rely on another person to get the things you want in life? What if that person leaves you? What would you be left with? I’m not being pessimistic but I’m just considering the probable scenarios that could happen. I think a more practical choice would be to earn your own keep so you can be proud of yourself and so no one can put a leash on you.

Why Sometimes Being Practical Is Just Another Word For Settling

At its essence, being practical is just another word for settling. And it’s one of the worst feelings you could ever cultivate.

It feels like you’re lying to yourself. Sometimes, it can even reach the point that it becomes painful to live. I know because it happened to me once upon a time when I tried jacking the corporate life. I felt like a mindless drone going to work day in and day out. Not only did I question my sanity, but the purpose of my life and why I ever thought it was a good idea in the first place.

The answer? All because I wanted to make the “practical” choice.

I got debts to pay, cats to feed, and expenses to fork out on. I couldn’t possibly live off with little to no money, right? Or so I thought.

Then I got fortunate and was fired after a month for poor performance. I cried, not because of the loss. But because I can be finally free to pursue alternative means of earning money that doesn’t require me to take on a tedious desk job.

Even without that job, I managed to make sure that the cats were fed, the debts were paid (through installment), and that at least one or two of my expenses were taken care of. A previous client paid me an outstanding project fee shortly after and I was able to go back to my previous un-miserable self the moment I realized I’m free of that job.

Why Money Isn’t Really That Important

Money is important. After all, it pays the bills, buys you things, and finances your vacations. But it’s not that important if it comes at the expense of your will to live. Or…not unless you’re a greedy money-grubber whose only goal in life is to acquire hard cash as much as you could.

This study has shown that earning anything beyond $75,000 annually won’t make you any happier. Granted, not many people earn beyond that a year but if you make the necessary lifestyle adjustments, you can live well beneath a $75,000 salary.

This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t strive to earn anything more than that amount. But if money is the only thing keeping you tethered to your miserable job then you might want to re-assess your priorities.

It’s pretty common in today’s society to base much of our self-worth on our income. But doing this removes the power from you and makes you a servant to money instead of the other way around.

A better way to see money is to regard it as a tool. It’s a tool to improve your life, to help gain you more freedom, and to allow you to focus on things that really matter to you. If the money you’re earning now isn’t doing any of that for you, your sacrifice may be worth nil.

What Being Practical Should Mean For You

freelance hire yourself

Although it took awhile before I finally saved up and had extra money to spare, I made sure that I made the better choice work for me. This is because I know that being an employee is no longer an option for me. Ever.

That’s when I realized then that I would much rather prefer to do things that I can believe in. You know what I mean?

Once the dust has settled, I reviewed the line of reasoning that led me to the choice of taking up a 9 to 5 job even though I know it doesn’t fit me.

One of the conclusions I arrived on was that I based my definition of what’s practical for me by society’s standards. That a stable, high-paying job is weightier than having the freedom to work and live as you see fit. Being practical then just boils down to what matters most to you. Not what society, strangers or your loved ones think is practical for you.

If you’re the pragmatic type who can continue on living whether what you’re doing resonates with you or not, then kudos to you. For those who aren’t, don’t make the same mistake that I did.

If there’s one takeaway that I got from my stint at a 9 to 5 and what I’ve managed to achieve after, it’s that you can never lose if you choose things in life that really resonate with your personality and core values. You’ll only be doing yourself a disservice if you veer away from that.

Most often than not, that discontent will show through in the way you work and your performance. When you feel fulfilled in what you do, job satisfaction and success usually comes naturally as well.

Being Your Own Client Means You Get to Create Your Dream Job

Now that we have the practicalities down pat, it’s time to get to the meat of the article—how to be your own client.

Being your own client is a way for you to create your dream job. Creating it for yourself means you get to design a career that’s not just fulfilling for you, but meaningful as well. You get to make use of your talents and work on your own interests.

But finding your dream job can be akin to trying to find a needle in a haystack. More than that, most people think that this is just a pipe dream.

Why so? Because it’s difficult to do.

You need to have the courage to strike it out on your own, be willing to fall a few times and go against the grain. All of which are tough for the average person conditioned by society to do.

Going out there, handing in your applications, and attending interviews require work but the part is already charted for you. It’s what everyone does and requires no in-depth figuring of things beyond where or how to apply.

But with creating your dream job, you have to grapple with self-doubt and how to take things to where you want them to. There’s a lot of exploration and learning things from scratch—and most people don’t really want that kind of nitty and gritty.

Despite this, I would still take the choice of being able to create my dream job. It might be the more demanding path but as the saying goes, big gains require big pains. Ultimately, it’s your call whether you opt to be stuck at a job you hate.

