There are several reasons why starting your own creative venture or freelance business is really scary. I know from experience. Seeking travel and creative freedom in my 20’s, I decided to leave my full-time job at a Toronto production company to build my own business.
I’m sure you didn’t click on this video because you wanted me to reiterate all the reasons why going out on your own as a creator is terrifying. But to address them, I have to point them out. So hang on to your pet or your favorite blanket while I call out a few. It’ll be ok! I promise.
#1 The fear of taking a financial hit.
#2 The fear of the unknown.
#3 The fear of being uncomfortable.
#4 The fear of the hard work to come.
#5 The fear of embarrassment, disappointing loved ones, and above all else – failure.
You still there? You ok?
First of all, some of these fears are going to be based on your very unique situation. Are you living at home? Do you have children? Are you going to school? How old are you? Are you switching career paths? Only you can decide if you are ready for this next step. But here’s a few things that you should make sure of before becoming a full-time freelance creator.
Make sure you already have existing clients. Track your income and expenses to see if you will be able to afford your current lifestyle. Otherwise, contribute to your savings and ensure you have a comfortable amount to support yourself after you take the leap to go out on your own and grow your client list. Make sure you have a supportive community around you like your spouse, parents, and friends.
Now let’s move on to tackling some of those things that are scaring you.
Overcoming fears about income
Money. We need it! It’s not the reason that many of us chose to be creatives, but that doesn’t mean that your career as a creator can’t be highly lucrative! Money is important to living a safe, healthy, and fulfilling life, and not being able to be financially comfortable, is scary.
You must conduct your own financial assessment and record your annual goal income, quarterly income, and finally – monthly income. Strategize how you’re going to meet these goals and how you’re going to increase your business revenue. Your goal income for this first year should be realistic and maybe at first, just what you need to pay your bills.
Recognize and accept that there will most likely be an initial adjustment period for you financially as you get your business on its feet – but isn’t the reward so much more fulfilling? There are also many financial benefits to owning your own business as a creator – you choose your own hours, you get certain tax benefits, you have limitless potential to your income, you can’t fire yourself. And you’re in a field that you’re excited about, and you get to be creative every day.
Overcoming fear of the unknown
Now let’s say you’re afraid of what’s to come – the hard work that’s involved, the process of being uncomfortable, and not knowing how it’s all going to turn out.
Here’s the hard truth. It may be hard or uncomfortable at times, and no, you don’t know how it’s going to turn out! But what kind of person do you want to be? What is it that you want out of life? How bad do you want a life as a creator? That’s going to come with some hard work, so embrace it!
Overcoming fear of failure
Now onto the fear of embarrassment, disappointment, and failure. To get past this, you have to think ahead to what you’re gaining and how reaching your goal will make you feel in the long term.
Failure is a part of the process. Successful people are those who fail, learn, and get back up again. You’re that much further ahead if you apply what you learn and try again. A favorite quote of mine is “you haven’t failed, you just found 1000 ways that don’t work.” Fear is what let’s you know that you really want something. Everything you’ve ever really wanted is on the other side of fear. Don’t let fear stop you.
Wishing you all the luck and confidence for your next steps as a full-time creator! You’re not alone. When in doubt, make connections and look to those who have gone before you for support.