Janice Laraine On How To Start Freelancing With No Experience

how to start a freelance business

This week marks number four in my monthly digital nomad series on Effy Talks Life! The series focuses on badass women who are traveling the world and working too.

Each month we’ve heard from people from all walks of life who have shared their stories and given their best advice on how to follow in their footsteps. The interviews have been raw, real and like nothing else out there that I could find. I wanted to give you guys the good, the bad and everything in between.

So many people have the desire to work and travel, but just need that extra push to get started. Consider this your push!

Last month I chatted with Veera from Veerabianca.com about how she became a full time travel blogger If you haven’t caught up with that yet definitely make sure to check it out. It’s become one my most popular posts ever!

This week we’re going to learn all about how to start freelancing with no experience and tips to propel the growth of your freelance business. In today’s interview, Janice shares how she built a business around entrepreneurs who are desperate for adventure.

Ready to dive in? Let’s go!

Hey Janice, thanks for agreeing to an interview!  I’m super excited for my readers to learn more about you. Could you start by giving us all a little intro?

Sure! I’m Janice Laraine and I love to travel and take on outdoor adventures. Any chance I get to bring my Osprey backpack with me on a road trip, camping trip, or on international travels, I go for it. Aside from travelling I work as a branding consultant and web designer for entrepreneurs on a mission for adventure. My goal is to help women design a lifestyle that gives them the freedom to travel and experience life, whatever that means to them.

That’s a great motto to have, I think that kind of lifestyle is somthing a lot of us would like to live by. The freedom to live the life of our wildest dreams. Is it possible to start freelancing with no experience? What started it all for you?

I was just thinking about this the other day and figured out it started with my first solo trip to Brazil during the 2014 Soccer World Cup. After picking up Portuguese in 14 days, I found myself negotiating with tour guides and scoring myself a 90% discount for a 5-day kayak trip down the Amazon River. That was the moment I fell in love with travel.

Soon after, I decided to take a course on branding and web design. I wanted to establish a brand for myself and create a website for my blog. Two clients later, I decided that I would focus on helping others with their branding and website design as a way to allow me to travel, meet like-minded people, and inspire others around me!

I learned that anything you don’t already know you can learn from someone who does! Don’t let lack of experience stop you from starting your freelancing journey.

how to start a successful freelance business

So you just kind of fell in to freelancing?  Did it take you a long time to get to where you are now – or was that 14 days too?

Haha I wish! Still, I had my first client before I finished my course, and that was about a year ago now. It wasn’t until a few months ago that I decided to take this full time. I enjoyed designing. It finally gave me that mental creative outlet that I was looking for in the corporate world.

What’s been your proudest achievement since starting your business?

Honestly? I’m so proud of the journey I’ve been on that it’s hard to choose.  Getting my website up (finally) is a big one. I love it. It’s so me and it blends both my creative services and my passion for adventure. I’m at a point now where I’m building the confidence to go up to the brands I love and working with them.

Also being featured in an article that talked about tips from successful freelancers. Me. A successful freelancer! It was so cool to read, especially since it was my first feature. That was definitely a pinch myself moment.

how to start a successful freelance business

What’s the main difference between your freelance business and your corprate job?

My freelance business gives me a creative outlet. That was one of the reasons why I learned about branding and web design in the first place. I was in finance and it gave me no room to utilize my creative side. Realizing that, I decided to leave my job, spend a month on the road, and move to a new city where I hired a coach to help me get my stuff together and my business where I wanted it to be.

I’m loving every moment of the process and helping other female entrepreneurs bring their vision to life. It’s really inspiring. In fact, that’s another thing that I love about what I do. I get to meet so many badass women and entrepreneurs just by putting myself out there!

Are there any challenges? If so – how do you deal with them.

It never stops! I’m always learning new things; even things I didn’t know that I should know! Once the website is up, you really begin your life as an entrepreneur. It develops you on a personal level and you never stop growing. It’s a never-ending journey and I love that about it.

It’s definitely important to surround yourself with like-minded people and with people with will support you throughout this journey. Forget the naysayers and the negative Nancys. Don’t let them take up the precious space in your head. Instead focus on growth, motivation, and accountability.

how to start a successful freelance business

I’m sure there will always be people who are skeptical of what you do, no matter the job or industry. What advice you would give to someone who wants to know how to start freelancing with no experience? Is there anything you wish you’d known before you started?

If I had to sum it up I’d say execution beats perfection. Always. Don’t wait. Just start. We all know that the journey of 1,000 miles begins with one step. The same applies here – even if you’re afraid, go for it! I think fear is an indicator in business that tells you that this is the right way to go, especially if you’re excited but scared. Just start, and the rest will flow for you.

The prospect of freelancing with no experience can be daunting.  So another piece of advice I would give is to consider hiring a coach or working with a mentor.  If you want something you’ve never had before, you’ll have to do something you’ve never done before.  It definitely feels weird to think about hiring a coach in the beginning but a good coach can help you get to where you want to be in your business (and in life).

It’s similar to hiring a personal trainer for getting in shape or maintaining a healthy routine. They are there to guide you. They have the resources to help you flourish and the know-how to call out your BS. Most importantly, they’ve been where you want to be! I think this is an important consideration for a potential coach because you want someone who has been there, done that, and who can help you get there much quicker and more efficiently.

I like to think of it, not as a shortcut, but as a direct path to my goals. The distractions of life can veer us in all sorts of directions. Having a coach helps you keep the steering wheel straight!

how to start a successful freelance business

I think that’s a really important point. Fear doesn’t neccessarily mean what we’re doing is wrong it’s just a natural response to a new situation. What’s next for you – in both travel and work?

I’m really excited about my next trip! I’m going to be heading to Australia and I’m taking my mom since she has always wanted to go. I can’t wait to share the adventure with her.

I’m not there yet but in terms of my business, I would love to turn it into a media agency. I’m taking the steps to get there and working with a coach. As I mentioned earlier, I’m also working toward collaborating with some of my favorite brands. Am I scared? Absolutely! But I’m also excited, and I know that this is only the beginning.

I can’t wait to follow the rest of your journey and I’m sure my readers feel the same. Where can we find you to keep up with your adventures?

Thanks so much for having me, Efia! And thank you to everyone else for tuning in. Contact me if you have any questions or need advice! I’d also love to get suggestions for where to go this fall… I’m thinking of somewhere in Asia.

You can find me on Instagram and on Facebook (Janice Laraine). You can also join my group at the Adventurous Entrepreneur Community and connect with other like-minded travelers and entrepreneurs!

What about you guys? Have you ever thought about starting a freelance business? Have you already? What advice would you give on how to start freelancing with no experience?

Let me know in the comments!

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how to start a successful freelance business