Developers are afraid of getting started with freelancing because they aren’t sure of things that may unfold. The fear of the unknown which is one of the most common fears of every individual and developers are no different.
I have experienced the stage of being fearful. So let me share the common fear of developers who wish to be freelancers and how to overcome such fears.
1. The Fear of Failure
The most exaggerated fear among individual is fear of failure.
There are many people who have failed and there will be many people who will fail. It is not about failure at something but it is all about being able to raise from those failures.
What if some XYZ doesn’t work?
So who cares. It did not work and so no one knows about it and so it hardly matters.
There are so many websites, blogs and even freelancing website where I have failed miserably. No one knows about them except me unless I want to be writing about them on my blog.
There is no one on this planet who has the time to list all your failures and question you about them.
Microsoft failed at encarta where they tried publishing a online Encyclopedia. This was prior to Wikipedia. There are high chances that you may not even know about it. The reason I shared about a technology company that you may closely follow as a developer and still you have not heard about some of their failed products.
Anybody can fail. It is just that if you fail no one cares and you shouldn’t either. Take failure as a learning experience and focus to the next thing that can work for you.
2. The Fear of Being Inexperience
No one is born with an experience certificate.
You are new to something that doesn’t mean you will not be hired by clients if you show the willingness to learn and show the expertise in a related field.
If you start your career as a freelance developer in Upwork today you will not have the reviews and feedback in the profile to show up but that doesn’t mean you are a newbie.
You know your stuff and though it doesn’t have the needed reviews to show off, you can always structure your upwork profile with portfolio, references to show your expertise.
Even if you are a fresher, you can build samples and showcase experience. Inexperience is more used as an excuse than anything else.
3. The Fear of No Relevant Experience
You lag the right technology that you foresee as the future in the Freelancing world.
The only question I want to be asking is will you remain the old technology for the rest of your life or it is when your employer kicks your butt, that you will think about making a move?
That should answer your question.
In the world of Internet, there is a rapid change in everything. Even people are predicting the end of Google era. Technology is ever changing and you have to keep up with it.
When I moved over from vBulletin to XenForo, I had no experience with it. When I started WordPress, it was new to me as well.
If I look at my career, I made a move from being a C++ developer when I started my career to the C# developer when I left the job forever and took a job as SEO guy as well. As a freelancer I started with PHP and vBulletin and then made a move to WordPress & XenForo.
As of today, I am trying to be a writer. Making up monthly writing challenges of writing daily or weekly. I can say for sure, my writing has improved considerably over the last 6 months.
If I apply to writing jobs for my clients, will my development experience come in handy, I don’t think so? I will need a fresh start.
4. The Fear of Not Being Paid Enough
What is the hourly rate that your employer is paying you? I am damn sure it is less than what you may get even when you try Fiverr.
In India, seldom developers are paid $1500 (Almost 1 lacs) per month but still if we consider that as the salary of 6 to 7 years of an experienced developer. Assume 22 working days and he is paid $70 per day and his hourly rate is under $9 without considering the extra hours that he puts with late nights and weekends in the name of deliverables.
With 6 to 7 years of developing experience, it should be fairly easy for anyone to be able to get double digit hourly rates.
5. The Fear of Not Getting Enough Clients
What if you get too many clients? How do you know you won’t get enough clients? Have you tried it?
If you don’t try will you ever know if you will get enough clients or not?
If you don’t get clients, will you not try things that work for other freelancers?
If you know for sure that there is no one on this planet that is looking for services that you can offer, fine but I am sure you can offer something that others are willing to pay for.
6. The Fear of Freelancer Lifestyle
The last but the most important fear among developers is the fear of being a freelancer. The fear takes many forms and one of them is they may have a tough time working from home or live the life of a freelancer.
Fear of being a freelancer also comes from the lack of self-motivation. If you aren’t one of those guys who is self-motivated, it can be tough.
There is no project manager or team leader to review your code. Clients are often nontechnical and you can always be tempted to take shortcuts to get the job done faster and if you have such attitude, freelancing is not for you.