Seven Skills and Mindsets That Every Freelancer Should Have

Updated: September 16, 2023

Earning extra income is something we all want. And for many, doing freelance work is the way to go.

But if you’ve ever experienced self-employment or tried freelancing before, then I’m sure you know that it’s not exactly an easy walk in the park.

Do you know the catchphrases “working at your own time” and “being your own boss”?


They may be aspirational quotes for employees, but for freelancers, they often translate to “working all the time” and “my client is acting like my boss” – funny, but it’s true.

Not that I’m discouraging you from becoming a freelancer, I’m really not.

Instead, think of this as a bit of friendly advice and a reminder that… before you get yourself involved in something, always be sure that you have the proper skills and the right mindset to be a success.

So before you jump into self-employment and become a full-time freelancer, check yourself first against these seven items.

1. Your work is your passion.

The only way to avoid “working all the time” is to do a freelance job that you love so it doesn’t feel like work.

2. You can think “out of the box”.

In freelancing, you’re often a one-man band and if things go wrong, more often than not, you only have yourself and your own creativity to depend on for a solution.

3. You have initiative.

I’d say you should have discipline, but that’s a little vague. Instead, I’d say that you should be a self-starter – one that is capable of preparing and executing a plan that you prepared yourself.

4. You can sell yourself.

It doesn’t matter if you’re selling a product or offering a service, your customers often buy based on how much they believe that you can deliver what they need.


5. Risks don’t scare you.

Freelancers don’t have the “security” of a regular paycheck and there will be times when clients are nowhere to be found. If these facts make your knees weak, then you’re probably not yet ready to become self-employed.

6. You have an “easy” source of income.

Remember Jayvee’s Eight Steps to Freelance Awesomeness? This is a take on step number 2. Freelancers often have a “back-up skill” they could easily get a job for.

7. You know how to save money.

Everyone needs to save money, but for freelancers, this is a necessity – because it is the only way you can manage financial obstacles that an irregular cash flow brings.

What to do next: Click here to start your financial journey with IMG Wealth Academy
Photo credits: ianus and scion_cho


  1. Hi Fitz,

    I couldn’t agree with you more. As a freelancer, you really have to be brave enough to market yourself and deliver. It can be tough at times but it’s my way of life and I love it!

  2. This is soooooooooo true!!!! been a freelancer for 5 months and i’ve learned these the hard way… he he 🙂

  3. Well said. But is the “easy” source of income really a skill? coz’ I think it isn’t. I think it’s categorized as “Assets” a freelancer should have. Just a thought..

  4. Hi Jade, at the very least, that skill is “sales”. Whatever you have, you should be able to sell it.

    I have a freelance photographer friend who sells insurance as “back-up” income. Another example is an event organizer friend who gets singing gigs in bars during weekdays.

    Having an asset that earns passive income (ie., house rental), is better but of course, nothing beats active income during your early financial stages.

  5. Oh thanks Fitz. I’ve been busily reading Rich Dad Poor Dad this past few days and what a surprise. He said, just like what you said. The more Assets you have, the richer you are, even though you’re a freelancer.

  6. Freelancing is big these days. Lots of people making lots of money, especially writing online. If you work hard at it, you can make a really good full-time income. :O)

  7. Lots of Thanks to you, Fitz and contributors, for having articles about Freelancing. Nowadays, employees don’t have the security of long term employment with a rewarding pension at the end (or even a regularization after 5 or 6 months, in some cases). And the internet has opened up a whole new ballgame in terms of online employment and business opportunities.

    I’m currently researching/studying my options for freelance work and was wondering if you could help by recommending some trustworthy freelancing sites, reliable internet service providers (esp. those with steady signal in Laguna & Batangas areas) and answers to the questions “how do freelancers get paid / how do they receive the actual mulah and what are some of the online freelancing gigs that are lucrative (worth the time, effort and money)?”

    Again lots of Thanks, stay strong and creative, God Bless!

    Jan (Laguna)

  8. This is a good post. I have yet to enjoy the benefits of working online since I have started out three months ago. Being a freelancer is a tough job because you have to do everything on your own. For now, I am enjoying the working as a freelancer but, sometimes, there is a little voice at the back of my head saying I should be more responsible with my earnings. Thanks again for this post.

  9. My beautiful bride began writing papers for other students when, in college, she learned that some were purchasing this work from shops near her school. Most of these shops were selling recycled papers, not original work. My wife earned three degrees in very different fields, the second two as a double major. She did work “regular” jobs for short stints but writing became her passion. Eighteen years later she is still at it. One tip to avoid having a “boss” or overbearing client: become a true expert in your field. In other words, learn and know WAY MORE about the subject matter than they do. When starting with any new company, my wife will over-deliver and truly prove her self and her worth to the business. It may take a few months but soon she has the company calling her to ask if a certain project is feasible and if so, what would be the time needed to write it. She has clients repeatedly requesting for her to work on their projects! Often, my wife is the one who points out better ways to do what a client needs. It is a fact that some students actually have no idea what they really need based on the assignment! At other times, she will explain to company personnel where a client is being unreasonable in their demands for revisions and complaining a lot to get a free paper once a refund is issued but the “client” has all the rough draft copies and many revisions for free. Once you establish yourself in this field you could potentially earn far more working home based that you could working “a real job” with that hard won degree. You may work for clients around the globe and you may have work come in all hours of the day. It can be challenging but very rewarding.

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