A while ago I talked about how not having a safety net can be a great way to kick yourself into action. After all, if you need to make some cash or be booted out on the streets, chances are you’re going to figure out a way to make this work.
But you might not.
It depends what sort of person you are. If you believe in yourself, know you’re talented, and have no doubt you can make money when you have to, the no-safety-net approach will probably work for you.
But if, on the other hand, you’re somebody who’s lacking in confidence, somebody who doesn’t quite believe they can do this, this approach may not be a good idea for you. First, you need to believe in yourself. This is much easier if you’ve already proven to yourself that you can make money.
If you shatter under pressure, maybe you’re more likely to go into meltdown and will find yourself throwing CVs and applications at every job you can find instead of doing what it takes to make money freelancing.
Either way, you’d be much better off earning some money from freelancing BEFORE you quit your job. You might even want to build up a steady stream of clients – to push yourself to your limits work-wise before you quit your job – so you can go a little easy when you make the leap.
Another way around it is to build up a savings stash before you quit your job. If you have enough money to live on for six months – even twelve months – without worrying about making any more, perhaps you’ll set to it and build your business in a relaxed state. When I’m relaxed, I do fuck all. I work better under pressure.
So it all depends what sort of person you are. When I had several months’ worth of savings, I quit my job without doing ANYTHING with freelancing – not even creating my website – and I ended up going back to my job for a few months later in the year after blitzing through my cash. In the end, I quit my job after I’d found enough clients to just cover my living expenses, and I grew from there.
If you dive headfirst into freelancing when you aren’t quite ready for it, you may find yourself calling it quits FOREVER, crawling back to a ‘real’ job, and deciding you’re not cut out to be a freelancer after all. When really, all you needed was to take the slow approach and build your confidence and your business gradually.
So fuck what everyone else says is the best way to do it, and figure out what is the best way for you.