Many people dream of the freedom being a freelancer brings. However, it can be a difficult journey, especially if you aren't ready for it.
How do you know if you are ready?
1. Do you have the experience and can work on your own?
Clients expect freelancers to be able to hit the ground running, so make sure you know your job well enough to work on your own.
2. Do you have a portfolio?
Clients need proof you can complete the job. Having a portfolio also helps you answer #1 correctly.
3. Are you able to manage yourself?
Freelancers need excellent time and project management skills. You won't have the structure a typical job provides to help keep you accountable.
4. Are your people and communication skills strong?
You will need to market and sell yourself, solve disagreements, and handle all communications yourself.
5. Do you have a plan to get clients and get paid?
Before starting, you need to know how you are going to make money. Decide if you will use a freelance marketplace, referral, cold calls/emails, etc.
6. Are you ready to deal with the up and downs?
Freelancing can be fantastic, but it can also be stressful. Like any job, there will be bad days and good days. You may have to be ready to deal with a drop in income at times too.
The great thing about freelancing is all the skills you need; you can learn and practice until you are ready to jump into the freelancing pool.