Updated: Jul 23, 2022
I'm writing to tell you that you need not feel overwhelmed. There's a ton of freelance advice out there, and you've read and heard it all. But today, I want to give you one quick tip: stop consuming and start doing it! Act!
My freelancing journey didn't really take off until I started taking myself seriously as an editor. I did this by accepting work I was once afraid to take on. Work that paid. Work I was skilled at. Meaningful work.
1. Confidence doesn't happen overnight. But each action you take to move your business forward will help boost your level of confidence, not only in yourself, but in your business, skills, ideal clientele, and decision-making process. Any action that moves you forward will give you more confidence to move even further.
2. The more you sit and learn without taking any action, the further away from your dreams you'll be. And the more discouraged you'll feel because NOTHING IS HAPPENING!
3. We all need to start somewhere. For me, that was back in 2008 when blogging was becoming mainstream. Everyone was moving away from Myspace and Facebook Notes and starting a blog, so I jumped in on the action. I started a blog because someone told me I could make money if I placed some Google Ads on my page. But in the process of setting up the blog, I discovered that I didn't just want to set up a blog for ad clicks, I wanted to start something meaningful. So, I did. (And let me add that in all my years of blogging, I only made a meager $100 from those Google ad clicks - imagine if that was my main objective.) Just like that, blogging for money became something else - a passion project that I worked on for 5 years before giving it up in 2013.
It was through this project that I met my first client, a fellow blogger and author. She later referred other authors to me. Eventually, she set up her own publishing house. When I began book editing, she sent me referrals. I have since learned how to find my own work, but we still work together from time to time.
I say all this to encourage you to say yes and to move forward. Saying yes to that first opportunity is what has brought me here 13 years later. Start somewhere but start now! At least you'd be a few steps further than you currently are.
If you would like to learn more tips on how to get started on your freelance journey, read my Freelancing & Business column.