2 Freelance Fears You Need to Get Over Now

Freelance fears around profit-seeking are irrational and misguided. (Photo: Karolina Grabowska_

Two freelance fears that hold a lot of people back are 1) being scared to be associated with the pursuit of money, and 2) facing criticism for self-promotion or making unsolicited offers.

To that, I say, decide if you’re running a business. If so, act accordingly. And don’t apologize for it.

Acting like a business means being clear and comfortable with the fact that money matters. And to get to the money, you’re going to have to promote what you’re offering.

Yes, there will be people who’ll criticize you for both of those things. So, be prepared.

You’re going to get some snide remarks about promotional DMs, pitches, and emails. Some people are going to make negative comments about you posting your work or services on social media.


Stay AMPed! By that I mean, stay Advertising, Marketing, and Promoting. Because that’s what real businesses do.

Too often small businesses are intimidated into believing they need to stick to the corner and keep their voice down. But if success is the goal, that isn’t going to work.

With all the competition we face, if we expect to grow, we have to keep our business in view and in mind. That’s just what it is.

Anyone who complains about you promoting is probably envious, ignorant about business, or trying to sabotage yours. Whatever the reason, they aren’t going to be supporters anyway so be deaf to their noise.

Freelance fears about profit-seeking

Some people are also going to say you should do what you do for the love of the craft, not for the money.


That trick’s been played one too many times. The days of romanticizing the starving artist are dead. How passionate you are about your work has nothing to do with how much you should expect to be paid.

When people promote the idea that the priority is the craft, they’re telling you that the art is to be held at higher esteem than the artist. That the artist is just a means to an end.

They’re showing they believe talent has no value, if they even recognize talent is involved. Many of those people view talent and labor as the same. And we all know how easily one person will underrate the value of another person’s labor.

Promoting the idea that creative work should be done for the love of the craft also feeds into the caste mentality that hardly anyone wants to admit they have.

When you think about arts and entertainment, the best in those leagues, are allowed to be among the upper echelon, but they aren’t embraced as a part of the upper echelon. Sure, top journalists, photographers, and artists get invited to events with power players. But they’re not invited into the circle of power or the pursuit of prosperity.

Arts and entertainment are not viewed with the same esteem as other forms of business. For many people, those of us in arts and entertainment, even the best of us, are viewed as similar to the help—like the assistant, the butler, the driver. We are viewed as a serving class.

When people promote the idea that certain work should be done for the love of the craft, it says a lot about their thoughts of you, your work, and where you belong.

It’s up to you to know better.

For people who are self-employed, or working toward self-employment, business finance is personal finance. Business interest is self-interest. Anyone who’s acting like they don’t need to be properly paid or don’t care about making money is in the fool’s lane.

If you don’t focus on profit, you can expect longevity. You can’t expect to make a living off your work while acting like you’re running some sort of non-profit.

Even non-profits operate like businesses. Because the only way to fulfill the mission is by getting money to sustain the operation. Otherwise, a non-profit will be a thing that has good intentions but no means, and that’s like having a hobbled horse—you get nowhere!

It’s ludicrous to believe the only time people should focus on financial rewards is when they’re employed by someone else doing jobs that involve little to no creativity, and most often jobs they don’t want to do.

Don’t let people guilt-trip you to the poor house or keep you operating below your potential. Business is about money. And getting adequate amounts of it is the only way you’re going to survive and grow.

Don’t let anyone trick you into believing that being focused on money is sacrilegious in the creative world. You can be as passionate about profit as you are about anything else.

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One thought on “2 Freelance Fears You Need to Get Over Now

  1. Thank you. You are so right. Just the advice I needed to start 2024 off right.

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