When I announced my decision to go freelance over three years ago, a handful of well-meaning people tried to talk me out of it. They told me how hard it is to make a living as a freelancer, they reminded me that work would be unsteady and they also brought up the fact that I’d no longer have health insurance or a 401(k) match.
I smiled and nodded. I told them I understood the risks. Sometimes I told them rewards would be much greater. Other times I kept my mouth shut, but each time I thought of my little boy who I wanted to spend more time with and I continued on my path determined to prove them wrong.
The truth is, every day naysayers talk people out of pursuing their dreams. Taking charge of your career path and becoming the captain of your own ship isn’t easy and those that are easily persuaded may not be well suited for the challenges that come with entrpreneurship, but I’m sure plenty are. As hard as it is, we have to silence the negative voices that keep us from taking risks and persuing our dreams. Sometimes those voices are our own.
I had wanted to freelance years before I finally did it. My fears kept me on a path that came with a steady paycheck and benefits. I loved my job and what I was doing, so rocking the boat felt risky. Then, my son came along. I hired a nanny and returned to work full time after my maternity leave was over, but the fit wasn’t right. Finally, my little guy was the catalyst that made me hang my own shingle. I knew how hard it was to kiss him goodbye each morning and get home just in time to put him to bed. I also knew that I had the skills and the personality that would allow me to chart my own course. I was certain the rewards would outweigh the risks of being self employed and had confidence in my abilities.
I think we all need some motivating factor to make us take the next step. Mine was the deep desire to structure a career around my family, but for you it might be something else. I know not everyone dreams of being a freelancer, but I am certain we all have dreams. No matter what your ambition is, grab onto it because I’m sure your capable of it. I was, but it would have been very easy to let even those well-meaning people I know talk me out of it. Now, nearly four years later, I have two little kiddos I get to spend more time with and I am making a full-time living as a freelancer. If I can find a way to do it, I know you can to.