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What The Bogeyman And Freelancing Have In Common

You’ve ears like a bat; straining to pick up the slightest sound. The room is dark and your chest is tight. You’re wide awake… what woke you up? You may not be a child any more, but it takes a while to control the fear of the bogeyman under your bed. That bogeyman – having to live life as a freelancer.

Is there a bogeyman under your bed?

A life as an independent freelancer, far from a safe world of a regular weekly or monthly income can set your heart racing – like the bogeyman under a child’s bed. Yet your own logic tells you that fear will grow out of proportion in darkness, especially when born out of ignorance. If there’s a bogeyman around, you should turn on the light.

Which bogeyman hides in most people – and perhaps inside you, too?

How do parents calm their small children in the middle of the night?

  • First, they turn on the light.
  • Second, they talk to their child using persuasive and logical reasoning, and then
  • Third, they undertake some action, such as looking for a bogeyman under the bed or in the cupboard or behind the chair, for example.

Light is symbolic for knowledge. It will localise the source of the fear – or its absence.

And still the fears are not completely gone.

Is it the fear of being penniless or the fear of debt? The paradox for many people considering the step of freelancing is the fear of being successful, and so they contrive to sabotage themselves until they do fail – creating the fear of failure; of not being good enough. A vicious circle causing most people to remain in the in-between world of indecision. They sit on a fence and stagnate.

Sitting on the fence to avoid the bogeyman

So how do you overcome stagnation? The answer can be simple if you first throw light on the matter and bring a sense of logic to the discussion.

What reason or reasons keep you caught within a world of indecision? Why make a career change? To become a fully fledged freelancer; or remain a full-time employee with a part-time freelance hobby? One indecision after another.

It’s time to switch on the light (the first step) and start reasoning logically (the second step).

We can start the logical reasoning by answering one of the most frequently asked questions: What is the difference between being a fully fledged freelancer and being employed?

Here is a brief overview on four of the most obvious differences:

The Employee

  1. An Employee has (in general) a predefined place of work at the employer.
  2. The Employee has a regular income and usually has paid holidays and sick leave. Some companies may even offer a course or two in further education.
  3. The hours of work and the job itself are defined. A certain number of hours each week and a job description that outlines the scope of the employee’s work.
  4. In times of recession, fear of unemployment sits on every employee’s shoulder. Good old-fashioned loyalty, willingness to do overtime, or experience and expertise in your job, are no longer appreciated. If the upper management decides heads must roll to cut costs – because employee costs are the highest – the axe will fall on someone. In fact, there’s not even a need for a recession…

The Freelancer

  1. A Freelancer is responsible for his place of work. It can be at his home, or at his customer.
  2. A Freelancer is responsible for his own income. He sets his own prices from which he pays his own salary. He has to plan his business and his finances to cover his time out for holidays, or when he is sick. He also has to plan and finance his own professional training.
  3. The hours of work and the job itself are flexible. The Freelancer plans his job or his projects to be varied and rich in its scope of work; in the amount of responsibility he accepts; or in how much he further plans its design and its development as he envisions it.
  4. A Freelancer decides whether he works or not. His hours are mostly erratic at the beginning of his freelancing career, but they usually become stable. Nobody can fire him – unless he fires himself. And in times of recession, he is more flexible by adapting to market changes.

Are these four overview differences just another so-called “positive thinking” epistle? Yet another method to glorify the life of a freelancer? Not at all. Life as a freelancer is plain hard work. It’s an entrepreneurial life with all its ups and downs. But it’s more exhilarating, and the rewards of satisfaction are greater, too.

Whether you are a freelancer or an employee, have you ever wondered why most freelancers choose to work as freelancers? Why do they choose to become freelancers in the first place? What is the reason?

How Freelancers overcome the bogeyman

Most people work for three reasons:

  1. money
  2. recognition
  3. freedom

The reason above all these reasons: Freelancers want the freedom – of time. They want the choice of choosing the where, the when, and the how, to do the things they want to spend their time on. They want to decide for themselves. They’ve jumped off the fence of indecision.

Their choice was only in how they went about it.

How you go about it, brings us to the third step parents take when their child is suffering from the bogeyman Fear.

That third step is: Action.

How to overcome the fear blocking you from your freelancing career

Action is the time when you jump off the fence and start making decisions. Action is about taking your life into your hands. When your mind is made up; when you reach a decision. One way or the other, you will feel Fear dwindle. This is how you will overcome the fear blocking you from your freelancing career.

It may not go away completely, but knowing what must be done and putting it on paper and setting goals, you are going into action and that does away with Fear. The threat oozing from the bogeyman will go away.


Self-doubt is a very human emotion. Having fear is natural. There is no person in this world who hasn’t suffered from self-doubt at one time or another. But there is only one thing that can stop you from achieving your dream – the fear of failure. The fear of not being good enough.

What you need to do is:

  • First: turn on the light,
    (knowledge; inform yourself)
  • Second: logically work out the source of the fear,
    (work out what and where the problems are; find possible solutions)

and then

  • Third: take action.
    (implement your findings)

Remember: Each time you choose to sit on the fence in indecision, you’ll wake up with the bogeyman under your bed.

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