How To Be Your Own Boss
There are many reasons why people choose to be their own boss rather than work for someone else. For me, working for myself has always been a way to let my creative mind run wild. I have a lot of energy and tend to get bored working a particular job within 6 months. This explains why I waited on tables at more than 8 restaurants from the age of 19 to 24. I am addicted to change and because I know this, I only choose work that allows me to be free. My first job as a self-employed contractor was with Lyft back in 2014. I would drive every other week in San Francisco making an average of $4000 a month. After experiencing how liberating this was, I couldn’t imagine working a job where I had to not only answer to someone else, but also make much less money doing so.
When my car was totaled on August 16, 2015, it was back to the drawing board. After moving back home I became stuck on what I could do for flexible income. Due to my hectic schedule of school, taking care of my niece, and working at the nursing home, I craved a job that payed at least $20/hr and allowed me to work whenever I felt like it. After typing “work from home” into Google one day, I came across a blog post titled “62 Side Hustles“. My life changed FOREVER. There were so many opportunities I had no idea even existed! The very next week I started working as a mobile bartender for private parties. I also became a Brand Ambassador by signing up with over 30 agencies nationwide via Facebook!
Fast forward to present day and the bulk of my work is doing internet marketing and web design. This is a skill that I’ve had for over 13 years but never bothered figuring out how to make money from it. I WAS SLEEP! Now that I am woke I make it my duty to help others reach the same success I’ve acquired.
What’s so great about being in charge you ask? For me it’s having the flexibility to make my own schedule, choose what type of work I do, avoid sexual harrasment, and hand select my clientele. I get to attend all of my niece’s extracurricular activities, I never get bored with work, I am able to surf at a least 3 times a week, and most importantly I make more money sleeping than I’ve ever made working a corporate job.
Are You Meant To Be Your Own Boss?
I can sit here all day and tell you how amazing it is to be the head honcho. However, if you don’t naturally have some of the characteristics listed below, you might be comfortable working for someone else…at least for now that is.
“Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.” ―Thomas Jefferson
To state the obvious, when you work for yourself there is no one there to tell you what to do and when to do it. It is up to you and only you to take charge of your work load. You don’t work, you don’t eat. If you are the type of person who feels they need direction in life, you may not want to quit your day job.
“For every minute spent organizing, an hour is earned.” ―Anonymous
Do you write everything down? Is your life scheduled on a calendar? Do you keep a clean house? If you are the type of person who stays neat and organized, transitioning to boss life will be a piece of cake!
“What you stay focused on will grow.” ― Roy T. Bennett
When you work for yourself there is a lot of time spent producing from home. This means you will be subject to many distractions such as the internet, your phone, your roommates, the neighbors crying child, and your adorable pet. If you have the ability to resist temptations, tuning out distractions won’t be an issue.
“First we form habits, then they form us. Conquer your bad habits or they will conquer you.”
If you constantly procrastinate and think it’s cute, don’t bother working for yourself. Since no one will be there to create deadlines, you will most likely put off work until the last minute. This will create much unnecessary stress, decrease your productivity, and ultimately empty your bank account.
“Patience is not just about waiting for something… it’s about how you wait, or your attitude while waiting.” ― Joyce Meyer
Depending on your skill set it might take a while to get the freelance ball rolling. Before you can build a steady workflow you must build a good reputation. Although there are many effective ways to go about this quickly, you should always be prepared for bumps in the road. If you have patience with both yourself and the process involved in building a strong income, you will be reaping the benefits in no time.
“The measure of intelligence is the ability to change.” ― Albert Einstein
Just as the seasons change, your work opportunities will as well. There are times when you’ll have to turn away work because you are so busy. There will also be times when work opportunities come few and far between. In order to survive it is important to have a couple of back-up plans. As long as you create a system where you can thrive no matter the season, you will do just fine.
“If you spend too much time thinking about a thing, you’ll never get it done.” ― Bruce Lee
For those who struggle with putting their ideas into action, are lazy, or just can’t seem to get out of the bed, deciding to work for yourself might not be best idea. This is until you seek proper help of course. It takes a special kind of drive to produce work in a timely manner. Due to the fact that you only get paid once a job is complete, productivity is the ultimate key to becoming a success!
Freelancer vs Employee
So now you’re officially pumped because many (if not all) characteristics of being your own boss fit like a glove! In most cases you’ve always dreamed of being your own boss but needed help figuring out where to start. You’ve come to the right place my friend! According to Brian Rashidhere are 53 million freelancers in America today. By 2020, 50% of the U.S. workforce will be freelancers (this does not mean they are all full-time freelancers, but one of every two workers will be freelancers in some capacity). This on-demand work, instant gig economy is moving more and more into independent professionals that are using mobile and technology to create ecosystems of work they enjoy. Who says you can’t drive an Uber in the morning, design websites all afternoon, and cater your own food company at night? The old economy would lead you to believe that you should pick one job, work hard for the next 40 years at that company, and then retire. Not the new economy. The more diverse your skill set, the more opportunities come your way.” Read more here .