Perks of Being Your Own Client


perks-of-being-your-own-client

For me, the best thing about hiring myself is that no one can fire me. And as long as I do a good job of working on my goals, I won’t have to.

Unfortunately, the real world isn’t as simple and clear-cut. Nowadays, you can be fired even for the most trivial things, which comes with being under the thumb of someone else.

If you had the option, wouldn’t you rather put your career fate in your own hands?

But more than the power of steering your career is that you’re really only free when you work for yourself. Not in terms of freelancing catering to different clients but having your own business where the only people you answer to are your customers.

Hiring yourself as a client isn’t just about escaping the downsides of the 9 to 5, but being able to live your dream life and career.

When You Can’t Find the Perfect Fit

Making decisions regarding your dream job or career, however, can be difficult. Maybe you don’t know what career or job you want. But even for those who already know what they want, finding the perfect fit can be elusive.

However, any kind of perfection is only meant as an ideal. You don’t really need to find the exact, perfect fit as no single job could ever cover all your interests and talents in one. As long as it feels close to your ideal then it’s most likely enough. You might take a few pitstops to get there but that’s totally fine as long as you get there.

Don’t view these pitstops as failures as they can really give you an amazing idea of what your dream job really is. More importantly, no one knows for sure where success could lie for you. So exploring while you can is a viable strategy as you build your concept of your ideal career.

As you go down this path, you might have to take a pay cut if you’re starting over. But if it’s done with your professional growth in mind for the future then it’s a small sacrifice in the bigger scheme of things.

Leave Room for Chance

As with most things in life, you can only plan so far ahead. They key is to have a guideline in place but still leave room for opportunities that come your way.

Although research and planning are important, chance can still play a role on how your career turns out. Make sure to keep an open mind, embrace uncertainty, and look out for windows of opportunity that might suddenly open along the way.

Don’t settle for your current job just because it’s profitable, familiar, or in demand. In the long-term, people are more successful and happier when they choose or create a job that fulfills their strengths and interests.

 

 

 

I don’t know about you, but my ultimate dream is to own a business. Not just any business, mind you, but one that won’t require me to run it day in and day out. I mean, what use is having your own business if you’re tethered to it like a 9 to 5 job, right? For me, the whole purpose of having my own business is so I have enough time and money to spend on other things.

Although freelancing gave me those to some extent, I was still trading my time for dollars. That means it was hard for me to scale things because it would require me to put in more hours. Alternatively, I can always just raise my prices, but there’s also a cap on how far you could do that.

If you’re wondering, “so why didn’t you just get straight to entrepreneurship then?” Well, there are many factors to my pursuing freelancing first, but I felt that I just wasn’t ready at that time. This is a decision I’ve never once regretted because freelancing afforded me the skills and knowledge that proved to be handy in my journey to entrepreneurship. Here are some of the ways that self-employment paved the way to my path as an online entrepreneur.

It Made Me a Better Decision-Maker

better-decision-maker

Ah, decisions, decisions. I personally believe that no one is born an amazing decision-maker. Just like any skill, it’s something you practice and hone over time. Upon starting freelancing, I have the sole responsibility of deciding everything. This means that if something went bust, no one’s to blame but me.

It made me more accountable to my decisions and spurred me to make better ones because heck, I don’t want to make a slew of bad decisions that will sabotage my own business.

In order to be a better decision-maker, I did my research in advance. Initially, I was often overwhelmed by the amount of information out there. To keep this from happening, I made it a point to sort through the chaff. I separated what the crucial information are and focused on those. After which, I draw up the pros and cons and then factor in my intuition in the process.

I found out that this process of decision-making always led to the best outcomes for me. Lately, I just found out why is this is so. When you just rely on your gut without any prior information, the chance of committing mistakes can be really high. However, if you take the time out to get informed first and then include your gut instinct in the process, the probability of making a superior decision becomes higher.

Being a capable decision-maker isn’t just good for business, but for your life in general as well. Decision-making is a transferable skill. As long as you apply the same decision-making process that allowed you to have better business outcomes to your personal life, then you’re all set.

It Made Me Comfortable With My Freedom

A lot of people want freedom but only a few know what to do with it. In fact, I read someone’s story once where he shared how he found freelancing after a decade of working in a corporate setting. He said that he didn’t know what to do and was so used being given directions instead of directing himself. It took him awhile to get around to it and he said 10 years worth of that kind of programming was a bit hard to shake off.

Although my 9 to 5 stints are exceptionally short and spaced between long drawn-out years, I felt the opposite. Back in those times, I always felt some kind of internal unrest even if I was making good money. I just prefer having a say on what to do in my day and being at the mercy of a boss.

