“Changing Your Mindset From Employee to Freelancer”
The traditional work paradigm of having a “job” where a person goes to a physical location with pre-determined hours and with a mostly pre-determined set of tasks in their “job description” is shifting. And so is the mindset of people who want to be freelancers instead.
The freelance revolution—or “gig economy” as some call it— is changing this. The business community is going through a mindset shift as well. More and more companies find they can outsource many technical tasks in order to get a specific job done by a specialist in that area of expertise. In addition to the task being done by an expert, the company saves money on salary, benefits like medical and other insurances, and non-productive days like sick and vacation time.
This is not only a boon for businesses who want to cut costs and get specific work done by an expert in a particular area, but it’s good news for people who want to freelance their skills and have more freedom in their job.
A freelancer is someone who prefers to work for themselves and not have to be encumbered by the rigidity of being somewhere with set hours and set tasks to be completed. A typical freelancer has many “bosses”—in the form of clients— taking one-off jobs and, depending on the area of expertise, retainer clients, who pay monthly set fee, and who use them when needed for their skill set.
Many people prefer the structure of a 9-5 job, knowing what their paycheck is from month to month and having benefits and perks, like those mentioned above, that come with a salaried or hourly job. They also may lack the self-discipline to work for themselves to set their own schedule, stick to it so the work gets done and having to run their own business. The freelancer business lifestyle is just that: being an independent business owner.
As someone who has freelanced in several areas for most of his life, I’ve come to realize that the first thing necessary in considering freelancing as a career is a shift in mindset. This is a simple shift from thinking as an employee to being a small business owner. As stated in previous blog on freelancing, as a freelancer or any business owner, you’re responsible for your own taxes, administrative tasks and making sure the work gets done.
Here are some other considerations regarding your mindset when considering freelancing:
It’s doable. Freelancing isn’t something mystical in which you need to learn the “secrets” in order to work for yourself. It’s simply a matter of figuring out what skill you want to sell and learning the basics of business skills like marketing, sales, simple bookkeeping and time management. It’s truly doable for anybody who has the desire to work for themselves as opposed to having a job with a boss.
2. Knowing you don’t have to be the “best” at your skill set. There will always be someone more skilled, more organized, better at selling their services, etc., than you. You don’t need to be the best at what you do to freelance. Granted, you have to be good enough to perform the work the way your clients want it done but you don’t have to be the best to get work and stay busy.
3. Do you enjoy your skillset? This is something many take for granted. The most successful people are passionate about their work. You don’t need to be passionate about what you do as a freelancer but you need to like it enough to stay motivated and disciplined. This is a game of continually searching for work and sending proposals for contracts, as well as providing the actual work to the client.
4. Do you have the discipline to continually look for work? The life of a freelancer on average, is looking for work approximately 40% of the time and spending the other 60% on fulfillment of that work. Essentially, once you complete a contract, you’re out of work again(unless it’s a retainer client).
5. Working in a “feast or famine” reality. Although this doesn’t apply to everybody, most freelancers starting out learn that work availability isn’t always consistent and can vary from month to month. Even veteran freelancers find this to be true. Being comfortable with realizing that once you complete a job you’re essentially unemployed again needs to be considered.
Being a freelancers isn’t always easy but it’s a very fulfilling one for those who don’t like the grind of regular job. This also offers the freelancer, who can embrace the above-mentioned considerations, a lifestyle business where they can truly dictate their own level of success. And with many lead generation sites on the web that bring buyers of talent and freelancers together, it makes it much easier to find work today.
If you want to learn how to become a full-time freelancer, CLICK HERE to download my FREE ebook, “How to Become a Full-Time Freelancer in the New Gig Economy”.