Cultivating Self-Confidence and Resilience as a Freelancer

Solopreneurship, freelancing or whatever you want to call it has immense benefits. Freedom and autonomy are massive drawcards, as ditching the nine-to-five means creating a work-life balance that suits you. The potential for success as a solopreneur is also high, rather than being a cog in a company’s wheel, with no direct reward for your hard work (other than an occasional bonus or promotion) you can solely reap the financial gains.

However, as many of our community members know - solopreneurship is not all peachy. Self-doubt, instability, and isolation can all creep into one’s daily life, impacting personal well-being and even the ability to do one’s best work. So how can you as a solopreneur build out your toolbox to combat these difficult emotions and challenges?

Mindset matters.

Unfortunately, entrepreneurship often goes hand-in-hand with mental struggles. The peaks and troughs that come with a changing market and consumer demands mean that business can sometimes be booming, and other times, too quiet. It’s important as a solopreneur to realise that there will be tough times on your journey, so creating guard rails and practices to protect your mental well-being is critical.

Photo of a couple people walking their dog on the beach

Medium recommends mindfulness, meditation and exercise to “calm the mind, reduce anxiety, and improve emotional regulation.” They note, that these practices can “provide the mental resilience needed to navigate the uncertainties of entrepreneurship with a positive outlook.” Remember that burnout is enemy number one. Self-care practices such as exercise and mindfulness are essential in maintaining balance and longevity. If we don’t look after ourselves, we can’t perform to the standard we need and want for our clients. 

Remember that burnout is enemy number one. Self-care practices such as exercise and mindfulness are essential in maintaining balance and longevity. If we don’t look after ourselves, we can’t perform to the standard we need and want for our clients. 

Photo of people connecting at Brunch by the Beach Christchurch

Networks are also crucial to mental well-being. For the many solopreneurs working remotely is isolating. Signing up to industry communities - online and in person, attending events and seeking out those in your field will help you to foster a business network. Being able to share struggles and bounce ideas off people in a similar industry or in situations similar to yours can help combat feelings of self-doubt and build confidence. 

Dealing with the inner critic.

Overcoming the fear of rejection is the first hurdle every solopreneur needs to tackle. Vulnerability is at the core of this concern, as it is natural to fear being turned down by others for your ideas and passion. Yet the reality is that you will be rejected, perhaps many times, in a solopreneur life, but that doesn't mean your work isn’t great - it’s just not right for that particular client.

Reframing rejection is critical to a solopreneur's wellbeing. We’ve all heard the adage to learn from our mistakes. Failure is incredibly valuable if we choose to see it as a lesson learned. Perhaps next time you are rejected, reflect on how you could pitch your services in a way the client will buy next time. Remember we aren’t superhumans and everybody makes mistakes. 

You know that line ‘what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger’ - well rejection can be thought of like that. As creatives and solopreneurs, resilience is essential to our wheelhouse. The more “no’s” you overcome, the better you will weather the ups and downs of entrepreneurship. As Forbes notes, “To practice resilience, focus on what you can control and let go of the rest.”

When it comes to actually selling your services to clients, a great way to squash that inner critic on your shoulder is to focus on the value you do provide, rather than spiraling on the possibility of being turned down. Identify the problem you can fix for the client with your skills and sell that. At the end of the day - that is all you can do, regardless of the outcome. 

Reframing feedback to feedforward.

You will inevitably come across client criticism at some point during your solopreneur career, which is naturally hurtful. Rather than letting it ruin your week or month, it’s best to have a strategy in place to deal with criticism when it inevitably comes around. Try to see your business as separate from yourself (to the best of your ability) and know that criticism is about your service, not you as a person.

Seeking feedback is also essential when you do receive criticism. Ask clients to be specific and constructive as feedback is crucial to bettering your services as a solopreneur. Also, use this feedback to reflect and consider future solutions.

Picture from Brunch by the Bay of people connecting and smiling

Lastly, remember to always believe in yourself and celebrate your achievements, no matter how small they may seem. Writing lists of your accomplishments, using positive affirmations and visualizing yourself achieving your goals are very powerful tools for nourishing self-belief and value. You’re great and you’ve got this!


Successfully navigating solopreneurship requires a combination of practical and mindset strategies. Remember that each solopreneur's journey is unique, so it’s smart to continuously refine your approach to best suit your working reality. 

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