Ever since the Great Recession, people have been looking for something new. A new way of living and working that might get them out of the rat race once and for all. This will give them a sense of security that’s becoming increasingly hard to find if you’re trapped in a job with limited potential for advancement. So what to do about it?
For more than 42 million Americans, the answer has become freelancing.
It goes by a variety of names. Freelancing. Solopreneurship. The gig life. Whatever you call it though, the bottom line is the same. Increasingly, more and more people all around the world are saying goodbye to the corporate rat race, and striking out on their own.
There are tons of great sites and resources on the web that can help you get started on your journey. But in the end, most of the business you develop is probably going to come to you by way of word of mouth as one regular client refers another.
Supporting yourself with income that is wholly derived from the internet is a very different way to live. It takes some getting used to. You have to be a self-starter, since you’ll be working from home, and at your own pace. So if you’re not able to motivate yourself to get out of bed and get to it, then you’re going to have a tough time.
The key advantages though, are compelling:
First and foremost, you get to decide how much you make. If you want more money, you just work more hours, with no one’s permission required. Second, you can live anywhere you want.
If you’ve always dreamed of living in a cabin in the woods, as long as you can get internet access, you can totally do that. Want to live in an RV and travel the country? You can do that too, as most campgrounds have WiFi connections. The possibilities are endless.
So how do you start?
It’s actually easier than you might think. The first thing you need, of course, is one or more skills that translate to the digital economy. Fortunately, there are lots of these. Transcription, editing, writing, proofing, design, web site building and maintenance, programming, working with databases, data processing and management, billing, customer service… The list goes on and on.
Employers have been downsizing their workforces for years, and turning to outsourced talent instead. Your mission is to find something you enjoy doing, and start getting clients who will pay you to do the stuff you love.
If you don’t know anyone, or don’t have any connections at first, that absolutely will not pose a problem. The truth is, most people don’t.
In the beginning then, you’ll likely get your initial work from sites like:
- Fiverr (http://www.fiverr.com )
- Zeerk (https://zeerk.com/ )
- Upwork (https://www.upwork.com/ )
- Hirewriters (http://www.hirewriters.com )
- Textbroker (http://www.textbroker.com ) … And the like.
There are literally hundreds of these kinds of sites on the web, and they’re the best and easiest way to start making real, spendable money, purely from internet-based work.
Don’t forget too, that you can supplement the income you make via your digital skill with another type of skill. For instance, tens of thousands of people sell craft and homemade goods on Etsy. Granted, there are only a few who can turn that into a full time income, but every little bit helps, especially in the beginning.
As mentioned though, these websites are only meant to get you started. Once you get your name “out there” and built a reputation for excellence for yourself in whatever field you’re working in, you’ll find yourself increasingly doing work for clients privately. Nurturing these relationships is how you get word of mouth referrals, and that, in turn, is the key to growing your income to whatever level you wish.
Does it take time?
Absolutely. And depending on how much time you put into it in the beginning, you could easily spend five to ten months living pretty close to the bone. Once you’ve laid the groundwork though, your income should increase quickly, and the limiting factor is the hours you’re willing to invest.
The bottom line is – anyone can live the internet life! Don’t allow yourself to be held back by fear and doubt. Don’t allow yourself to be trapped by a dead-end job you can’t stand. It’s never been easier to do something about it!