So maybe you’re thinking about leaving your job to start working freelance, it’s a pretty huge step and you’re likely doing your due diligence and weighing up the pros and cons before taking the dive into crazy town.
Let’s focus on the positives first in this post
What are the Advantages to working Freelance?
This is the obvious one and the definitely the best reason.
You have complete freedom over your own time & life.
- Want to take some time to focus on learning and improving your skills to expand your service potential / income potential ? – You can do that
- Want to take the day off? – You can do that
- Have a huge hangover and you’d rather spend the morning in bed and work during the night instead? No Problem.
The older you get, the more you realise what time is worth. It’s your time, do with it what you want. Just understand this simple quote before you go off and have too much fun.
Procrastination is like a credit card: it’s a lot of fun until you get the bill”Christopher Parker
I use Rescuetime to track my habits and keep myself on track and I highly recommend it
Work from anywhere
This one doesn’t always apply to everyone who’s freelance, it really depends on what it is exactly your freelance work is but it definitely falls under ‘freedom’
As long as you have a laptop and a 4G minimum connection for actual work ( 2g / 3g is just fine if it’s just emails ) You really can work from anywhere with access to electric if you’re a Designer / Developer. If you’re an illustrator / writer you can pickup an artpad / notebook and head out to the mountains if thats your vibe. Creativity comes from all sorts of places
I’ve worked from numerous locations in
- Mexico City
When you work 9-5 you get this notion in your head the world will fall apart if you’re not in walking / driving distance of your clients. Truth is, mostly, nobody really cares where you are as long their problems are solved quickly and efficiently
Cost of Living
I’ve seen jobs with some crazy salaries for areas like San Franciso which almost tempted me, then I seen the cost of rent & living and it made sense. Crazy salaries are often accompanied by crazy local rates.
When you work remote you can be wiser with how you spend your money. Living in quiet, smaller towns desperate for some extra life is often a much cheaper way to live – sure you might not have clients in immediate eye view or walking distance but would it make more sense to make less money if you’re spending 30% of your income on rent instead of 50-70% of your monthly income?
Weigh it all up and think smart, different people have different needs. If you’re not really social and spend most of your days inside working anyway, why would you pay to live in an expensive city?
There are entire forums & social movements dedicated to digital nomading & the cheapest countries to run a startup from and enjoy a great social life with likeminded people or party with. You’ve just got to research first and take the first step.
Personally I like a change of scenery every so often, I’ve lived in suburban neighbourhoods, in the heart of Mexico City & now back in the countryside.
One thing I can promise you is working freelance isn’t for everyone but it will help you reexamine how you view money. You’ll no longer work month to month blowing it all away because you know there’s another pay cheque at the end of the month, you’ll earn every penny / cent and treat it as such.
The amount you can earn isn’t capped
This one is pretty obvious, you don’t have a set salary so have a great year? You could earn 3x what your friends earn.
Though it goes without saying
You will earn every single cent. It’s just as likely you could earn nothing.
Choose your own Holidays
The travel industry probably hates the growing gig economy or maybe we keep them afloat who knows. What I do know is whether its ferries or flights, certain times of years are ridiculously inflated to certain destinations.
Mostly this is true for teachers, sure they get the most amount of holiday time and some fairly cushy salaries and benefits but I can guarentee they’re paying the most for their holidays as school holidays are almost always peak travel time.
Freelance? You’re flexible with your dates & destinations with the option to work abroad or chillout depending on schedule.
I’ve flown to Mexico City Return from Belfast from around £450. If you didn’t have flexibility? You could pay 2-3x that easily
You are your own Boss
I don’t mind a good boss, in-fact I actually really enjoy working in a functioning team environment, I’m pretty logical and understand the need for correct management structures and can work really efficiently in a team of equals.
But I’ll be damned if I don’t miss the absolute head melters on a power trip who micromanage your workflow, peer over your shoulder every 5 minutes or tell you how to do your job when they really should be focused on their own work. A little bump in salary isn’t worth my sanity to stick around for that and it shouldn’t be the case for you either.
The flipside of this is you really are your own boss. Accountability is a legitimate thing here – If you don’t perform you don’t get paid or lose important relationships in your business world. The stakes are high and its sink or swim. When you’re freelance you do the job of 4 employees – accounting, sales, developer (worker) and marketing and you don’t have anyone else to point the finger at when things go wrong.
I will say this though, since working self employed, I haven’t once stared the clock away on a day, I love what I do and probably more importantly, I love the challenges.
You can write off business expenses against your tax
Unless you’re really fortunate in the employed world, your boss isn’t going to pay for the vehicle or your method of getting to work. Likewise if you need a laptop to do work out of office – likely that’s not paid for either.
When you’re self employed as well as being smart with your money, you can be smart with your expenditures.
Proving people wrong
There is something seriously satisfying about proving people wrong who gave you the sceptical arched eyebrow when you first announced your crazy plan.
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