Jun 1 / Matt Saunders

The Sh*t Freelancers Deal With [Freelance Stats]

Here's what freelancers struggle with most, based on 300+ hours of conversations with freelancers at all levels.
Your fellow freelancers are dealing with the same stuff as you.

Earlier this year, after hundreds of coaching conversations, I created a list of the key challenges that freelancers spoke to me about.

I then fed this list into a word cloud generator where each word is displayed at a different size. The more often the word comes up in the list, the larger the word in the cloud.

In it, you'll find challenges around:

  • strategy
  • lead generation
  • pricing
  • positioning
  • money

All stuff we all deal with.

But here's the insight: the larger the word, the bigger an issue it is to the freelance community.

Can you guess what word was right in the middle of the word cloud, the biggest word of all?


Yes, in my 300+ hours of conversations with freelancers across the world and at varying points in their career, the data showed that a lack of confidence is their greatest challenge.
Word cloud showing that freelancers struggle most with confidence
So, if this resonates, you're not alone ūüėÖ

Low confidence creates unhappiness and at its worst, paralysis.
The lack of belief that you're doing the "right" thing often leads to taking no action. It stops you from progressing.
Above: do you often overthink things? Try to plan a little, then move straight into action.
Now, unfortunately I cannot crack deep-seated low confidence issues in a single article. But I will say this: confidence isn't something you just have - it's something you develop. And you develop confidence by taking steps.

These steps don't need to be massive but they do need to make you feel slightly uncomfortable.

For example, if you'd like to do public speaking but the thought of standing in front of a room of people feels impossible, you could start by having a little small talk with the person who serves you in a cafe, or by smiling at somebody in the street.

These tiny actions practiced over time will grow your confidence.
You'll signal to yourself that you're the kind of person who happily interacts with others. And with each step your confidence expands a little more. At some point, the stuff that once seemed big and scary becomes much more manageable and even, normal (btw I gave a full talk on being fearless a while back that you can watch here).

Remember: literally everyone gets scared sometimes. The trick is to crack on anyway. Unless there is significant past trauma that needs unblocking first, low confidence should not stop you from taking action to grow your business.
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