Many freelancers see their “condition” as only temporary-one that will go away as soon as economic conditions improve says Richard Greenwald of the Walls Street Journal in “How to succeed in the age of going solo.” They figure it’s just a stage between jobs. Some of them may be right but many are wrong. They’re probably going to be on their own for a long time so why not think permanent and plan accordingly? Many of these freelancers have worked 9 to 5 jobs and only know how to take direction not initiative.

There’s action you can take to insure a better chance of success according to Greenwald.

1. Pick the Right Skills-and Keep Them fresh. The consultants or freelancers who are most successful offer a technical skill or expertise that is too expensive or infrequently used for companies to keep in-house.

2. Join a Network. Most successful consultants are in a network or community of consultants. These networks are important sources of new clients. Also many consultants refer and share work, taking on larger projects that require more hands.

3. Have Your Own Space. Successful consultants say that having a work space separate from your living space is crucial. Clients do not want to have an important phone conversation interrupted by children crying , a TV in the background, or dogs barking. Using shared spaces or serviced suites that provide a quiet space or private office provides a sense of workplace and synergy.

4. Think Like An Entrepreneur. Too often freelancers drift from project to project. They need to have a business plan or mission statement. If they take everything that comes along they may not be known as a specialist in their field or they may be to busy when a perfect project comes along. A business plan will help focus your business and steer you toward your goals.