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Why aren’t you freelancing yet? | Freelance Sprout | Find, Start, and Grow Your Dream Freelance Business
Read the six part series on creating a freelance business plan
 

Why aren’t you freelancing yet?

Date January 26, 2008


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This question is for those who are still dreaming about becoming a freelancer—full-time or part-time, it doesn’t matter.

It’s for those who haven’t taken the first steps to setting up a business. Maybe you’ve been in startup “dreamy” state for years.

It’s not about having clients, a desk, or even a chair. The question is really asking, “why aren’t you taking the steps needed to launch your business?”

The answer to that question is what held me back for nine years.

It was lifestyle. Status. Money. I didn’t like my job, the commute, or the office environment. But, I hung tight to the money.

I wanted to start my own business but I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to match my current lifestyle (i.e. cash flow). I was letting my dream of business ownership die because I couldn’t let go of the money.


After much internal conflict, I finally realized I was going to have to make a choice. I either had to take the chance of starting my own business or let the dream go. I was using way too much mental energy fighting this battle. It was causing too much stress as my wife and I began growing our family.

Lifestyle Positioning

I knew that my business would not match my current salary. Fine, I’d start part-time and slowly increase my earnings. Then I realized that my business wouldn’t match my salary for a long time. Maybe never. That was my sticking point. I’d simply give up until the business idea crept back in. Then I’d start the whole process over. To change this habit, I had to change my thinking.

Part of the new mindset was knowing that I had to make some tough choices. I called those choices “lifestyle positioning” choices. I could no longer start a business that would match my current lifestyle, it wasn’t feasible. No, I would have to do the opposite. I would have to adjust my lifestyle so my business could support my new life.

Deliberate Action

Here’s what I did.

- I paid off two vehicles in 6 months. Each vehicle had about one year of payments left.

- I refinanced my mortgage to a lower rate which cut my payment by $200/month.

- We stopped eating out as much—once a month instead of once a week.

Within six months, my business had “earned” me quite a bit of money and I hadn’t even started it yet.

Here’s the key. I was deliberate about making lifestyle choices. I knew that housing and transportation (car payments) were the big items. Then came food, entertainment, etc…

It all boils down to this, do you want to start a business or not? Are you willing to adjust your lifestyle so you can finally turn in your two week notice?

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Related posts:

  1. Why do you want to be a freelancer?
  2. What’s your freelance business paradise?
  3. The Freelance Manifesto – Creating the Life you want by Choosing Less

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