Freelance, the idea for some seems daunting, as it would open up a world of no structure but their own. So why would anyone want to give up security, comfort and a consistent monthly wage for a life of scraping the barrel? Luckily it doesn’t have to be that way so long as you plan and take certain precautions.
I had that once, working for a great publishing company with a secure future only, to give it all up for the unknown. Why? Because the idea of a window of infinite possibilities excited me enough to take the plunge.
Recently a friend asked me when could I go and visit them in Australia. I was stumped. For once in my life I didn’t have a boss to request a much needed holiday from! I was free! “You know what, why don’t you pick a date for me”.
Right now however, I finished a small contract and it’s been almost over a month with no real income, do you still want to go freelance?
As you get older there is more to consider and more precautions to take, like paying the rent and bills, that make it a scary place to go without an income. Maybe you could you stay with family during the early days of your freelance career, it’s worth a shot right? Or maybe you’re young and early into your career with nothing much to worry about financially (I’m so jealous of you it that’s the case!) It won’t hurt to open up to situations that could ease the process.
Leaving work: Save your dosh while you’re at work and build up enough savings to keep you going for at least three months without an income (roughly speaking). Any more would be a bonus, besides, how else are you going to pay those corporate taxes. Look at the positives: if your rent is cheap or you can live with family (difficult one in London), freelance can be a great option if you plan to leave work to make it happen.
While you’re at work: On the flip-side, freelance could work for you in whatever work or living situation you’re in. I knew a guy, “Bob”, long ago who really enjoyed drawing superhero-style illustrations. In his own spare time after work, he drew and reached out to the community in order to perfect his technique. Eventually Bob was the one giving tips to other illustrators while growing a wider following. He is now working for himself with a great client list under his belt. Brilliant!
Whatever the situation, think about how you can make your hobbies and dreams work for you.
Anyone can have a great idea; it’s the execution that really counts.
The right mindset:
It would help massively to have an open mind. When you look for it and when you’re open to it, there may be many ideal opportunities for the taking; then again there’ll be opportunities which are not so ideal or are above your seniority. Having the right mindset will allow you to push for a higher goal, so take the time to learn new skills and make yourself a better creative. After all, the training will be down to you. The client will be relying on you, pushing you further than you may have done in your current position. You may find you suddenly have a new skill… an exciting prospect!
Networking, love it or hate it, will be key to your success (it worked for Bob!) In today’s world of online socialising, it won’t hurt to get few contacts on your side. So open up to the idea of talking to a stranger in a coffee shop or a train, and proudly show your talents off. There’s an audience for everyone.
Moving on from an idea
There are many situations when freelancing can work for you… we’re only scratching the surface. This is only my first blog post but soon I will be going into some detail on what actions to take before opening that window of infinite possibilities.
I’d love to hear your story.