Freelancing has its advantages, and it’s especially appealing to corporate employees who feel overworked and underappreciated. When deciding whether to strike out on their own, people tend to focus on the perks, like being their own boss and setting their own rates. What people often underestimate are the challenges, such as chasing down clients who never paid you.

In spite of the drawbacks, the gig economy is here to stay. The “Freelancing in America: 2017” survey from Upwork and Freelancers Union estimates that 36 percent of the current U.S. workforce is made up of freelancers, amounting to 57.3 million workers. The study also predicts that the majority of the American workforce will freelance by 2027.

Your friends and neighbors may already be working independently, at least as a part-time side hustle. If you’re wondering whether or not the lifestyle is right for you, these four reality checks will help you make an informed decision:
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