The disadvantages of freelancing. Personal experience

    This is another post from the regular column “freelance vs. office". At various freelance parties, and even remoteers standing side by side, they are increasingly saying that the work moves to "remote rails". This famous phrase - "The best developers do not live in San Francisco, but around the world." Projects with completely remote teams like basecamp. In general, the growth of exchanges over the past few years at times - suggests that the remote and freelance is the birth of a Klondike.

    Lounging in a hammock, on the shore of the island of Bora Bora, you slowly draw a sketch or work out the skills of js-ninja.

    In the left hand is Mahito, in the right the mulatto (ka). And the main burden is a trip to the ATM.

    Maybe it happens, but certainly not with me. Therefore, having worked for 12 years in freelancing (about 11,000 hours), suddenly, I wondered - what next? And why I tread on the spot then. Let the units, but it turns out to grow further, expand the customer base, establish a company, it is interesting to live in the end.

    Therefore, this post with the CEO-name will be exactly what is wrong in freelancing with "his bell tower." Firstly introspection sake. And secondly, for that guy from the office, who is working on himself, but still nothing ... For 12 years, a lot of experience has accumulated, there is something to share. Many examples from experience.


    Starting in freelancing is such a lottery, with elements of humiliation, despair, and perhaps broken hopes. Of course, I am dramatizing, in the context of those cunning guys who have taken someone’s customer or found him on the side and brought him to Upwork. Yes, by the way, the discussion in this post will be about the Upwork exchange, unless otherwise indicated. It was there that I spent 12 years intermittently.

    So, the obvious point. If you have a bare profile and no reviews of past works - then look for you and look for this long-awaited job at $ 50. Do not believe? That was just the case. I hired guys iOS and Android developers. We did a pretty good part of the program, for which I received $ 1200, they were interested only in feedback. Not for the sake of praise, but rather to confirm the fact how important is reputation and experience in freelancing.

    Therefore, it is always difficult to start. Dumping, spamming, “asking for an asterisk”, endless finishing touches are all a necessary attribute of the first freelancing orders.

    Yes, if you are a student, and shake for example Ruby, then why not shake. But if you enter the IT specialist, with an ardent desire to earn, it will not be easy.

    My story with freelancing began in 2006, when there were not yet a crowd of Hindus, and the exchange was called oDesk. I was a student (not hungry), advertised in a newspaper! I was found by some local freelancer and wrap ...

    At $ 6 / hour I was very happy to write programs for American students, not for my own. Then a large client came across and we moved together with agency, to my personal profile, so as not to pay the intermediary.

    First customer

    Usually inadequate. Clearly realizing that all his trump cards were pushed through his sleeves, like that - your first review, the first dollar earned, and indeed everything in the first. This guy will squeeze you like a ripe lemon. And it is unlikely that you will have a lot of counter-arguments, such as a raspaltsevki - "this is extra" or "this is impossible". For half a day be kind.

    Yes Yes. You say - you need to know your own price, show a black belt on Angulyar, but we are talking about shortcomings. And believe my customer experience - it is quite easy to demand work from a beginner, for a minimum fee and a maximum of efort. This is a business.


    Tears from the couch. I took a laptop. Climbed on the sofa. Behind the wall - 3 howling sirens in the form of kids and wife. Top punch.

    He fell asleep on the couch, having done nothing ...

    Discipline is the first thing a freelancer needs to learn. This also includes the regime, food, walks, time for yourself, etc., etc.

    Humpty-baltai - will not work. All the same, not Sean Parker. And you have to keep your hand on the pulse (phone) all the time. The guys from the business are not very fond of when they are not answered.


    In the continuation of the previous paragraph - mode, the word is quite blurry for a freelancer. This is not a 9-18 Saturday weekend.

    It is 24/7, without weekends and holidays. Again, I can exaggerate, but if you want to get up quickly, you have to work as a business owner, I mean, all the time at the console. After a while, you can go through the grubs, and choose for yourself one part-time European, one loyal American who honors all holidays and weekends in Russia. And at the beginning of the wigwam.


    Can throw. Where do without it. In fairness, I will say that this happened to me once or twice from about 60 projects. The amounts are small, but very unpleasant when you try - and the client disappears with your work.

