There’s only so much ‘working for the man’ that many of us can take. If the dream of making your own money and working your own hours sounds good to you, it’s time to start freelancing.
Today, 1 in 3 of us are freelancers (at least some of the time). The money can be great, but the freedom is even better.
How do you know when it’s time to make that leap to working for yourself?
To be honest, it’s time to start freelancing whenever it feels right for you. Though you do need to know that you’ve got the trust of enough clients to support yourself.
However, there are other signs that your burning desire to go freelance needs to be sated. Here they are!
You’re Freelancing at Work
Shh. Your secret is safe with us. But don’t tell the boss.
You’ve slipped outside on a ‘coffee run’. That’s what you told your colleagues anyway. You’re actually on the phone with a client for your side gig.
Or maybe you’re tabbing into a private browsing window at work to reply to freelance contacts. Maybe during lunch, you’ll take your laptop for a walk, so that you can write a few emails to warm up leads.
This is a key sign that it’s time to start freelancing. It’s not sustainable to keep up a full-time job and commit to a burgeoning freelance career. You’ll burn yourself out.
If freelancing is disrupting your job, it’s time to hand in your notice.
Work Is Becoming Frustrating
We all have bad days, but your work and workplace is becoming increasingly frustrating to deal with. You don’t want to even turn up, because you’ve got so much going on elsewhere.
You can’t sit through another tedious meeting. Your co-workers gossip about the same thing every day and you’re bored. Reporting to your boss feels like a waste of time.
It feels like you’re just making him or her more money. So that they can have that new extension on their home. Where’s your cut?
Your job no longer feels like a challenge now you’ve had a taste of the thrill of freelancing. Work is – well, it’s getting in the way of your work.
Heading out on your own can cure all of these symptoms in one go.
You Want to Manage Your Own Time
The cubicle that you’ve sat in for the last five years has faded from bright white to a musty shade of gray.
You sit in it, thinking about all the other hours you’ve spent sitting there. Hundreds of hours. You’d rather take a few hours in the middle of the day to work, and then a few at night.
Perhaps you want to work around childcare needs, or you simply love watching a television program that’s only on at 2 pm. No judgment here.
If you’re hankering for daytime TV and still want to make money, it’s time to start freelancing. Work the hours you want, dodge the commute, and wear your pajamas until you have to go meet a client.
The one thing which can become a hard when you work for yourself is motivation. Working from home can be a little lonely sometimes.
Knowing how to motivate yourself is step one. Networking with other freelancers is step two. Have a search on Facebook, Meetup or Reddit. You’ll probably find like-minded freelancers who have built a community together online – and maybe even in your town.
These can actually be a great source of work too. Once you get to know and trust other freelancers, they may bring you work. For example, they might be a marketing guru who needs a graphic designer for a few weeks.
The Money Is Better
Freelance gigs can be lucrative.
Let’s say that you’re 35 years old and do 40 hours a week at your main job. You could expect to be getting just about $50,000 a year, on average. That’s around $1,000 a week.
If you’ve reached the point where you’re spending, say, 10 hours a week freelancing and you’re making $300 from that work. That’d be $1,200 a week at 40 hours a week.
So you’d be better off doing that full-time than your main job. You’d also have more time to get clients and build a reputation.
Do the math and figure out how you’d be affected if you went freelance full-time. It’s partially a numbers game in terms of how many clients you have, and how much repeat business they’re likely to give you.
But if your freelance work is more lucrative than sitting in traffic and then in an office block for 40 (or more) hours a week, why not go freelance full-time?
You Have Some Money Behind You
Freelancing is great but it’s not without risk.
You won’t have an employer supporting you, or colleagues bringing you work. It’s all down to you.
A stockpile of savings is really helpful, so start building that up well before you leave your job.
Oh, and you’ll need to keep that topped up while you freelance. So don’t expect to take any vacations for a while. Hopefully, that won’t matter because…
You’ve Found Something You Love Doing
You have a passion for your freelance work.
It doesn’t matter if your side project is looking after dogs, making shoes like Rachel Simpson, or performing as a cruise ship singer.
So long as you have a solid portfolio of online work or recommendations, you can market yourself to clients fairly easily. Landing them isn’t always simple, but we believe in you!
Whatever it is that you do, you love it, and you’re getting paid to do it. What could be better?
Is It Time to Start Freelancing?
Are you ready to become a full-time freelancer?
Set up your home office, hand in that notice and get cracking.
You need to put in a lot of hard work before the financial benefits roll in, but the freedom is completely worth it!
It’s time to start freelancing!