"I could never run my own business."
I feel you. Running a business can sound scary and hard and unknown and involving of becoming a sleazy salesperson or a tax accountant and wearing a stuffy suit all day.
But little did you know you are already running a business, you just didn't realize it?
Have you ever closed a multi-thousand dollar contract?
In the world of employment this is often referred to as "your paycheck". If you've gone through the application process for any company, you can close a freelance gig. I'm sure you had some salary negotiation in that job application too, even if it was fairly one-sided in the boss's favor.
Have you ever written a proposal?
Well, has this happened to you ever?
Boss: "How long will this project take? How much will it cost?"
You: "Behold a timeline and budget estimate. On your desk by 5pm."
Substitute "boss" with "client" and you're already a freelance proposal writing veteran!
Have you ever hosted a client call?
If you've ever spoken to a customer on behalf of your company over the phone, you've already done most of the scary parts of calls with clients too.
Have you ever built your own personal brand?
Have you ever given a professional talk?
Have you ever attended a professional conference?
Have you ever attended a meetup of literally any kind and spoken to a human there?
Congratulations! You have a personal brand. Maybe not a very well-thought out one, but one nonetheless.
In short, you are not starting from scratch
If you've had any experience in the workforce, the jump from full time employment to freelance doesn't have to be a sudden, abrupt change. And my preferred strategy is to go slowly and gradually. Don't quit your job without a plan and dive in head-first. Sharpen your already incubated skills while still employed and then add freelance.