Young freelancers / entrepreneurs aren’t more courageous nor daring than others
When I just graduated from a business school, I got offered a job in digital marketing for a big company. I was, indeed, part of the lucky few that got offered a job as they were finishing their studies.
But here is why I declined it: I live in Paris — which is, as you may know, a very expensive city to live in — and that job was going to pay me €20k a year. And believe me, with that amount of money, you cannot live a decent life in a city like Paris. In fact, you cannot even rent a place in Paris itself with such a low income.
But it was pretty much the only job offer I got so far. It was in a field that I liked, in a company that I liked (and worked for before). And as far as looking for other job offers, every other company seemed very demanding in terms of interns but it was seriously so rare to spot a single job offer in that field. And absolutely none of them were paying well.
That’s when I started to wonder: I could totally be a freelance digital marketer and make at least that amount of money a year!
I mean: making €20k a year doing freelance jobs seemed to be totally doable. Plus it would allow me to have free time to do other things such as doing more photography, such as having time for myself, such as looking for new clients and new opportunities and so on.
So, that’s what I did! And for those who wonder how I started, the answer is very simple. I wrote on all my social medias that I was starting to do freelance digital marketing jobs and that I was looking for opportunities, projects, clients etc. and I asked people to share that message to help me find something. And guess what? People are kind and people did it. Even some people I don’t know helped me spread the message. People tagged me on Facebook pages, they recommended me on LinkedIn, they gave me a bunch of retweets on Twitter etc. Soon enough, a lot of people knew I was doing something new.
In less than 3 days, I got my first regular client.
In less than 3 days, I completed 75% of my objective. Thanks to one client that I got through my personal network, I was guaranteed to make €14.4k a year. And that left me plenty of time — at least, way more free time than if I was working a full time job — to get those 25% I still needed to get to earn those 20k a year.
And after a bunch of phone calls, a couple of emails and less than a week, I was guaranteed to make more than this 20k objective I had. I was officially making more as a freelancer than if I had accepted this job I got offered in the first place.
Was it that risky to make this decision and to do freelance jobs? Well, it would have been if the job I got offered in the first place was paying €120k a year. But these kind of opportunities don’t exist in France anymore. Most jobs — if you’re lucky enough to find one by the way, even after a masters degree — don’t pay well or require an outstanding amount of experience to get. Experience that you cannot get if no one wants to hire you in the first place. But this vicious circle is a totally different topic that I don’t feel like writing about in this blog entry.
So I literally had two options: accepting the work I got offered. Or take the biggest, scariest and most courageous decision of my life and become a freelancer / entrepreneur. But something I was sure about, was that making the same amount of money doing freelance jobs was probably going to be easily attainable with the right strategy. Do I still appear like a super courageous person after deciding to do freelance jobs now? I guess I don’t.
Take a step back now and think about it: is it that risky?
I guess it is really not. People tend to over consider risk. Going on a different path is always scarier, of course, than following the norm. It is always more complicated to do something most people are afraid of committing. And doing freelance jobs or being an entrepreneur has always been something that has been considered as hard.
But more and more people do it. And to flatter their gigantic ego — probably — they keep explaining how hard and risky that was and how courageous they were to have taken such an incredible decision. While, really, worst case scenario is that they make as much or slightly less than a regular 9 to 5 job would have given them, while having way more free time than if they had a regular office job.
Perceiving freelancers and entrepreneurs as more courageous than others makes it more intimidating for others to follow this path.
And that’s the main issue! It discourages people to try new things and to pursue their dreams and objectives. Most of them don’t dare to make that decision because people that do say bullshit about it. They make themselves appear like super-humans while they’re actually not taking that many risks. They just enjoy to be perceived as hard workers and exceptional people. Which is totally understandable. But nonetheless, that’s just a comforting lie.
But again, take a step back, think about it. Do you have that much to lose? You should really think about it. Because I bet that, in most cases, you have more to win!
Do you feel like you tried everything to grow on social media and especially Instagram? Hopefully, what follows will be the last thing you will have to do to reach your goals.
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