By Alex Eames (Poland)
(...) A lot of people have a very wrong attitude towards what it means to be a freelancer. They don't seem to be living the part, although they probably harbour, somewhere at the back of their imaginations, the dream of somehow being FREE. But they don't actually live it out. They feel enslaved to accept the rates and onerous terms, that anyone wielding a job tries to slap upon them.
Now it may be partly to do with fear, or inability to negotiate, but I think it's also partly to do with not quite having grasped what the FREE in freelance actually means. Think for a moment. What are the benefits of being freelance? You are FREE to accept or reject any project which is offered to you. You are FREE to set your own rates (the client is FREE to accept or reject them). You are FREE to work (or not) for anyone you choose. You are also FREE to persuade clients to accept your higher rates and that you are worth what you are asking for.
Your Self-Worth Really Matters - But you won't be able to do that unless you truly believe it yourself. In sales and marketing, a lot of importance is attached to your self- worth. It's talked about a lot in marketing courses. It's something very personal and it fluctuates during your life, according to your levels of confidence and your (often most recent) experiences. That's a bit like a free market. Free to rise and fall according to changing times, circumstances and situations.
(...) You're a freelancer, a FREE agent. You are FREE. That means you are FREE to accept or reject any terms, any payment levels, any projects - and let's go further. You are also FREE to reject any crap from clients. If you decide "I'm not taking that" you can say "bye bye. I'm not working for you any more. Get lost!" I've done it before. And believe me, people aren't used to it.
(...) Employment VS Freelance
What's the difference between employment and freelancing? Well the difference is huge actually. Your client won't pay you any benefits and won't deduct any of your taxes. They won't pay any of your insurance or pension contributions. They won't give you any perks. You tell them how much you want them to pay. If it's too much, they'll negotiate or walk away.
(...) But do you know what? Not everybody can handle the responsibilities that go with freedom. "Freedom is a battle that must be fought and won each day" (Sartre). It's the ultimate performance-related pay, but not everybody can cope with it alone. Not everybody is cut out to be a business person.
But it does require work, effort, sometimes a little bit of luck. But ALWAYS a lot of skill and a lot of hard application over a sustained period of time. And that's where many people fall by the wayside. Some FREE lance warriors get defeated and captured in battle.