When I first started freelancing, I had enough in my account to cover one month of rent and a bag of rice and beans to stay fed. I didn't have more than a year (and a half) of experience and even more troublesome, the small bit of design work I had wasn't great. As dark as it seemed, I took the plunge and got to work.
Working out of a back room on an Asus laptop, and a red peanut desk from IKEA, it was obvious that if I wanted to make a living doing what I love, I would need to focus on my strengths and find advantages in places others hadn't. I found that those uncommon advantages shared a common strength: communication. Before I could hold my own in my field, I relied on clear communication and a deep caring for people and projects.
As my client base and business has grown, I still find myself making a hearty bowl of rice and beans to remember where I came from. When you work with a freelancer, you lose many of the vows of working with an agency, even if you're saving money. Understanding this, I do my best to work in a predictable, professional manner, focused on providing as much transparency into the working process as I possibly can.