The idea of working for yourself is a big attraction for people wanting to go freelance. There is the incredible flexibility of working hours to enjoy, you get to be your own boss, and, of course, you get to work on whatever you choose. However, freelancing has a lot of downsides, too – many of which are self-inflicted.

In today’s guide, we’re going to go through some of the biggest issues you will face as a freelancer, and give you some hints on how to battle the many inner demons that will arise. Let’s take a closer look at your biggest freelancing enemy – yourself.

Lacking focus

Working from home? If so, there are an awful lot of distractions that will eat into your working hours. You might have the TV or radio on in the background, for example, or have tabs open on your computer to keep in touch with Facebook, your email, or your favorite websites.

And even if you think you can work perfectly well with all this external noise, the truth is you probably can’t. Try scheduling in these distractions rather than having them there all the time you will find you are much more efficient and focused.

Forgetting about admin

Admin tasks are a time drain, for sure, and it can be tempting to put things off until the last minute. But, this can cause you a lot of problems that could end up costing you in the end. Try looking for systems that can help you automate basic tasks.

There is plenty of software out there that can help with Accounts payable, for example, which is entirely automated and can save you a considerable amount of time with regards to invoicing and chasing payments. You could also consider hiring a virtual assistant to help you with the more mundane tasks in your business, which will free up time for you to do other, more important work.

Not saying ‘no’

Many freelancers struggle to say no to work, regardless of its quality or levels of pay. Try to avoid falling into this trap, as it will suck away your time, leave you struggling to earn real money, and will create more stress than it is worth.

Poor quality clients who don’t pay you a good rate also tend to have the most ridiculous standards, and they will also take you away from the most important aspect of freelancing – finding good quality clients that value what you do.

Failing to network

Not everyone is a natural born networker. But as a freelancer, you will find that failing to network and put yourself out there is a huge mistake to make. Sure, it can be nerve-racking to attend local business events and pitch yourself to people.

There’s a chance you will either fail to convince people you are worthy of their time, or you could over egg the pudding and come across as pushy and salesy. However, try not to feel intimidated and get out there as soon as possible. You will soon learn what works and what doesn’t, and eventually, you will wonder what you were worried about in the first place.