This post was originally published January 19, 2015. I have updated it extensively and republished it on April 18, 2016.
A few weeks ago, I sent an honest and heartfelt message to my mailing list. The subject line of that email broadcast was:
I Want Your Input!! (Please Reply)
And, without republishing the entire message, the crux of it was — and I quote — this:
I want to know what I can do, publish or create that can help you either…
- Make the decision to quit your job and start freelancing full-time, or
- Take your existing freelance business to the next level.
Seriously, reply to this email and let me know.
Now, it’s important to note that my mailing list is almost entirely made up of new freelancers, or people who are thinking of quitting their job to freelance in the near future.
And to be honest, I was a bit overwhelmed by the responses I received.
A number of my subscribers asked for…
- inbound marketing strategies to win new clients,
- guidance on how to set or increase their prices,
- and some even asked for tips on how to pitch effectively.
But the one response I got — more than any other — was,
“How do I get over the fear of failure?”
And that — frankly — just isn’t a topic I’ve thought about tackling on my blog recently.
I’m not exactly sure why I stopped.
Perhaps I felt the comment and share counts on those older posts didn’t justify continuing in that direction.
But I guess now — given that I re-branded my blog at the start of the year to serve up-and-coming freelancers — would be a great time to resurrect one of those motivational posts.
So put on your running shoes, because I’m about to give you a workout.
Whether you’re training to run a race or building your own online, service-based business, you have to decide once and for all that…
Failure Just Isn’t an Option
So, you want to quit your job to freelance, huh?
Welcome to the freelance grind.
It’s important that you know what you’re in for when you’re just starting out.
(…no, seriously! Watch it. Now. Don’t continue reading this post until you have watched this entire video!)
See, a lot of your friends and family may have already turned back or given up on their entrepreneurial race.
Things got difficult.
Life got hard.
Unexpected challenges and resistance arose.
And the distance became too painful to endure.Life got hard. Unexpected challenges and resistance arose. And the distance became too painful to endure.Click To Tweet
As you contemplate leaving the safety of your 9-to-5 job, those friends and family members will emerge, each with their own horror stories… each hoping to change your mind.
They will be sure to remind of you what to expect…
- A definitive uncertainty when you start.
- Financial insecurity in the early days.
- Long days and endless hours.
- Countless rejected pitches.
- Difficult clients.
But pay them no mind.
For you, failure isn’t an option.
It isn’t even part of your lexicon.
And it certainly isn’t a concept you are prepared to introduce to your reality, no matter how difficult the freelancing journey will become.
The thing is, you’re headed upstream.
And when you make that choice, when you decide to turn your back on what’s comfortable, what’s safe, and what some would call common sense, well, that’s day one. From there, it only gets tougher. So just make sure this is something you want, because the easy way out will always be there, ready to wash you away.
Building a successful business will force you out of complacency, onto your feet, and moving well beyond the safety of your comfort zone.
Nobody said it was going to be easy.
But you also know that with risk comes great rewards. The finish line promises:
- The freedom to be in complete control of your business
- The flexibility to work where and when you chose
- And the financial independence of a significant and recurring monthly income
After all, anything worth having never comes easy.
And you know that.
Just remember that nobody who has ever run a race crossed the finish line to say, “I wish I wouldn’t have run as hard.”
The truth is that we only regret the work that we didn’t put in.
Those who turn back know only the ordeal, but those who persevere remember the adventure.
I mean, what’s the alternative?
To safely return to your desk job in corporate America? Counting down the days until you retire?
- This is your race.
- Your time.
- And your adventure.
Leave the illusion of safety behind.
After all, the opinion of others isn’t going to carry you over the finish line.Leave the illusion of safety behind. After all, the opinion of others isn't going to carry you over the finish line.Click To Tweet
It’s all up to you and your level of commitment.
It comes down to how far you are willing to push the limits of your own capabilities.
Because sooner or later, we all experience pain:
There are two types of pain you will go through in life, the pain of discipline and the pain of regret. Discipline weighs ounces while regret weighs tons.
It’s your reaction to that pain that makes you a champion.It's your reaction to pain that makes you a champion.Click To Tweet
And your determination to succeed against all odds.
Because the real truth of the matter is that you can do this.
Millions before you — and millions more to come — are ready to leave behind their jobs and pursue something bigger and better.
And you can, too.
Yes — you!
Ignore the naysayers.
Because you’re going to quickly discover that there are thousands — millions? — of freelancers already succeeding online and willing to help you get started.
In other words, becoming your own boss means you get to run this race for yourself, but not by yourself.
So make the decision.
Choose to aggressively chase your goals with every ounce of strength, passion, and bravery it took to conjure them in the first place. And when you emerge victorious, you can hold your head high, knowing that you are forever changed.
Because while others took the path of least resistance, you pressed onward in the face of adversity.
For you, failure isn’t an option.