With freelancing, I was able to exercise my freedom to work when I want to and what to work on. If I don’t like how I’m being treated by a client, I just pass off the project no matter the amount of money involved. I have the freedom to charge what I feel is fair to me. I have the freedom to dedicate enough time to my other interests.

More than that, I also have the freedom to indulge in a couple of distractions while working. But best of all, I love my freedom to map out my process and work the way I like to.

That kind of freedom did a lot for me. It was priceless and also allowed me to explore and find out things I wouldn’t have known otherwise.

It Made Me Responsible With My Time

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I don’t know if it’s just me but there’s something about an environment where I’m required to work within a set of hours regardless if I’m finished or not that I really found disconcerting. Imagine the things you could’ve done within those time, but you’re stuck there waiting for the time to tick until it’s time to be out.

It’s actually through my freedom that I learned how to be more responsible with my time.

I  realized that if I want to work effectively, I need to be aware of how I’m spending my time. So that’s what I did. I tracked how much I worked and what time of the day I work best.

The end result was I able to fashion my working time to a schedule that’s conducive for myself. On my part, this means I get to save my clients time and money for being able to work productively.

Because of this, I know I could never do my best work if I had to adhere to a 8 or 9-hour daily schedule with fixed breaks. I definitely appreciate having the time and space to think and explore different ideas. Or being able to enjoy eating at an extended time. How about you?

It Enabled Me to Handle Rejection Better

I think that rejection is a part and parcel of life. If there’s only a handful of skills you can develop, handling rejection should definitely be one of them.

Freelancing can get you familiar with rejection real fast, I tell you. Upon starting, you’ll find that many of your pitches and proposals will often be declined. Worse, some potential clients will just ghost you even if you follow up. To succeed in this field, you have to develop a thicker skin.

Initially, this was something that really got to me. I often doubted myself and my skills just because a couple of my pitches or proposals were turned down. Later on, I just realized that maybe I’m not just a good fit for what the project or client requires. It doesn’t necessarily mean that I’m not good enough—it’s just that they need different things than what I can provide.

The key was not to take things personally. The truth of the matter is, no one will land 100% percent of the projects they pitch to. Every client wants or needs something different that you may not always be equipped to provide.

I’ve talked to much-seasoned freelancers and they too weren’t exempt from being thrown an occasional rejection here and there. That just goes to show that you can be successful and still face rejections. From this, we could glean that success can only be built through consistent tries. If you stopped after sending the 20th pitch, you’ll never know if the 21st could’ve been your golden ticket.

When I realized this and changed my perspective, it was easier to move on and have a better grasp of reality. Because of this, I was able to improve my mettle and brush off rejections more easily.

It Widened My Creative Boundaries

freelance-creative

Working in a corporate setting means having to answer to a higher up. What’s worse is sometimes you have to answer to more than one person. We all know what happens when more than one person has a say in your work—it doubles the confusion and restrictions you have to work with.

Since freelancing affords you the power to choose what projects to work on, you can opt for projects that are less creatively restricting for you.

The thing about working with the same process, people, and guidelines are that they most often lead to the same results. This, in turn, can stunt your professional growth.

One of the best aspects of doing freelance work is the variety of projects you can work on. This means you get to broaden your experience and widen your skill set. Moreover, you also have the chance to put your own spin on a project. All of these allow you to stretch your creative freedom as you see fit.

It Gave Me the Courage to Work More Inspiringly

I believe that majority of today’s workforce are in uninspiring jobs just to pay the bills. Although I admire people who have the tolerance to plod through every day in that kind of setting, it’s not something I would want for myself. My personality and character aren’t really suited for that kind of thing.

With freelancing, I get to work hard, but still enjoy it on my own terms. Moreover, as the boss of my own professional path, I get to chart my own direction.

In short, the only limit to growing your income is your level of work ethic and your vision.

Another way that freelancing encouraged me to work more inspiringly is that I get to say when enough is enough. I can opt to drop a project if I feel like I have more than enough on my plate. This, of course, makes for a more motivating way of working. As research from Kansas State University reveals, employees who work for more than 50 hours a week have decreased levels of mental and physical health. I don’t know about you but it’s a bit hard to feel inspired working when your mind and body are pretty much depleted consistently.

It Helped Me Develop a Wide Variety of Skills

As a freelancer, I’ve worked in different roles for different companies. This then helped me build a wide range of skills and experience. With the various roles I’ve taken on the past years, I gained a lot of really good insight into different processes, working styles, and business structures.  Having learned these things, I now have a better understanding of what kind of business and working style is the best for me.

Being able to work on different fields and niches gave me the ability to advance my knowledge without being limited by a sole company’s processes and procedures.

