The biggest blockers with freelancing has nothing to do with technical skills. You can be a fantastic engineer, and still “fail” at freelancing for a living. The blockers all have to do with the “business” side of freelancing, as not only are you building stuff, but you are also running your own business at the same time.
So lets assume in 10 months you learn a lot, and know enough to build anything. Obviously, you will still have things to learn and expand upon, but for the sake of the argument lets assume you can develop anything in what you end up learning.
To start freelancing you’d generally perform the following:
- Determine how much money you need to live, this is a key factor in determining if freelancing is viable to live off of. If you need to get paid a lot due to high costs of living, it will make freelancing difficult. You want to build a budget for yourself and your freelance career. Simply put you can’t make a living if you take to many cheap jobs that take to long to complete.
- Find clients with projects that meet your skill level, budget, and time availability
- Negotiate with the client to get the project, there usually is competition especially if you use online freelancing sites. You usually need to figure out:
- What needs to be done
- When is it due, how long will you be working on it
- How are you getting paid
- How is the project going to “end”
- Execute the project, while working with the client on dealing with changes or issues found during development.
- Hand off the project to the client.
- Manage your finances, adjust and continue the process
Each of these steps more or less need to be figured out by you to get paid. Each part builds on the next part, and if you “fail” at any of these steps, you probably will end up wasting your time and the client’s time, further making the overall budget you originally had more strained. This is why freelancing is risky even with the right technical skill levels. It takes multiple skills and the right financial environment to freelance successfully.
Simply put its very possible to freelancing successfully, but its not easy as it requires a lot of different talents, and an approach that works for you, along with a lot of hard work to find the work that fits for you. For many the combination of all of this makes freelancing possible, but very very difficult.
The simple alternative is the usual job, where you throw all of those steps I just described with just “find and apply” and then doing your job.
Good luck, keep building, keep learning!