The Biggest Mistakes Freelancers Make (Part 1)

Let me tell you about Ted (name changed to protect the guilty)

Ted decided he wanted to be a freelance developer over 5 years ago. And, Ted did what most developers do… he went about figuring out what he needed to learn, taking a bunch of courses and getting good at web development.

And, he did get good.

He could crank out websites.

Build professional level applications.

He learned all the languages.

Everything you’d need to do in order to do web development for a living. YET, five years later, he still had not got a single paid client. Not because he couldn’t — because he didn’t think he could.

In fact, he’d been offered a few freelance jobs.

And, he turned them down.

Because, he didn’t think he was ready.

He’d convinced himself he just needed to learn a “little bit more”…

And, THEN he’d be ready.

Now, if you’ve been around these parts for any amount of time, you’ll know that Ted is actually ME. This is what I did the first five years I got into web development… and it was awful.

I’d convinced myself I didn’t know enough.

Even though, I had people almost begging me to build stuff for them.

The truth was, I was scared.

That I’d mess it up.

That I’d get asked to do something I didn’t know how to do.

That clients would get pissed and tell everyone they knew…

And, my freelancing dream would be over.

And, that’s one of the biggest mistakes freelancers make. Buying into that fear and not getting started soon enough. Putting off trying to get clients until they learn just that “little bit more”.

Which, of course, just keeps growing.

But, building a freelance business takes time.

And, the sooner you get started, the better.

I always think about where I’d be now, if I had.

It’s one of my few regrets in life.

In any case, I eventually got it figured it out. And, of course, the world didn’t come to an end like I imagined it would. Even the few times I DID fail with a client… it wasn’t the nightmare I had imagined.

Bottom line: get started now.

You’re probably more ready than you think.

And, even if you aren’t, you’re smart enough to figure it out as you go.

That said, freelancing is a skill in and of itself. One that doesn’t come natural to a lot of developers (me included). But, it can be learned. In fact, it’s ultimately just a process that once you know…

You can just repeat over and over.

To get clients, deliver and grow your freelance business.

Just gotta learn the process.

Anyway, I lay out the process I discovered in my Upwork 101 course over on SkillShare. You can get started with it for nothing with the 2-month no-cost trial I can give you as a teacher.

Just go here:

Start the trial.

Take all my courses, including Upwork 101.

Cancel anytime before the trial is up and never pay a penny.

Really is a no-brainer.

But, don’t let the fear hold you back… whatever you do.

You WILL regret it if you do.

Anyway, link is here:

I’ll see ya over there.


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John Morris


I’m a 15-year veteran of freelance web development. I’ve worked with bestselling authors and average Joe’s next door. These days, I focus on helping other freelancers build their freelance business and their lifestyles.

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I’ve helped 39,413 other freelancers start and grow thriving freelance businesses. Are you next? Subscribe to my Freelance Secrets newsletter and I’ll show you how.

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