I understand where you’re coming from; however, I don’t think it’s the norm and I don’t state it as the norm. Saying “there’s no downside” isn’t accurate unless you’ve not got a lot to lose. For me, there is no downside so the statement is true to that extent. The difference between me making $8,000 or $10,000 a month and making $1,000 is how much goes into my bank account. My income freelancing can be cut by 100% and I’d be fine. There’s no downside for me. If you take freelancing from a point of self-sustain until you can rely on it logically then you should be fine. Let’s say tomorrow my freelancing work is dropped by 100%; I’d still be fine plus I’d instantly start building again toward whatever quantity of work I’d like to. My connections are good. I’ve written for some great companies. I’m close friends with the CEO of Font Awesome and I’ve written for them in the past. I think connections matter. I do feel like the ability to obtain and build connections organically is doable for anyone. I believe it can be done quickly and effectively by everyone. I know freelancing is volatile. I know it can change at any time. That’s why I prepare for it to change at any time. That’s why the ‘downside’ for most people isn’t as much of a downside for me. What’s the most someone in my position could make otherwise? I’d say $35,000 right now while I’m still in school is the most. So if I have to take volatility to make $100,000 more a year then I’m going to take that leap of faith. I’ll take the money as it comes and I don’t need it at the moment but I can save it.
My friend Travis, the CEO of Font Awesome, made $12,000 extra on top of his normal monthly pay from work. He took a job, completed a task, and got paid. I don’t think he had a lot of connections for this particular job. He’s good at building software.
I agree it’s not the norm and I agree not everyone can do something like this. I do think that a lot of people can do this. They might not be able to make $100,000 or more but they can make $50,000 or $40,000.