The top 3 myths about freelancing debunked by freelancers

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September 22, 2021

Taking time off whenever, pajamas as an office attire, tripling your salary or living on breadcrumbs?In this article, we are going to set the record straight about freelancing by debunking some of the most common myths surrounding it. So, if you are about to quit your job to become a full-time freelancer or have just opened your business, this post can give you a glimpse of what is lying ahead of you.

Myth #1: Freelancing is risky, there’s no income security

Commonly, the nature of freelancing is associated with instability. As for leaving the ‘safe haven’ of employment can leave you with an unstable income and in extreme cases, leave you living on breadcrumbs.

From freelance myth to reality:

It is no secret that for the self-employed no clients equals no income. Especially, starting-off freelancing, it can be tough to focus on your core activity and building the client base while trying to stay afloat with the income received from projects. Thus, it can be advisable to have set aside savings that cover at least a few months of living expenses before jumping into the world of freelance. But this does not mean that choosing an employment setting is always the ‘safer’ option - at least in the long run. For freelancers that have built themselves a portfolio of clients it can be easier to replace a single client compared to finding a new full-time employment and in the context of turbulent economic times, companies can act slow or reserved to hire new staff while they turn to freelancers instead to cover the work needed to be done “now”.  And on top, there are clients that look for long-term collaborations with freelancers at fixed monthly rates.

“It is not true, at least in my case. There are many clients on the market who need long-term freelancers. I have been a freelancer for 18 months and I assure you that I have issued at least 18 invoices.”

Alex Galben, freelancer in graphic design & professor of informatics

Besides the arguments mentioned above, there are more contextual and individual factors that determine how risky it is from an income perspective to move to full-time freelancing. Just to mention some of them: the amount of expertise gained in the field beforehand, the competitiveness of the field, if one started building a freelance business beside a full day job or if one starts from scratch, personality traits like grit and more.

Myth #2: Freelancers have more freetime, they work when and how they feel like working (pajamas is the new office attire)

Afternoon naps, finishing the work week on a Thursday, working in pajamas in bed? Sounds like freelancing or more like a dream?

From freelance myth to reality:

Freelancing can provide greater flexibility in terms of time management and working locations compared to an employment setting, but it is misleading to believe that as a freelancer you work only whenever and however you like.

Instead of saying “Freelancers work whenever they feel like it”, it would be more accurate to say “Freelancers work under tight deadlines”. Self-employed will agree that working long hours, sometimes even late at night or on weekends, to get projects done on time is part of the freelance job description, especially at the beginning.It takes time and hard work until freelancing pays-off in the sense of enjoying more leisure time than in a 9 to 5 job. While it is true that you have greater flexibility in terms of how you set up your work schedule, you will also need to adapt it at times to fit client needs, e.g. to be available for calls in their core working hours or working with programs that fit their workflow.

And yes, as a freelancer you might not need to adhere to a strict dress code, but your personal image is your brand. And why should clients believe in your skills when you show up to meetings in pajamas, right?

“Everyone thinks that being a freelancer is about working from the top of your bed, having time for everything and working when and how you feel like it. Okay, I've combined a number of myths about freelancing into the same sentence, but I just wanted to emphasize that freelancing is not what many people think it is. One myth that I believe is true is the one about organization - you can organize your time as you see fit, as long as you can deliver what you have to deliver on time."

Alina Canură aka Anghel, freelancer in content creation

“The myth that if you're a freelancer you can sleep as much as you want, it's not true. I mean, you can do that, but it doesn't really work. You have to find breaks, you have to treat your small business like a full-time work schedule, that's the only way it will pay off!”

Mădălin Cîrje, freelancer in stand-up comedy

Myth #3: As a freelancer you absolutely need an accountant

Out of fear of getting fined by the tax office for making mistakes with bookkeeping or tax reporting, there is the common belief that hiring an accountant is a ‘MUST’.

From freelance myth to reality:
In Romania, from a legal perspective, there is definitely no way around hiring an accountant, if you decide to operate your freelance business as an SRL. But, if you are opening a PFA, it is up to you if you turn to an accountant for help or if you handle your business admin yourself.

A part of PFAs in Romania argue that hiring an accountant is 100% worth the costs, as figuring out how to keep records for their business and dealing with taxes is complicated and would take a crucial amount of their time if they did it themselves. Other PFAs, like freelancer Alex Galben, perceive managing financial admin themselves as easy, even more so, when making use of technology to simplify it.

“For PFA, I don't see the point of an accountant, it's super simple to complete the tax declaration and keep records of income and expenses through the Fairo application.”

Alex Galben, freelancer in graphic design & professor of informatics

The truth about freelancing: is it really for you?

To succeed in freelancing it takes a lot of self-discipline, organizational skills, grit and passion. Becoming a freelancer means becoming the owner of a business, and that is not for everyone. But if it is for you, it comes with a whole new set of benefits and opportunities compared to an employment setting.

We hope that, whether you consider becoming a freelancer or you've just opened your business, we were able to give you a realistic glimpse of the freelance world by debunking the most common myths surrounding it.

A special thanks goes out to our Fairo customers & freelancers from Romania: Alex Galben, Alina Canura & Mădălin Cîrje. If you are looking to hire or collaborate with experienced freelancers in the area of graphic design, education in informatics, content creation or stand-up comedy, get in touch with them :-)

Alex Galben, located in Iasi (Romania) teaches informatics to children and teenagers across several academies and works for multiple companies as a graphic designer (Adobe Illustrator & Corel). He is passionate about technology, business and tennis and always tries to surpass himself. What he loves most about freelancing is the freedom to work & travel: he has already worked online from multiple cities, including Paris, Milan & Rome.

Alina Canură aka Anghel (as the world knows her online) opened her business as a content creator in 2011. Her blog has just been nominated for the Digital Divas Award 2022 in the Most Active Beauty Blogger category. Together with her husband, who is a freelance photographer and graphic designer, she just recently opened a studio, where she writes for and her husband photographs most of the time. Alina is passionate about digital marketing, has over 5 years of experience in sales and can imagine adding business consulting or social media strategies to her portfolio. .

Visul lui Mădălin Cîrje s dream always was to make people laugh. Now, 4 years later, he has made a lot of people burst into laughter with his stand up shows, made it to the iUmor Romania TV show and gained a significant following on Facebook (over 14k Follower) & Instagram (over 30k Follower).