Starting and running your own business can be a huge challenge. It is even a tougher challenge when the business is online and you find yourself having to plan your own time, work at your own pace without supervision and delivering top quality and on time to your clients.

Face it, most of the people who try to freelance online fail woefully because there are basic challenges that need to be solved decisively. The world of a freelancer is different from other business models because you only get paid per project and even though you get repeated customers, you will have to live with looking for customers, dealing with scammers who will pay as little as possible for your services or who won’t even pay at all.

The obstacles can be overwhelming, the initial results can be meager and the entire experience can be horrifying for beginners. You will face unstable income, fierce and unfair competition as well as a horde of insatiable clients who will whine and complain about everything. However, it is not all gloomy; if you can face the stress and overcome the challenges, you will find yourself in a world of freedom, influence and wealth. Not only will you be able to continue working from anywhere you want, you will be able to afford a decent living and you will be an authority in your niche.  

The catch here is your ability to weather the initial and intermittent storms and become a master of it; it is your ability to keep your head over the waters and to stay dauntless in the face of the challenges. Here are some very practical tips for staying motivated:

  1. Wake up Early: The fact that you are an online freelancer doesn’t mean that you spend your most productive time in bed. Get out of bed as if you have a 9-5 job; do your morning routines and get ready to face the day. As a freelancer, prefer to start my work day earlier so I can finish the tasks for the day earlier.
  2. Create your workspace: As a rule for all work-at-home business, separate your workspace from where you sleep or where you watch TV. This separation will help your mind to be productive when you get to the workspace. It is alright to change location once in a while, just make sure you are not working where you are supposed to be sleeping.
  3. Understand that this is business: Even if it is online freelancing, it is business and you should treat it that way. Make sure you have a business plan and model that you work with. Understand your product or services well, study your global competition, keep improving yourself and your skills, stay creative and develop relationships. Online freelancing is real work, not an internet surfing hobby.
  4. Dress for work: One thing I love about online freelancing is that it gives me the freedom to work in any cloth I want; however, one of the best ways to stay motivated is to dress up for business every day.
  5. Work out: This is vital for your health and fitness. When you freelance online, you don’t get to go out to work like most other people, you definitely need an alternative method of exercising your body. It will help you relieve stress, stay fit and develop resilience.
  6. Develop a Schedule: The fact that you work at home doesn’t mean you should just keep working. Make sure you keep a work routine that gives you the opportunity to balance your work rate, your rest and other vital aspects of your life.
  7. Have a side project: Freelancing can be boring sometimes, especially when you get a project that is not that interesting or you have no current projects. Instead of wasting time waiting for the next client to come knocking, make sure you have a personal project you are working on. I write articles on my blog when I am free.
  8. Know when to take a break: The fact that you freelance online doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go on breaks. I recommend that you should have at least a day of the week when you don’t work and you should have a small vacation of up to three weeks within the year.

While online freelancing is not for everyone, if you are planning to start, now you know what to expect and how to keep going. Freelancing online is designed to defeat the weak and the disorganized, get wise, stay sharp and stay motivated.