The idea of working as a freelancer is appealing. Variation of assignments, freedom in choosing what to work on, the potential for making quite a bit more money than I currently do. All of those seem quite nice.
There are, however, quite a few downsides for me, personally:
- Hours. I currently work 32 hours a week, which gives me more personal time, and more family time. If I were to freelance, then assuming I’d be able to find assignments where 32 hours a week is acceptable, and assuming I’d be able to spend at least 40 weeks a year doing actual work (including acquisition and administration), I’d only barely reach the hour criterium to be considered an entrepreneur and have the associated tax benefits.
- My Commute is no longer time I can spend freely. Currently I travel to work (partially) by train, and spend that time on hobbies. This is usually spent writing fantasy books, a hobby which has suffered during times when I worked closer to home and didn’t have a set writing time.
- Transportation may also be an issue, depending on client locations. I’d either have to buy or lease a second car or ensure all my clients are either easily reachable by public transportation or be bike.
- Finding clients is something I don’t know if I would be good at. A lot of freelancers (but not all) have a history of working for internment/detachering companies, and have larger networks than I have. Going through intermediaries might also be an option, but those aren’t free.
- Finally, freelancers are much more vulnerable to economic downturn or health issues. The market is good right, and I am quite healthy (and I know you can get disability insurance for freelancers), but I’m slightly risk-averse, so this is another barrier.