Wednesday, January 10, 2018

The Why, What and How in Freelancing, 2018

Namaste friends and freelancers,

Hope you are doing great. How is the hustle going on? Hope you are able to keep the flag flying up and high. That is what is most important. This year, in 2018, keep putting the hard work in and it will bring in results for sure. Get on with my Facebook Page and the connected Group and take part in the discussions created by online entrepreneurs and freelancers from all over the world.

In today’s post, I am going to answer something which is very basic for the buddying freelancer or someone who is wondering what freelancing is and how to start. You have already guessed it from the title, I suppose that I am going to talk about the Why, What and How in Freelancing today. What is this all about? Are you wondering too? Well, let’s start and clear off the cloud.

It happened so that one of my close friends, whom I missed a lot in recent times due to lack of regular interactions that we used to have when in office, years ago, wanted to know about freelancing. Probably she wanted to start something of her own and that is when I told her about these three questions – Why, What and How in Freelancing. So, what exactly are these?

When you start as a freelancer and you are an absolute beginner and you are searching where to start from, I guess this is a good point to get going. Ask yourself these three questions:
1.      Why do I want to be a freelancer?
2.      What will I do as a freelancer?
3.      How will I do what I intend to do?

Well, I can certainly help you with the last one; but you got to find the first two for yourself – and there is no other way out of it. No shortcuts! I can help you brainstorm through these as well, but you got to find them out on your own.

These were my exact words to her, my friend. And in this post today, I am going to talk more about these three questions.

WHY Freelancing?

The first thing that you need to find out is YOUR WHY. Let me tell you here that everyone has his own ‘why’ and it is very critical to search and find that ‘why’ before starting your freelancing career – or anything that you want to do, for that matter. This ‘why’ will define your initial and future planning and brainstorming that will go into your business starting NOW!

Ask yourself why do you want to freelance. There are a lot of other ways one can earn money and the most common option is to get a job in the field of your education. In India, most of the students want to get into a job as soon as they have finished their graduation and people go through a lot of competitive examinations and interviews to land into a job of their choice; though, most of us end up doing whatever they get. If you are smart enough, you can easily get a job in the Information Technology sector, which is the most lucrative job sector in India as of today. Most graduates aspire to get a job in the IT sector once after they have passed out of college.

Now, you may be a student, or a housewife or someone with a job in hand and looking for some extra income. You can be anybody unique, absolutely. And this is why your ‘why’ would be unique too.

I cannot tell you why you should choose to be a freelancer as I do not know what you are going through right now in your life. You are the best judge and you are the most eligible one to find your own ‘why’. And I am sure you can do it the best.

How to Find Your WHY?
Think very basic. Get to the elementary things, like sources of income and aspirations in life – the following 10 questions may help:
  1. Do you need to earn?
  2. Why do you need to earn?
  3. How can you earn? What various options do you have?
  4. Are you already working and satisfied with whatever you are doing?
  5. Are you using your knowledge (academic + hands-on experience) in whatever you are doing?
  6. Are you passionate about whatever you are doing to earn, at present?
  7. Are you able to spend enough time with your friends and family and also your passion, while at work?
  8. Is there anything that is stopping you from getting or doing a traditional office job?
  9. What are you building at work that you can leave behind for or gift to your next generation?
  10. Is whatever you earn today enough for your dreams and aspirations?

… and so on!

Also, think about WHY NOT? Write in your comments what you find out, afterward.

If you do not get any satisfactory reason as to why you should be a freelancer, it is perfectly alright. Do not stress yourself about it. I believe that you cannot rise if you force yourself into doing something that you are not passionate about. The passion is very important. Rest all can follow.

Not everyone needs to be a freelancer – the majority of the world is not aspiring to be one. You are still doing a lot good without being a freelancer. The remainder of this post may not be helpful for you in any way. You may choose to skip!

Now, if you actually found some solid reasons and want to start as a freelancer or an entrepreneur (online or offline), please continue reading. This post is for you.

WHAT to do as a Freelancer?

The next big question is WHAT – what do I do as a freelancer? Well, to tell you the truth, there is a hell lot of options and avenues that you can avail. Starting from being a home tutor to a dog walker (though not very popular in India yet) and a stock market broker to a software developer, you can choose from a lot of options. You can actually do anything you want to do – there is no limit.

