I told myself some years ago, one day I was going to make a living on my own. No job, no boss, no 9 to 5, no monthly paycheck. I said I would be my own boss and make a living off my name and my talents. Of course, procrastination can be such a terrible thing. It can lead us to believe everything is ok, everything is going as planned, when neither is even remotely close to being true.
To kick procrastination to the curb, you will need to take a risk. You must be willing to fail, be willing to lose it all. There is no other way to do it. So long as you procrastinate and tell yourself, “Oh I still have time.” You will very well end up in that cycle until you have no time. Recently, I went back to college after a long break. It’s amazing how uplifted we can become just by being around other people who are focused and driven.
Nevertheless, when you start to take risks, if you’re fortunate enough, you will eventually start seeing the pieces come together. Many successful businessmen and entrepreneurs credit their willingness to take risks as the reason they were able to catapult to the top. Guys like Jeff Bezos and Mark Cuban share this risk-taking philosophy in their life stories. It’s not just men who say this either, listen to Oprah Winfrey or Vera Wang, they all talk about the risk-reward factor.
Steve Jobs, another well-known advocate for risk taking, spoke about failure in a 1994 interview recorded at the Santa Clara Valley Historical Association. In this interview, Jobs urges people to ask for help from others, he says, “Most people never ask and that’s what separates sometimes the people that do things from the people who just dream.” (Steve Jobs on Failure, 1:11 – 1:17) My point in this? Part of taking risks revolves around asking other people for help. It seems as if pride may get in the way of people doing so at times, but the truth of the matter is, we all need help. Be willing to lend a helping hand, so maybe there will be one for you when you need it.
Now, freelancing is very much a risk / help business, meaning people on both sides are taking a risk to help one another. The freelancer may take on a job they later find out they are incapable of completing, thus tarnishing their reputation, losing valuable time, and walking away without payment. On the other hand, the one offering the job is risking money, time, and a headache knowing they will have to find someone else to complete the task. The bottom line, I never considered myself a freelancer until recently and I had no idea how risky a business it is, but I’m learning quick.
With that being said, I think any chance you get to work at your own pace and make your own business moves is a huge opportunity and well worth it. Risks follow us everywhere in life, just crossing the street you’re taking a risk… Think about it, some drunk, out of control driver may come flying down the road, through the intersection, without seeing you, injuring you, if not killing you. Risk is part of life, so to be scared or hesitant to take a risk, is to be scared to live your life. Please, don’t be scared.
Ok, so, some might say I’m willing to take risks, but what risks do I take? That would be a hard question for anyone to answer, in my opinion. A lot of people are indeed willing to take risks, but they have no vision, no direction, no plan, no ideas. Well, in that case, I would suggest, keep soul searching until you find your passion. Once you find the thing or things that drive you, motivate, and interest you, you can create a stable foundation for what you’re building and where you’re headed. Then, you can truly freelance. Without knowing who you are or what you are capable of, it will be difficult to succeed as a freelancer. So, take your time, focus on yourself, have patience, take risks, and you’ll find your niche.
YouTube. (2011). Steve Jobs on Failure. YouTube. Retrieved February 4, 2023, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zkTf0LmDqKI&ab_channel=SiliconValleyHistoricalAssociation.
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