While some people do strike gold quickly and make a ton of money, it’s best to assume that these folks are outliers. Entrepreneurship is chancy at best and sometimes downright frustrating.
For part of my own freelancing career, two words too often applied: feast, famine.
Too much work, not enough work. A fair amount of work but knowing that in a week’s time I’d be finishing up my final assignments – and no editors seemed interested in my current pitches. More rarely (and usually at the beginning of this journey) I’d have no work at all for weeks at a time, and be mighty glad that I had some side hustles.
Then again, I started freelancing full-time way back in 2002, when blogging wasn’t a big thing and when companies didn’t have to have major online presence. I’d get some magazine or newspaper gigs, and then a whole bunch of rejection slips. Again, thank goodness for alternate income streams (and a super-frugal nature).
“To break in you need to be willing to be broke,” notes Lamine Zarrad in the Freelancers Union blog.
Zarrad suggests that would-be entrepreneurs (including freelance writers) become “scrappy and creative.” He also offers some pretty useful tips for doing so. I’m listing some of them here, along with a few of my own.