I think this is a valuable thing to learn especially if you’re planning on being an entrepreneur. You get to have an insight of how most businesses are run and use the knowledge once you’re ready to put up your own.

Overall, having to handle many of the different aspects of running a freelance business helped me hone a variety of skills. I learned a lot about sales, marketing, and project management among others on top of the writing work I’m doing. Although learning many of the required skills in this business is hard work, it enabled me to discover and explore things I may otherwise haven’t known.

Marrying Skills and Ideas

skills and ideas

Designed by Freepik

Freelancing is an amazing way to school yourself in becoming an entrepreneur. Instead of giving your creativity, energy and hard work to a faceless corporation, start your own business.

Transitioning from a freelancer to an entrepreneur is a great way to finally put your skills in fleshing out your ideas. As a freelancer, your foremost value is in your skills. But usually, freelancers use these skills for projects to fulfill the client’s creative vision.

Once you become an entrepreneur, not only will you have free rein on enacting your vision but you also have the skills necessary to execute it.

So when is the right time to go beyond freelancing? Once you have the idea, you’ve amassed a diverse skill set, and you’re finally willing to take the risk.

 

 

 

You may probably have heard of the term “wantrepreneurs,” a word used to describe today’s growing legion of individuals who are eternally stuck in the stage of wanting to start a business but never get around to doing so.

These aspiring entrepreneurs seem enamored enough with their ideas. They talk about it and discuss their plans with anyone who would care to listen, but could never muster enough time or money to get their visions underway. It’s a sad reality knowing that many of those wanting to strike out on their own will never follow through more than half of the time.

Data shows that as much as 71% of millennials want to work for themselves in the future. After all, who wouldn’t want the chance to make it big, or to have the autonomy to use their time and talents as they see fit?

However, this is often not an enough motivation for people. They hem and haw even before they could put their foot out the door. Why? Because of the age-old emotion of fear. As humans, we fear a lot of things. We fear loss, we fear failure, we fear being inadequate, we fear disappointments, we fear defeat, we fear losing, and the list goes on and on.

But all in all, we can sum up all of these fears to one thing—the fear of success and what comes with it. We live in dread of success’ trappings that we’re willing to forego chances and opportunities so we can keep our ego intact.

This is what lies at the root of the wantrepreneur syndrome and why so many will never get past this “wanting” stage.

So if you’re more afraid of not knowing what you could do or how far your potential will take you, then that’s the first step of beating the wantrepreneur syndrome. You have to feel something bigger than your fears.

Now that we have the first step down, there are other concrete courses of action you have to undertake.

Stop Overthinking Things or Obsessively Worrying

Entrepreneur Ideas

A lot of wantrepreneurs are always stuck with their thoughts. They obsess about the nitty and gritty and want every detail to be perfect. As Graham Davey estimates, a psychologist specializing in anxiety, about 80% of people’s worries will hardly ever happen.

Of course, it’s always good to flesh out your plans beforehand instead of vaguely groping your way around. But anything done to extremes can only hurt your progress in the long run.

Know when too much is too much. If you’ve ever caught yourself unduly prolonging leaving your 9 to 5 job despite having prepared as you could, then you could be unreasonably getting gung-ho over the wanting phase.

You can only improve once you make the jump. From there, you’ll get valuable, concrete feedback of what really works and what could go wrong.

No amount of researching, visualizing, and thinking can ever replace real world specifics so try not to get stuck with the thought of doing it and roll with it once you finish going over most of the major details.

Manage Your Fear of Failure

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Fear of failure is a common phenomenon. Nine out of ten of newly established businesses fail. That’s a very high mortality rate no matter what field you’re in. What this tells us is that failure is essential. There’s a high chance that you’ll fail along the way and that’s okay because failing is an inevitable prerequisite to success. Those who don’t fail never manage to achieve anything in life.

Letting the fear of failure dictate your actions can undermine your own success. Sometimes, it’s you who stand in the way of your own success. The good thing is that you have the sole power to change that.

If your ideas and plans are really worth pursuing, you’re bound to fail at some point and that’s a good thing. In life, we always learn more from our failures than our successes.

Don’t make the mistake of waiting for a lifetime, because by then, things could’ve vastly changed—and not always for the better.

Realizing these things can keep you from being stuck in inaction.

Failure is just a matter of perspective and it’s almost impossible to go through life unscathed with losses. If you know people who do, they’re probably being overcautious to the point that they’ve hardly done any living, if at all.

We can choose how to look at failure. It can be a world-crumbling defeat or a lesson to be learned. It’s really up to you.

If you let failure stop you, you’ll only be doing yourself a disservice by passing on opportunities that could’ve contributed to a better quality of life for you.

