Freelancing is a great career.
Yet people often say that freelancing is too hard.
But anything that is worthwhile is hard to do. It’s the same for a college degree, dating, or learning a new skill.
So instead of ragging on freelancing and why it is so hard, let’s talk about why freelancing is so good.
Because freelancing is good.
Why is it so good?
I like working from home (especially when it is quiet), and I like that I get to see my family throughout the day. I like that if I need to run to the bank to deposit a check I can. I like that I don’t have to ask permission to take off for the next hour. I like that I have freedom and flexibility in my schedule. In short, I have a lot of flexibility in my life. Which leads me to my first point:
Freelancing Gives you Flexibility
As a freelancer you will have unparalleled flexibility. You can work during your own schedule, and you can take time off when you need. For instance, if it is a Friday, and if I have my work done for the week, I’ll just take an afternoon off. Or, I can get up early, start work before 8am, and when my work is done my day is done. The best part is that I don’t have to worry about strange looks from the boss when I leave at 3pm. Vacation days are great, and I don’t have to ask my boss for time off. As long as there isn’t a critical project due I’ll just take the time off.
Freelancing Helps you Improve Your Craft
Second, freelancing pushes you to improve your skills. Why? Because as you improve your skills you can give your clients a better result, and that will lead to more work. But working as an employee doesn’t usually lead to this. Often you won’t get to work on the skills that you want to. Plus there is the soul-sucking despair of working for someone else.
Freelancing Helps you Become Better at Networking
Third, freelancing teaches you how to network and connect with others. If you struggle with finding clients, then there is a simple method. First, 1) Know what services you offer, 2) know your target market, and 3) get out there and talk to potential clients. Granted there is much more to networking than this, but knowing what you do and who you serve (positioning and market focus), and talking with people (networking and outreach), are key to being successful.
So put yourself out there. Go to seminars, meetups, conferences. Write articles and promote them, make tutorials, Youtube videos, and write up case studies. The principle here is to be visible, and to get out there and connect with people.
Sleep, Glorious Sleep
Fourth: Naps whenever you want. Need I say more?
Freelancing Can Help you Make More Money
Fifth, as a freelancer you can actually make more money than as an employee. True, if you work overtime you can make a little extra cash here or there, but it is peanuts compared to how much you can make freelancing fulltime. Why? Because if you do extra work for an employer that extra work won’t get you a raise (or at least it usually doesn’t). But when you do extra work as a freelancer, you get more and more money, and you make more profit.
I know people who used to be DevOps engineers making $140,000 a year, and who now make $250,000 or more. And it’s just because they do contract and freelance work. I know other freelancers who make over $500,000 because they left a high-paying job, and just do consulting and contract tech work.
Case in point, if you were a developer you’d get paid $45-$80 per hour to work for someone else. But when you freelance, you can get paid so much more. Since you run your own business you take on extra business costs (taxes, medicare, social security, unemployment, etc). Plus you take on more risk, and so you get to charge more to cover that risk. The market rate for a good Ruby on Rails developer in the states can easily be $100-125 per hour. I’ve charged $100-$150 per hour for my development work and I still get clients (though now I do day rates, but that’s a story for a different day).
Freelancing Gives You More Time
As you freelance, you’ll naturally seek to raise your rates. And when you double your rates (say from $400 to $800 per day), you only have to work half the time. And with all that extra time you can do the things you really want to do with your life. What would you do with your life if you only had to work 20 hours a week?
Freelancing Gives you Freedom
Seventh: The best reason in this whole list is more freedom. As you get better at selling, and networking, and your craft, you’ll find that you have more freedom. Freedom to pick your clients. Freedom to work a fraction of the time. I’ve heard of some freelancers that only work 3 months in the year. They can do this because they have a specialty, are in demand, and they charge according to the value they provide.
And you can get there.
You can get to a point where full-time work and their 5 sick days, 9 holidays, and 2 weeks vacation seems like a prison. Yes, to get to that point you’ll have to hustle, but once you are there, you’ll have unparalleled flexibility in your life.
So think about it. Think about your current job, and wonder if there is something better. Because there is. It’s called freelancing.
P.S. If you want to start freelancing you have two options. You can wait, patiently, while I post new articles. Or, if you want to start freelancing and earning money this week, I have a course you can take. By taking the course you’ll learn how to specialize, how to find clients, and how to price your services. So sign up, and find out how you can make twice as much freelancing than as an employee.