Whether you are interested in self-publishing or whether you are interested in freelancing, both require a lot of work and a lot of promotion/marketing. For me, freelancing is my income. When I cut off my freelancing work, as I have done for the past month and a half, I make no money. Yes, I have begun to sell some of the books I have been self-publishing, but they are no where near the level of sales I need to give up freelancing. For me, freelancing is much easier than trying to promote my self-published books by myself.
Self-publishing also costs money - lots of money in the beginning that you might not have unless you are independently wealthy. So, I work as a freelancer and then watch all my money drizzle into my self-publishing efforts.
I spend money on editors, translators, and book cover artists. I spend money buying books to give away on Goodreads and to friends and family members. I am constantly seeking people who will review my books on Amazon, but I haven't discovered the legal way of finding them yet. All this takes time - a lot of time that I could be making money freelancing.
So, I have spent most of the last month self-publishing. I wish I could jump back into freelancing, but I still have some obstacles to sort through first. Primarily, I have to finish Johnny 5's rewrite (which is technically a freelance job, but one that has been on my plate too long). Actually, two of the early books I wrote for him have been published and they have many favorable Amazon reviews... maybe I should ask him how he does it.