Most high-earning freelancers I speak to advise writers to create a safety net—three to six months of living expenses in the bank—before they quit their jobs to go full-time.
Yet, how many of them did the same when they were first starting out?
The answer may surprise you: Almost none of them.
Ironically, many of them attribute their success to this very fact.
Quitting your job and taking up freelancing full-time when you have no other source of income can force you to hustle like no one’s business. Because you have no safety net and no plan B, you have no choice but to learn quickly, market efficiently, and earn money.
This is not advice that is suited to everyone, of course, but for entrepreneurial writers motivated by fear, I found that when the fallback option of a job was taken away, it forced them to come up with creative solutions to problems, write when they didn’t particularly feel like it, and contact potential clients for work even when it felt uncomfortable. They showed up to work every single day and performed because not doing so was simply never an option.
Most successful freelancers I know have a very good worth ethic and many of them will attribute it to the early days and years of training themselves to write and market, even when they weren’t in the mood.
Risk-taking doesn’t just come in the form of quitting jobs and financial scarcity, however.
Writers who want to stand out in their fields often go the extra mile in their work, too. They’ll travel to the middle of nowhere and come back with a story. They’ll get out of their comfort zone and report on an event even when they don’t have any guarantee of an assignment just because it interests them and they know that if it interests them, it has the potential to interest others. They learn new skills even when they’re unsure of how exactly they’re going to use those skills.
If you want to increase your income steadily, you’re going to have to stretch yourself constantly.
In fact, trying new things and creating additional income streams is one of the best things you can do as someone looking to increase their income, especially if you want to make the leap quickly.
That’s exactly what I teach in my book The Freelance Writer’s Guide to Making More Money.
Grab your copy here: