Money vs. security: a freelance dilemma

When I first began freelancing, I cheated somewhat. I still had a full-time job. My goal was to phase out the job as I became more successful. Several obstacles had to be hurdled as you can imagine. In the beginning I offered a low rate that barely felt as if it covered the work I put into projects. I wrote cheaper than anybody I knew and consulted for half their price. I had clients, but I still needed the full-time job.

After about a full year of burning the candle at both ends, I decided I was at a crossroads in my endeavors. I had to shed the job, period. It was time to adjust my rates to make that happen. I contacted my clients and let them know that future work would have to be at an increased rate and bid all new jobs at that rate. As expected, I lost about half of the clients I had and started having less success getting new ones.

After a short time, though, things turned around. Many people who are outsourcing jobs get burned by paying for the less expensive team. Quality is often a lesser concern for these “experts” and they operate on the quantity theory. I began to see that my quality and customer service were triumphing.

Sure, it took me another six months of the full-time job, but I was able to shed it and live the same lifestyle. It is a true freelance dilemma. Money vs. security. You can have both if you offer quality and service.

What are your thoughts about this dilemma?


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