There you have it! Times are changing and for those who agree to be creative and flexible, many opportunities await. Listed below are just 7 of the many freelance opportunities up for grabs along with their average hourly rates. Download The Ultimate Guide to Building Wealth Young for the full detailed list!
Hot dignity dog! With the many unique freelance opportunities available, I am sure there’s at least one area that you can dominate. Take it from me, the Jill of All Trades…it takes just 6 months to master a new skill. You’d be surprised at how much you can accomplish when there is passion involved. By adopting a mindset for success, you will be landing your first gig in no time!
17 Steps to a Successful Freelance Career
Before you get started in your new career, I advise that you do some research in your area of future expertise. Listed below are the steps most freelancers should take in order to run a successful business.
1. Make a Plan
I do not recommend quitting your job until you have planned out every aspect of your future freelancing career. The chances of you being swamped with work opportunities tomorrow are very slim (depending on your career choice). In order to prevent yourself from being overwhelmed, you should make sure your finances are safe by taking your time to create a plan. Pick a day to brainstorm on what services you would like to offer and to whom.
2. Decide Your Worth
If you’re like most people, choosing your rate can be a confusing task. In the beginning you might not think your skills are worth charging the highest rate. Don’t let your insecurities hurt your pockets though! The fact is that your services are obviously needed so people are willing to pay what you ask for. I recommend researching what others make in your field before deciding what to charge your clients. You should want to earn as much money as possible, while still being competitive in offering good value.
Click here to use this awesome rate calculator!
3. Build a Resume/CV
Before you can begin your exciting career as a freelancer, you will need to create a resume/CV that demonstrates your skills to your potential clients. “But Jasmin, I’m just starting out and I don’t have any actual experience yet! ” Not to worry! There are plenty of ways to go about this…
1. Use your own personal work as experience
2. Offer a free or discounted service to your friends, family, classmates, or Meetup groups
3. Intern at a company for a couple of months
4. Exaggerate the details
Click the links below for help!
4. Invest In Your Equipment
If you have crappy equipment and expect to make a decent living freelancing, think again. Both hardware (computer, phone, and printer) and software(online tools that make make running your business easier) need to be purchased and updated. I strongly recommend buying an external hardrive to backup all of your work. Take it from me, nothing hurts more then when your handwork is flushed down the drain due to negligence. You will cry and fall into a deep depression. Do yourself a favor and skip the drama by investing in any new equipment you may need in order to produce quality work. PS: As a freelancer, you can write off these expenses on your taxes!
5. Find Clients
If you want to make money freelancing, one thing is for sure….you need clients! You should get to know the type of people who will eventually hire you for your services. The easiest way to find your first clients will be through the relationships that you already have. Reach out to your friends and family to see if they know anyone who could use your services. Don’t be shy, also contact your previous bosses and old co-workers. You’d be surprised how many people want to see you succeed at being your own boss!
Whenever there is a networking opportunity locally, try your best to be there. Be sure to join relevant groups on LinkedIn, attend Meetup groups on the regular, and search for anything happening with EventBrite.
Before you accept a gig it is crucial that you sit down with your client to build an understanding of their needs. This is so everyone is on the same page with all aspects of the process regarding the project. This can be done in person, over the phone, or online. Make sure that you lead the conversation so that the client doesn’t dictate what’s favorable to them. Know your practice so that you can manage expectations as early as possible. During this conversation be sure to discuss your fees, availability for the project, a schedule for revisions, and the project deadline. Be sure to write ALL of this down so that you can refer back to it when needed.
After consulting with your client, it is now time to formulate a pitch. A pitch can take several forms. It can be a physical presentation of your preliminary work such as a pilot. It can also be in the form of a detailed brief. This is how you will show the client just what it is that you intend on doing. Your hopes and wishes are to get them to agree on your draft. Keep in mind that your client will want to be involved in the creative process. Instead of waiting until the product is finished, you should give your client as much input at the pitch stage as possible.
Up until now nothing has been set in stone. Once you are hired for the job it is important that you draw up a letter of agreement. Some organizations that are more established will have a standard contract for outsourcing. In most cases the majority of your clients will depend on you to provide this document. Included in the agreement should be everything you intend to do regarding the project. This entails the amount of work you plan to commit to, deadlines that you’ve agreed on, how you will deliver the work, all fees for the work, the maximum payment period (usually 21 days), and what you plan on charging if additional work needs to be added to the agreement.
10. Time Management
In order to keep chaos to a very minimum as you aim to complete your project on time, I suggest you use an online service such as Todoist or Producteev. These online tools help you break down each project into a list of smaller tasks. You are then able to check off each task from your list, giving you an instant feeling of progress. Yay for technology!
Depending on the type of service you’ll provide to your client, you will want to make sure everything that is needed to complete your project is working and available ahead of time. This may include booking studio time, arranging meetings, completing storyboards, sketches, and creating wireframes. If you skip this step you can almost guarantee that it will come back to haunt you in the near future.
