It’s a beautiful spring day, your windows are open and you are listening to the news while you type away on your laptop. You take a break to walk the dog and enjoy the outdoors, run out to get groceries then sit back down to pick up where you left off.
No, it’s not the weekend, it’s a typical day in the life of a professional freelancer. It’s a life without walls or borders. An office without co-workers or cubicles, without long commutes through rush hour traffic, without any borders and definitely without 8 to 5 workdays. A freelance lifestyle revolves around project deadlines and more importantly around your LIFE.
That’s right, a freelancer “works to live” as opposed to “living to work” as the saying goes.
Forget everything you think you know about freelancing because freelancing has gone FREESTYLE!
You can adapt freelancing to suit your needs and fit in with your personal objectives. There is no set trajectory, no right or wrong way to go about it. Pick your starting point and build your own dream job.
We’ve done the brainstorming legwork to get you started:
- Do Your Homework – Study all you can find about freelancing in your free time (look under freelancing, independent contractors, telecommuting, working from home, part-time jobs, e-commerce, etc.)
- Define What You’re Offering – Decide what service or product you want to provide
- Surf the Freelance Market – Create a profile on a monster.com and apply to agencies in your field or job hunting website like
- Work for an Agency – Begin working evenings and weekends for a temp agency or online agency in your field
- Get Organized – Set up a separate home office for home business tax deductions
Home Sweet Home office
All you need is some space set aside to call your “office” and off you go! Keep track of any money spent on your home office for tax purposes (supplies, job hunt expenses, software, equipment etc.)
Graduates of freelancer university
You don’t need a university degree to become your own boss. All you need is an idea and a plan, then you put one foot in front of the other and take it a step at a time. In the US you can get free advice from the Small Business Administration SBA and they are great when it comes to helping you map out your ideas. They will help you see the pros and cons of freelancing and what it takes to develop a small business later on.
Balancing full-time benefits with part-time freelancing
Now, remember, you can go as big or as small as you want to when freelancing. There’s no need to devote all your free time to your new business. Make sure you balance your life with your freelancing. Being able to work from home is supposed to help you enjoy your life more so try to keep an even keel as you begin to grow your business.
Feel free to write us and tell us about your freelancing or home business experience. Everyone can benefit from things you’ve learned along the way.
RECOMMENDED READINGGlass Ceiling Smashed by Freelancing Moms (Forbes 2014)
Sources: CreditDonkey November 2012 survey of 424 independent contractors (infographic), BeTranslated Freelance Translators, Guru.com (infographics), Freshbooks.com (infographics).