Act on It

Fear of failure

If you’re in doubt whether you really have what it takes to go out there and compete, there’s really one way to find out—get started.

No matter how experienced or how skilled you think you are, taking action is what matters in the end.

Amazing skills or talents unused are worth nothing if not translated into action.

In Startup Bros’ infographic on entrepreneurs, two of the key things that led to success were starting two companies or more (47.1%) and starting their first businesses (41.4%).

This just goes to show that you have to at least get started and establish a business before you could even ever hope to achieve the things you’ve always wanted.

In this article by Forbes on the psychology of success, psychologist Kelly Shaver says that those who start businesses for themselves are just glad to go ahead and be able to do what they’re doing. If you’re not willing to take the first step then you’re probably not just dedicated enough to making your vision a reality.

Small actions are better than big ideas planned, to paraphrase Peter Marshall. It’s hard to take action when you’re faced with a daunting decision, but getting something done trumps endless attempts to achieve perfection.

In this field, you usually learn by doing. Failure is only truly horrible if you gleaned nothing from it. In today’s times, it’s not just about what you know, but what you can do armed with that information.

After Beating the Wantrepreneur Syndrome

Once you’ve finally crossed the threshold of wanting, expect a couple of frustrations and despairs along the way. In return, you might also have rewarding times where everything just feels worth it.

Nevertheless, the real reward of being an entrepreneur is in the work, even if the work involved is difficult.

Now that you’ve made the jump, you don’t have to worry as much about making it out okay.

See your starting move as an opportunity, instead of a risk. Few people ever get to that starting point and if you were courageous enough to go ahead, then you also have the pluck to bounce back should you meet failure at any point in time on your journey.

Have you been thinking about changing careers? Maybe you’re thinking of taking the freelance route or putting up a business and if you are, you’re probably thinking of the pros and cons of pushing through. The countless options open to us today have muddled the art of being decisive.

The number of articles, books, and advice on how to choose the right career path mostly tells us to find out our passion first, then decide. This is good in a way. After all, who wouldn’t want to live doing heartfelt work you love, right?

The only problem with this is that it’s rarely the case that people know what their passion is or how to go about knowing their passion is. If you’re like me who wants a bit more meaty advice than just the hackneyed “find your passion” mantra then this article is for you.

So how do you really know when to act or postpone a particularly key career decision such as leaving the comforts of the corporate structure you’ve known for so long?

Opt For the Good Kind of Delay

Admit it or not, all of us put off deciding at some point in our lives, but to know whether putting off deciding your career path is the right choice, you have to be able to differentiate between good and bad delays.

Determining whether what your delays in deciding can be deemed as “good” or “bad” involves looking at your situation contextually. A delay is bad when it further creates doubt, uncertainty, and confusion for you. A delay is good when it gives you enough time to be informed. 

Another way to differentiate good and bad delay is to examine your rationale behind it. If you’re delaying your decisions because you’re either not in the mood or you just have a poor concept of time then best believe it’s the bad kind of delay.

Postponing a decision so you can get all your facts straight and assess it against what you really want is a sensible choice. In fact, it can actually help you process any feelings of uncertainty.

Good delays is all about making the best out of the time you’re allotting to that decision. If you want a surefire way to waste time then there’s no better way to do that than to get bogged down with countless options that keep you from finally making your mind.

Simply put, good postponement is intentionally choosing to delay choosing so you can decide on the option that will bring the most value to your life.

Actions Before Feelings

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Nope, this is not about a logic vs emotions debate. It’s about acting first and your feelings sorts itself after.

If postponing a decision doesn’t cut it for you and you’re still overwhelmed with any potential negative outcome then this is the way to go. You don’t really need to feel completely positive before you act because your feelings will conform to your actions.

Many decisions come with uncertainty, doubts, and other kinds of misgivings. The thing with choosing to go through only favorable feelings is that it makes you a slave to your emotions. You’re subject to the whims of your heart instead of you being the master of your own emotions. The consequences are almost always less than pleasant and often serious.

If you always rely on feeling “positive” before settling on anything then you’re only setting yourself up for failure because not all decisions can wait.

Once you start progress on a specific decision then your much more likely to improve your emotional state because you no longer have a nagging thought at the back of your mind. So don’t focus on feeling good first so you can decide, get to hashing out your options so you can start feeling good that you’re making progress toward a better, informed decision.

Be realistic about time

A person who’s time-poor is someone who often finds himself or herself under pressure just to be able to decide quickly.

Having a poor sense of time means lacking an objective view of time. These are people who insist on drawing up their own timeline irrespective of the consequences it may bring. Having a defective concept of time can mean that they also have a poor grasp of reality because they refuse to acknowledge that they’re bound to the rules of time just like everybody else.

