Freelancing is becoming a significant part of our economy and is projected to increase over the next decade to even higher levels as companies and organizations who were forced to allow everyone to work from home realize the tremendous economy of not having to maintain a physical space for all of their employees. The downside is they will also take advantage of this knowledge to cut hours to avoid paying benefits. This will leave many people, even skilled, educated people, unable to keep up with minimal costs of living. Freelancing is quickly becoming the norm for what people are flocking to in order to earn the other money they need to survive.
Luckily for us technology has made it easier than ever to connect with potential clients worldwide, to work from home sustainably, and to offer skilled work in a wide variety of formats that would otherwise only find application locally. As with anything where people realize there is money to be made, freelancing will have its own downsides and upsides and will require of you significant effort as a businessperson if you expect to sustain your activities. Let’s be clear, freelancing is professional work where the expectations are the same as they would be in an office, only here you are contracting to work for a company, organization, even an individual for a set project duration, at a set rate, and for set deliverables.
The question is how do HSPs get started as freelancers? What barriers will we need to overcome in order to get through the often difficult startup phase? Isn’t it all just too much and too overstimulating? Let’s start by acknowledging that everyone who does freelancing feels stressed, uncertain, and afraid of failure. HSPs will feel it too, but may process it all more deeply. Here’s a tip: use your rational mind to stop the overthinking! At some point, acknowledge that you have thought about an issue long enough and let it go. Realize that you do not need to dwell endlessly on a problem and/or make yourself miserable. Devote enough time to completely address any issue then move on. There’s no time for endless rehashing of what-ifs. As well, there will be times when you need to “sleep on it” and let your mind process overnight. I’m not saying don’t be who you are; rather, be self-aware of your tendencies and adapt accordingly. This will take some practice.
HSPs will similarly encounter walls of fear and anxiety about the what-ifs. What if I don’t get any clients? What if I fail? What if I’m not good enough? What if, what if, what if… Pushing through fear is perhaps one of the hardest things you will do as a freelancer and one where you are presented with the greatest growth potential. For every wall of fear you push through you will find yourself gaining a little bit of confidence and when you face the next wall of fear, it will be a bit less scary each time. Fear will never leave you entirely, nor should it, as it serves to make us focus on what we are about to do. But, be aware that we need to be brave for one more minute past our peak level of fear and that will break us through each wall of anxiety.
Lastly, self-care is extremely important and we need to adapt our lives to become more sustainable long-term. In that sense, do the things you need to to take care of yourself physically, emotionally, and spiritually. You will not build a freelancing side gig in one day so be prepared for the long haul of sustaining your business over time. Do more than one gig, offer many and diversify so you won’t get too bored, especially if you are a high sensation seeking HSP. In service to you over the near future, I will post more on freelancing, the gig economy, self-employment, and other topics that I know are of great relevance to you at the moment as our world continues to adapt to new norms. In the meantime, check out this great article with 50 tips for freelancers! I agree with most of them but take away what is of value for you.
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