Now comes the fun! This is the part you were trained to do. As you can see, using your creativity is just one part of the process. Be sure to enjoy it to the fullest! If you master all of the other steps to leading to a successful freelancing career, your clients will cherish your creativity even more.
This goes back to your original agreement with the client. You should have set a resaonable date for the project to be completed in full. Whatever you do, don’t miss this date! If you want to be sure this never happens, schedule a personal deadline a few days ahead of time. Being early will put you on a whole ‘nother level! Get ready for some booming business because your client will feel obligated to refer your services to everyone they know.
After you submit your work to the client it is now time for them to address any of the changes they want made. Expect for this to happen and try not to let it frustrate you. After all, you want your client to absolutely adore the finished product. Take into account the criticism, whether it be constructive or not.
In order to prevent getting locked down with endless revision requests, be sure to stick to your original agreement. You should have specified the exact number of revisions you would be willing to make, as well as any added on payment for revisions beyond that point. You want to make sure the client is happy with your work, but not at the cost of your sanity.
16. Book Keeping
If you don’t fancy hiring an accountant to handle your book keeping, there are many free and inexpensive online services available. For $5 a month, CurdBee is one of the most comprehensive and cost-effective entries. You can track time on a project and export the data onto a spreadsheet. There’s also Due, a much simpler online invoicing tool that uses email and mobile so that your client can receive, review, and pay an invoice online immediately. A free option is PayPal, if you sign up as a business user you will be able to generate your own invoices on the platform.
“It’s my money and I want it now!” The time has finally come where the project is finished, the client is happy, and your hard earned money is soon to arrive in your bank account. With any rewarding job however, downfall may arise. If a client hasn’t payed you by the date you specified in your agreement, resubmit your invoice with a letter restating your original terms. If you are stern with your payment details in the very beginning, you can usually avoid this problem altogether. Be sure to include in your agreement that you will charge interest for every day that the client is late in payment. This should light some fire underneath that tush.
Be sure to checkout “The Best Invoice Payment Terms to Get Paid Fast” and
Where to Find Work
Below is a list of sites that offer plenty of work opportunities for freelancers.
Build your profiles today!
Don’t let having to file self-employed taxes scare you away from the liberating world of freelance work. Trust me, it only seems complicated because it’s new. Once you read a few articles explaining the details, you will easily gain an understanding of how to go about filing taxes like a pro. Also, considering the fact that you will be making a decent amount of money freelancing, hiring someone to do your taxes for you could be a better option. Check out this article “7 Tax Tips For First time Freelancers”
According to Julia Ingall’s article “Millennials Guide: Be a Freelancer vs. an Employee”, the majority of people who choose to work full-time for a company tend to really value their employer provided benefits. This includes health insurance, 401(k) plans, sick days and paid vacation time. Lucky for us freelancers, Freelancersunion.org has our backs! On this site you will find plenty of resources to match the same type of benefits offered to those who find comfort in working for The Man. 😉
Off To the Races You Go!
Congratulations! You have made it to the end and are officially ready to make the biggest change regarding your future. Kudos to you for realizing your worth and understanding that you hold the key to all of your success in life. Gone are the days where work has to actually feel like work. Financial freedom let’s go! Get ready to free up your Mondays and enjoy all that the world has to offer. After reading the details of what freelance life is all about, I hope you are now inspired to become your own boss. On that note, I leave you with these 6 Inspirational Quotes from Leading Freelancers:
“You can think of freelancing as volatile and risky, or as flexible and opportunity-rich. Doesn’t having multiple sources of income and multiple moneymaking skills sound less risky than putting all your eggs in one employer’s basket? Freelancing lets you shift gears when the world does.”
“Remember, nobody is hiring you just because you can design, write, market or code… they’re hiring you because they have a business problem. Your service (in their mind and yours) provides the solution to that problem, so focus on that rather than skill-jargon, buzzwords and vague lists of qualifications.”
“Position yourself as more of a consultant and less of a freelancer. Freelance work tends to be transactional, where you’re delivering directly on a service that a client had asked you to provide. The client asks you to complete a project, you deliver on that project. The difference with being a consultant is that you are looking to deliver value to a client. This approach can mean a large difference in the value a client sees in your work and the fee you get paid.”
“As a freelancer your biggest advantage is that you only need a handful of clients to succeed. Most companies need to find thousands of customers. You only need to find one at a time.”
“In order to shape the industry for the better, you have to create high standards and stick to them no matter what. As a business person, it’s your responsibility to know your core values and to pass them along to anyone that works with you. You might feel obligated to give into a client’s request for the sake of landing the job or to get paid. You might fear that you have to do absolutely anything to stay ahead of your competition. But the secret is – you don’t have competition! As a freelancer, there will always be someone beneath you charging next to nothing for the same services you offer, but the clients that go to those people aren’t clients you should want to work with.”
“Don’t freelance to make a living – freelance to make a life. Money is important – but when you hit ruts, work 16 hour days and get that tough feedback, it’s going to be something else that motivates you. You need to remember why you started and keep it in focus.”
Wishing you success and happiness,