Before we actually go into why freelancing makes sense for just about everybody nowadays, let’s just cover what exactly freelancing is.
Here is the definition of “freelance” from Business Dictionary.com
Working on a contract basis for a variety of companies, as opposed to working as an employee for a single company. Freelancers are often considered to be self-employed, and have the freedom to pick and choose their projects and companies they would like to be associated with. A common profession for freelancing is writing; a writer then has the ability to submit their work to many different places, without being tied to any one company in particular.
From the above definition is can be seen why freelancing is especially great for the “older” generation. With the amount of knowledge, skills, experience, talents and passion they have developed over the years, be it in a career, a hobby or passion for something – freelancing provides them with the perfect means to share what they know and generate an income.
Added to this is that more and more people are joining the freelance movement. As can be seen from the graph below (which reflects mainly the growth in the United States), it has been growing steadily and will continue growing well into the future.
(Courtesy of www.freelancebiz.com)
Where a few years ago it was not as popular, it is now growing steadily year on year, not only in the 1st world countries, but it’s also providing income opportunities for knowledgeable people in other countries as well. With the accessibility freedom that the Internet provides, this has only made it even easier to become a freelancer no matter where you live.
Freelancing is what has allowed me to quit my 9 to 5 job in 2015 after I built up a steady income flow working part-time and I have been doing this full-time ever since. As a 50 something single mom living in a 3rd world country – if I can do this, then so can you.
Reason # 1 – Freelancing Opportunities are growing daily.
Several years ago freelancing opportunities were few and far between as people did not have the surety that should they use a freelancer, the quality of work would be of an acceptable standard. At that time there were also not that many people offering freelance services so it made it difficult to find people for specific tasks.
When the world wide web arrived and provided global access to many more people, it opened the door for freelancing to grow. Skills can now be sourced from foreign countries at a much more cost effective rate which sweetens the deal for many small businesses and entrepreneurs.
There are also many more people making their skills and expertise available on a freelance basis either as a full time career or to supplement their current incomes.
Many times expertise comes with a high cost but using a freelancer cuts that cost down substantially as they carry little or no overheads themselves, allowing their rates to suit many more budgets. This in turn makes freelancing more and more lucrative for others, as the need for these services increase each day.
As the demand increases, the supply will increase exponentially thus making it easier for others to become freelancers and offer their services and expertise.
Reason # 2 – Perfect Choice To use What You Know to Grow An Income.
Freelancing is one of the easiest ways to showcase your knowledge and expertise to others. There is no barrier to showing the world what you know and how you can impact others.
With freelancing you determine what your expertise is worth.
You can build up a portfolio that can showcase what you know to allow you to get more clients. You determine how you can add value to others and with how many people you can share what you know – there is no boss or company rule that claims your expertise.
With more clients, comes more money. Don’t underestimate the value of what you know.
Reason # 3 – Work on Your Terms
This for me is one of the best things about freelancing. You have total control and can work on your terms.
You control who you work with, what amount of hours you will be working, where you will work and what sort of projects you want to work on. There is nobody dictating to you how you will spend your time or what you will be working on.
If you decide to take a day off – it’s your choice – you will just need to make up the time elsewhere. You can also choose to take your laptop and go and work in a coffee shop somewhere – nothing and nobody limits you in any way.
The other awesome thing about freelancing is that you determine how much your effort is worth and can set your pricing accordingly. We all know that some work takes more effort than others – there is no “one size fits all”.
Reason # 4 – Freelancing Provides Flexibility and Choice.
This is very much linked to reason #3 but its more specific than even that. In a normal job you are limited to performing the same tasks day in and day out.
With freelancing you can choose your projects and chop and change from one day to the next making life so much more enjoyable.
When we have control over who and what we are working with, then we tend to be far more invested in seeing that the project gets completed to the highest standards.
As an employee you will get paid no matter what – working as a freelancer means we have a reputation to maintain in order for our freelancing business to grow and bring in more money.
The other side of this is that freelancing can be done from anywhere in the world. Should you decide to leave your home base and travel for the next 6 months, you can still work and bring in money. Or if your partner gets a job in another country, nothing prevents you from continuing your projects when you arrive there.
Reason # 5 – Unlimited Earning Potential
This is another one of the great reasons to freelance. Working in a job, your income is limited to whatever you agreed to get paid as a salary. Very few companies allow you to use your knowledge and expertise outside of business hours to work for others.
If you decide at the spur of the moment that you want to travel overseas in the next 3 weeks, you can just get additional work in to cover those costs when you are a freelancer. In a job, that will not be possible.
If something unforeseen happens, like having your car breakdown – many people do not have enough free funds to cover those sorts of costs when they work in a job, but as a freelancer, you can just market more, reach out to past clients and get another client on board that can cover that cost.
If you decide to work like a madman/woman for the next month 24/7 to get enough income coming in so that next month you don’t have to work at all – then you can do so.
Again, this comes down to having control and the fact that YOU determine your income, YOU determine your worth, not somebody else.
So in Closing…
For me, freelancing just made sense and it was something that I could easily build up alongside my 9 to 5 job, until I had built up a steady flow of income that could and did replace my salary.
Although what I do as a freelancer is not directly linked to what I did in my 9 to 5 job, the knowledge and expertise I built up over those years is what contributed greatly to the success I have achieved as a freelancer.
So what is there that you could use to build a freelancing career? What do you know that could change the lives of others and make an impact? Don’t discredit anything – what you take for granted can actually bring you in a great income.
Just go out there and decide what you can offer the world.