    Zapadlo number two - tracker programs. Do not eat, do not pee. All the time keeps in suspense, developing some unknown habit of “more-sit-hours”. There have been cases of acquaintances when, after 15-hour marathons under the tracker, they heard Europe + from the shell. And it seemed to some that they were being watched on the street. This was not the case with me - but my head ached notably, after 6 hours of continuous coding.

    As an alternative to hourly, God came up with a fixed-price with escrow. So to speak. The word escrow, that is, the guarantee of payment, works only until the client contacts the support with a request to return the money. Everything else, knock out at 300-500-1000 dollars, we must also be able to, that is, to justify. In this plan, pochasovka easier in terms of talking about money with the client.

    Well, the very pulp is when you can add the time spent manually. This is how most of the large offices in the office work, and you can also agree with a person when there is trust . Over time, the freelancer dictates the terms.


    He is not. Just do not please about coworkers or take a hut with chums. Himself silently knocking on the clave to the bulging eyes. Nobody bothers to go to groups of Alcoholics Anonymous, to talk? Hmm ... it depends on how you work. Usually, by the end of the day, one desire is to lie down and sink. Freelance is not cookies. Freelance is not a desktop and a treadmill below. Freelance is how much it worked - I got it so much. Therefore, here, 8-10 hours of load is comparable to 2-3 days in the office.
    Do not forget the tracker.

    But what about friends, family, acquaintances? Well what can I tell you. If friends are freelancers, then the situation is about the same. Your communication slowly goes into Skype chat, and this ends the friendship. Family, you know, everyone is busy with his own business.

    And dad - a prefix for the computer. Why bother him? So it turns out once a quarter going.

    At all events, with friends, you often feel like a black sheep, rather than an individual involved in the case.

    Here people have career growth, discussion of politics and celebrities. And why do you need it? You have a tracker ... and IDE.


    In addition to the previous one. She will atrophy. If you are not a sales person, of course, then the freelancer slowly but surely drops out of society. People are different, someone chooses loneliness, someone cannot live without people, but it is fair that choosing freelancing means you consciously withdraw into yourself. Contacts with people less and less. Some vital trivia, like
    going to the movies - become meaningless. You have no one to push!

    How are they? - One run and let's go for me! “And the monkey is looking, the monkey is repeating,” and that's how it turns out.

    The same sport. You are already an adult uncle, you see that health needs to be maintained, load yourself. - And make yourself go, just like that, regularly go to the gym. It got to the point that I organized a gym at home. But the motivation is appropriate.

    Social security

    … Pension Fund. It's all like this song. Working for a short time in the company, I had an official place of work, medical insurance, subscriptions to a fitness club and library. Of course, iron for work, which on click could be changed to any other.

    Not to say that on freelancing, the lack of "cookies" greatly annoys me - but freedom ...


    A few words about freedom. People who are far from freelancing think that they say where they wanted to - they went there. I took a laptop, got on a plane and yuhuuu!

    Well, firstly a laptop - it can be enough for a copywriter. And I need a powerful computer, 2 monitors and a macbook for tests. Plus fast internet.

    And the second misconception about freedom. Yes, even though you do not sit in a cubicle all day, but customers are virtually holding coconuts, constantly pulling the messenger. In turn, not to answer is quite problematic. And clients from different timezone. And here at 2 o'clock you are testing software, at the dawn of Sunday, deploying prod, and in the middle of the week 3 people are writing to you synchronously that they have a deadline. Such hypertrophied freedom.


    A little about health. The fact is that life style freelancer implies complete freedom of action. Yes, this is contrary to the paragraph above, but in any case, no one and nothing holds back, for example, to get drunk before the pig squeal in the middle of the week.

    Such laxity leads to deviant behavior over time.

    I mean, you can easily entertain yourself with a bottle almost every day. From work is not expelled. Money is usually there.

    Well, in the appendage, a sedentary lifestyle can turn a freelancer into a wreck before the 40th.

    Perhaps on this you can finish the list of flaws in freelancing. Possessing critical and / or creative thinking - all these rakes are bypassed. My business was to share experience and it is possible to take off my rose-colored glasses.

    For balance in the universe, the next plan article is UPD: How to become a successful freelancer .

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