Anything? Yes! You read that right. If you have the skills, start off right now and if you don’t, acquire the skills first – then, you can literally do anything that you are passionate about.

To start finding your WHAT, the first few questions that I would ask you are these:
  1. Do you want to work online or offline as a freelancer?
  2. Do you want to be a part-time or full-time freelancer?
  3. What are you passionate about? Can this be transformed into something that can be sold?
  4. What are your limitations or what are the hurdles that you face in pursuing that passion?
  5. What can you do, with all the limitations that you have at present?
  6. What exactly will you sell – a product or a service? Is that profitable?

Now, the above questions will certainly help you in narrowing down your options and making up your mind to whether you would want to start off as a freelancer or not; and if yes, what exactly you are going to sell as a freelancer. There are two other things that you need to keep in mind while going through the above questionnaire – rather, two suggestions while brainstorming.
  • Take one question at a time and think ONLY about that one question.
  • Use a pencil and a paper to jot down whatever comes to your mind. Works great!

This is an important 2-steps exercise that I suggest everyone do before we can sit together in consultation. I am sure you can yourself see that until this stage it is more of you talking to yourself and narrowing down to those few things that you would really want to do or sell as a freelancer. Those options that you choose should be:
  • Doable
  • Sellable
  • Profitable
  • Repeatable
  • Scalable
  • Sustainable
  • And things you are passionate about.

Once this is done, we can proceed with the last thing in this process – find out HOW. How to do what you want to do?

HOW to do what you want to do?

I am happy that you have gone past two very important steps while starting off with freelancing and finally you have reached here, where you would want to know ‘how.’ This HOW can come in different sizes and shapes and trust me, this is the longest step among the three and deserves a lot of determination, deep thinking, and hard work as well.

A few of the HOW questions that you need to ask now, can be:
  1. How can I do what I want to do?
  2. How can I sell it?
  3. How can I find buyers for it?
  4. How can I get to the place where I get buyers?
  5. How can I choose the right buyer to sell my craft to?
  6. How can I compare or research on my existing competitors?
  7. How can I do better than them?
  8. How can I make my presence felt?
  9. How can I make future buyers come to me, instead of me going in search of them?
  10. How can I make a working business model that suits me best?
  11. How can I scale up my business?
  12. How can I make good money out of what I want to do?

… and so on!

This is where I can help. You can contact me and we can fix up a time when we can talk about this and help you take your next step. I do this consultancy as a profession as well. Just send me a message to get in touch.

Now, each of these HOW questions need to be dealt with individually and they vary from case to case. You can probably do this step on your own as well if you can invest some more time in yourself. Trust me, you will never repent of this investment that you make today. It will be of huge value in the days to come.


Life as a freelancer looks cozy and easy from the outside while it is not, I can bet. A lot of things go into it right from the moment you think of being a freelancer. Hence, one needs to spend some good time to understand and to get educated about freelancing and entrepreneurship before taking the plunge.

Many office goers may just either want to leave everything and get into freelancing or disregard freelancing and knock it off the shelf and not want to venture into it – both, do not have much knowledge about freelancing and its nuances. Many people do not have clarity of the entire process involved and hence, build up their own views and opinions about freelancing – which unfortunately are often wrong – both good or bad. Well, it is not their fault as they have not spent enough time in trying to understand the concepts and live the life of a freelancer. You can’t blame them.

But then, it is not the most important thing to think about as a freelancer or a freelancing expert. What you must do, is to achieve clarity in your own thoughts and this involves and demands a lot of active, aggressive and progressing thinking – whenever you can, wherever you can. The more you think thus, the better you will get at freelancing – or at any other thing, for that matter. Only by thinking deep, you can actually find your own Why, What and How in Freelancing. You can always start with the freelancing concept.

With this, I will end this post. I hope you found this helpful and if you did, do let me know in your comments. Please share this post with your friends and family, if there are people you know, who can be benefited by this content. I look forward to getting back to you, with another post soon.

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Thanks a lot,
The Indian Freelancer
Let's Learn and Grow Together!


  1. I really like how you made out the list. Its easy to understand things in simpler way

    1. Thanks Shruthi :) I am happy this helped. If you have any queries, please feel free to ask. Thanks for reading my blog...


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