The first step to remedying this is to acknowledge that not all decisions can wait forever. Sooner or later, there won’t be enough time to do everything you’ve set out to do. You have to know the things that are important and urgent right now and decide on that.

As you grow older, there’s less room to make up for wasted time.

When you’re not particular at the timeframe of your decisions, then you might lose on many opportunities that can result from a time well-spent on many valuable endeavors. By accepting your limitations as a person, you’re actually freeing yourself to allot more time on the things that give you the best value in return.

The key here is to accept your time and energy limitations. You might have a lot of career ideas or business ventures worth pursuing, but they won’t be worth nil if they’re not acted on.

This just further affirms that not all decisions are made of equal importance so assess your time with the same lens. Give your time to the decisions that mean more gain for you and not the other way around.

Know What Works For You

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People are inherently different, some do well making quick decisions, some do well making their decisions over an extended period of time. Long story short—it’s a spectrum, not black and white. Ultimately, you have to do your own personal experimentation to find out what works best for you.

Sometimes a quick decision is required in order for you to progress. If you’re stuck in the process of overthinking things, then you could potentially miss any opening for success. An immediate decision doesn’t necessarily mean you’re being reckless. Sometimes, it just means that you’re making a choice based on the current information available to you.

What I came to know is that overcoming indecision is a process that requires dedication and commitment to sustain your progress, and part experience to know what works for you. 

As the boss of your own time, you actually hold the power to do more with whatever time you have. You’re the one who wields your time and energy, and you can re-channel your ways to a better decision-making process as you see fit given the right knowledge.

Focus on the Gains, Not the Losses

They say that the best way to predict the future is to create it. No one knows what the future holds and the truth of the matter is, certainty can never be a part of the decision-making process.

No matter the risks a decision entails, your mindset should be focused on the opportunities you can gain. It has been found that having this kind of mindset makes you less likely to experience regret or satisfaction.

The best way to predict the future is to create it. Click To Tweet

Risk is an ever present factor in every decision. What overthinking does is that it creates more doubt to the point that people get scared of all and any risks involved. Thinking over things is good in the sense that it gives you lots of ideas o pursue, but nothing is ever implemented.

Slowing down to assess information doesn’t have to be a bad thing. However, there should be a limit to how long you think over things.

What Being Decisive Really Means

decisive

In today’s technology dependent era, a lot of people mistake being decisive as the information they consume.

Many of the information out there are definitely useful. But others use it as a crutch to delay their decisions while many others are probably overwhelmed with all the possibilities that could happen.

The drawback of having this much access to information at any time and anywhere makes it easier to slip into ineffective thinking habits. Sometimes, working with more information isn’t necessarily about being informed — it’s about lulling yourself into thinking that you’re making some progress in your decision-making process.

Although majority gather info in order to make a headway in their decisions, some are actually just whiling away their time never fully intending whether to make a decision or not.

They like entertaining the different possibilities in their mind but never gets around to ever deciding. I mean, if you get to pick the real thing or the envisioned thing, what would you choose? Most would answer the first. It makes sense because isn’t putting real value in our lives one of the utmost things we should be aspiring for?

A much better decisive plan is one that builds on the information you’ve gathered. Then, apply that information so you can make the best decision possible. In the end, it’s a psychological battle—one that’s internal, not external (the information you consume). The bottom line is, a career plan has to allow for mistakes because no one will get it right all the time.

This is when progress happens, not when you aim for perfection.

Have you been undecided about changing careers? Why or why not?

If you want to know how to earn money by working for yourself then the truth is, the articles written about it on the web are enough to cover a whole mid-sized library. I’m here to tackle a different aspect of earning money: the mindsets that keep you from pursuing the bigger fish.

Excuses are the bane of action, but oftentimes, a lot of people use it as a crutch to keep from pursuing something they’ve always wanted that scares them. Letting excuses simmer in your head for an unrestricted amount of time will only eat away your drive to start the business you’ve always wanted or to make the switch from being an employee to self-employed.

In worst case scenarios, your excuses wouldn’t just result in loss of a better income avenue—you might never achieve the lifestyle of your dreams.

The best way to kill excuses is to find solutions for them. And this is what this article is for. Below are some of the most common excuses I’ve heard and tackled possible solutions that could stop these excuses from keeping you from chasing the live you’ve always wanted to live.

1. “I might fail”

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Research has revealed that procrastinating things are largely rooted in the fear of failure. We all like to see ourselves in a good light and the most common strategy for people to preserve this is to procrastinate.

The truth is, most decisions, especially when it comes to your career or potential business ventures come with risks. That’s why you should expect failure at some point in time if ever you want to improve.

No worries, these risks are typically not the matter of life and death kind, but enough to get people intimidated to the point of inaction. WaitButWhy has broken down every probable rationale behind the fear of risks and why we should not be as scared as much as we’re prone to.

Getting past the fear of failure requires that you acknowledge it, and move beyond it by recognizing that it’s just inherently part of life. Ultimately, what makes a decision worthwhile are the benefits you get from it once you’ve managed to push through despite everything.

If you want to know firsthand whether you’ll succeed working for yourself or not, planning will definitely help you. But only to an extent. You still have to test out your plan and take it from there.

For those who still don’t know what to do, research and find out the first thing you have to do. Although all the research in the world won’t guarantee you from making any mistakes, at least it gets you started. Moreover, it’ll also help in ensuring you make fewer errors down the road. Familiarize yourself with the field, read about other people’s mistakes, and connect with others who have been doing it for a long time.

You can then use whatever you learned to supplement your knowledge so you can be ready to face anything.

2. “I don’t feel motivated enough right now to act on it”

The Lilypad

A lot of people are slaves to their own motivations and desires. If they don’t feel like it, many won’t just do it. The problem with this is that it puts you in a powerless position where you’re unable to muster and command your willpower at your own behest when you should be the boss of your own being.

Can you imagine a car driving its owner? No? Me too.

That’s why it’s disconcerting how a lot of people allow themselves to be led by the whims and fancy of our feelings. This is not to say that we should disregard our feelings, but it should always be integrated with our other decision-making capabilities.

In a paper published in 2015, Rebetez and her colleagues has revealed that people who rely on motivation alone do not act according to their values and often delay tasks even though they know it’s important. This disconnect in what one believes and how a person acts is one of the primary reasons why a lot of people are always stuck in a limbo of forever dreaming, but never achieving.

A lot of people are always stuck in a limbo of forever dreaming, but never achieving. Click To Tweet

To truly make a definite change in your financial standing, you have to stop depending on your mood or whether you feel motivated or not to put in that extra work or to go beyond what you think you can.

Taking on this approach puts you in control and gives you more power to act on your values and the things that truly matter to you in the long run. Successful people don’t necessarily have endless reserves of passion, motivation, or willpower—they just decide what needs to be done and act on it irrespective of their moods.

3. ” I don’t know where to start”

idea1Struggling is part and parcel of venturing into something new.

The only solution if you don’t know where to start is to ask, or to simply see what’s already out there and just get started. It might seem simplistic, after all, if it were that easy then why don’t more people do it?

What many people don’t know is that starting actually gets you going. So for instance, if you’ve been on the fence for some time now about making the switch to being self-employed, then have a go at it after doing your research. Sometimes, it’s not that you don’t know where or how to get started, but you just have no idea what to prioritize first.

Another tactic that might help is making your career goals more concrete. Don’t just think that you’re going to change careers, take the time to flesh out the details in your mind and determine the logistics. What, when, and how do you plan on starting your freelance or entrepreneurial career?

A paper published in Psychological Science a few years back touted the positive effects of making plans when it comes to doing something. It definitely makes sense because the more you think about the process, then the more it’s easier to follow through on your plans since you already got the details sorted out.

Try it out for yourself and see how you fare.

4. “I want to do things in just one specific way”

specific way

Some people like to do things in exactly one way—their way. Although there’s nothing wrong with this per se, a little flexibility might be more helpful when you’re just starting out.

The problem with this mindset is that it leaves no room for what might actually happen and closes you off to other ways that can allow you to make better decisions. In order to arrive at a choice that accurately reflects your wants and needs in life,  you need to be open-minded in how you do things because for the most part, doing is about learning as well.

Why settle for a mindless routine when you can expand your creativity to do better?

You have the power to create the things you want to achieve every step of the way, but having a mindset of a stubborn, closed-minded person might only serve to handicap you in the process.

The key is to assess your current knowledge and skills to allow you to arrive at a satisfactory decision.

Instead of resisting change, embrace it, and create opportunities that would suit your purpose and the goals you’ve set for yourself.

Instead of resisting change, embrace it, and create opportunities that would suit your purpose. Click To Tweet

5. “My friends and family are not supportive”

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Support from family and friends are important things in any aspect of life, but they’re not the only things that matter. What matters more is your sanity and career satisfaction in the long run. If you can’t get them to support you in your career choices, it would be best to not push it at the moment. You can choose not to involve them in your decision and just let time pass and they might just change their minds.

Even if they don’t necessary value your career decisions, it doesn’t mean that your aspirations are worthless. It’s just that they value different things from you.

