Can Anyone Be a Freelancer?

It’s a question that gets asked from time to time, usually from people who are looking to escape the usual nine-to-five grind at a more conventional office job. They see what they perceive to be the perks of working from home and the relative freedom that a freelance career can provide, but they want to know: can anyone be a freelancer?

Allow me to answer that question with a few other similar questions. Can anyone be a brain surgeon? Can anyone be a Hollywood actor? Can anyone be a real estate mogul?

What’s Stopping You from Trying?

While you may be inclined to believe otherwise, the short answer to any of these question is yes. If you want to be a brain surgeon, you can absolutely work hard in school, go through the several years of training and residency, pass all the necessary exams, and come out the other end as a brain surgeon. You may have boatloads of student debt by the time you finish, but it is wholly within your power to take on a career as a brain surgeon.

If you want to be a theoretical physicist like Albert Einstein or Sheldon Cooper, you can do that too. It’s possible and that’s the beauty of living in the world that we do today. By and large, citizens of developed nations have a world of opportunity before them. No one said it was going to be easy, but it is possible.

Seeking Greener Pastures?

With that kind of philosophy in mind, we return back to the original question: can anyone be a freelancer? Once again, the short answer is yes. It may not require the same kind of extensive training as brain surgery or theoretical physics, but it’s still a viable career. I think one of the most common misconceptions about freelance writing and related fields is that the job is a walk in the park. Believe it or not, freelancing is still work and, at times, it can be very hard work.

Don’t let me stand in your way, but I do believe that there are certain people who probably shouldn’t consider a freelance career. This is no different than saying that some people may not want to embark in a career in general contracting if they’re not exactly fans of manual labour. You should find the career that suits your strengths, your preferences, and your personality. Freelancing is no exception.

Pros and Cons of Freelancing

While there are certainly some advantages to the freelance lifestyle — I wouldn’t be living it if I didn’t think it was worthwhile — there is no shortage of shortcomings too. For example, you will experience a general lack of water cooler chatter and this will not fit the person who loves office gossip. You will also need to be a self-starter, because there won’t be a boss pressuring you to finish the job; the motivation has to come from within.

Want to be a freelancer? You can do it. Go ahead and dive into the “universe of possibility.”