It’s normal for a lot of people to seek support and validation in their endeavors. Since humans are inherently interdependent, many people highly regard their social circle’s approval. In psychology, how other people’s approval validates or invalidates our self-concept is called affirming behavior. In order for you to keep from putting too much stock on others’ opinion, you have to have a healthy and strong level of self-perception.

The important thing to remember is that it’s virtually impossible to get every significant person in your life to support your life decisions unconditionally. People are unique beings with different worldviews and opinions of their own.

If you think a particular career path is really worth pursuing, what you can do is redirect your need for support or just take comfort knowing that you always have the option to continue seeking your career aspirations, regardless what people in your life might think.

6. “I don’t have enough experience”

negativespace-4 (1)

They say you need the experience to get a job but you also need a job to get experience. So where do you actually start? Although getting experience without getting experience is a bit tricky, it’s definitely doable. You just have to be a little creative about it. Otherwise, if you always wait to have enough experience on something before doing, you’ll just end up with an empty life replete with any kind of involvement.

If you’re new to the field or you haven’t worked that long, don’t fret because experience can be accumulated no matter where you’re working. It just means that you might have to do some compromise at first. For instance, you can do pro bono work at first in order to learn the rope of things. And then use those for your starter portfolio.

Keep in mind that some skills are transferable as well. You can always demonstrate your capabilities when the time comes and draw on your other professional experience. The key takeaway here is that you may actually have more applicable experience than you think.

You could then bank on this and then emphasize your potential value to your future potential clients.

 

7. “It might lower my living standards”

Most gains always require some kind of pain, to paraphrase the oft-repeated quote.

And it definitely couldn’t be truer when it comes to shifting careers. If you want to have a rewarding, fulfilling career that’s able to sustain the kind of lifestyle you want, you need to be ready to make a few sacrifices in the beginning and look at the long-term vision.

Most gains always require some kind of pain. Click To Tweet

However, a lower income doesn’t always translate to living in a substandard way. In fact, it has been shown that even though some self-employed people may have a much lower income, it doesn’t mean that many live at a lower standard compared to people who are regularly employed.

What’s surprising is that between low-income self-employed individuals and low-income individuals who are traditionally employed, the first group actually scored lower on the deprivation index. This index is a measure of the lack of resources in living a standard condition that most get to enjoy.

This just means that even if you happen to veer on the low-income side once you start out, you’ll still be much better off than being regularly employed with low income. Hey, at least you get to spend your time your way, right?

8. “I can’t possibly compete with others who started before me”

compete

Competition is everywhere—in any field and in most settings. That’s why you can’t let the fear of competition deter you from striking it out on your own.

To start with, you shouldn’t be focusing on your competition, you should be focusing on yourself. Focusing on competition has been shown to lead to counterproductive behavior. It leads to heightened sensitivity to perceived injustice and making unfavorable social comparisons (such as this excuse).

The reality is that there will always be someone better than you, no matter how good you are. That’s why when you let your competition get to you even before you start, then you’ll only be wreaking havoc to your own self-esteem.

Although there’s nothing wrong with being competitive if it pushes you to do your best, there’s a fine line between wanting to excel and letting others set your own standard. You should be the one setting that for yourself—not your partner, best friend, or your competition.

We all have our own career path to tread and constantly sussing out the competition takes away valuable time and energy you could’ve allotted somewhere else where it can be better used.

9. “What if I get clients that don’t pay?”

You might’ve heard a few horror stories where clients would request work and then disappear without paying. It’s true, there are indeed clients like that and I won’t promise you that you won’t meet one. But the good news is, there are steps you can take to keep from being cheated of your work.

You can establish milestone payments or request upfront pay so you don’t have to go too far should the project remain unpaid.

One of the best things about being self-employed is that you have the power to choose who to work with. You have the option to vet or research a client first before going ahead with a project.

One of the best things about being self-employed is that you have the power to choose who to work… Click To Tweet

In any chance, should you encounter a double-dealing client, that’s on them—not you. Yes, you might’ve lost a few hours or days of your time, but in the bigger scheme of things they really are the loser. No business could ever be sustainable in the long run from ripping off others.

In Closing

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If others have made a successful leap into the realm of entrepreneurship and the self-employed, then so can you. But don’t expect it to be easy.

Get to know the things that you value and are important to you in the future so you can finally arrive at the decision that will lead you to where you want to be. Knowing the workaround to the excuses you hear or say to yourself is crucial to making the right professional decisions.

This ensures that you’re not passing up a goal or dream because of a few concerns that could’ve been easily solved in reality.

Although there will always be obstacles in any path worth treading, rooting out the source of your fears and resolving them can help you to finally ditch climbing the corporate ladder.

All the best to you and your efforts to improve the quality of your life!

What excuses have you been telling yourself lately? How has this affected how you earn money?