Starting and growing a freelancing career is more common than ever. In fact, it is estimated that over 67 million workers in the U.S. will be freelancing by the end of 2021. Impacts of COVID over the past year, including increased remote work and employer flexibility, have further fostered conditions that are conducive to starting and supporting a full-time freelancing career.
At SoleVenture, we know that taking the leap into full-time self-employment can be scary; however, if you are thoughtful in your approach to the transition, it doesn’t have to be. Whether you are already freelancing part-time, working full-time as a W2 employee, or currently unemployed, this article shares 5 ways to tell whether you are ready to become a full-time freelancer.
You are motivated by what you do (or what you want to do).
We are starting our list by stating the obvious. Whether you are an expert in your field or just getting started, your chosen field of work needs to motivate and inspire you enough to get up every day and work towards your self-employment goals. Especially if you are not yet an expert in your field, you must be willing to continuously educate yourself and increase the knowledge you need to get there. Being your own boss requires a lot of initiative and passion – no one will be holding you accountable except for you.
You are willing to properly organize your business.
Whether you are incorporating your business to enhance your credibility, save money, or reduce legal liability, or whether you are educating yourself about the many tax breaks available to you as a freelancer, you must be willing to do what it takes to set your business up for success. You understand that being a solopreneur means you are working for yourself, but it doesn’t mean that you won’t need the tools and support necessary to increase revenue and decrease risk. You understand the infrastructure that is needed to set up and build your business, and you aren’t afraid to utilize the resources that can help you achieve your goals.
You are willing to get your financial & administrative affairs in order.
Along with the incredible flexibility of freelancing comes potential instability. You are solely responsible for your budget, managing cashflow, and securing the traditional benefits of employment such as health insurance. First, you need a detailed plan and budget to transition into full-time freelancing. Many experts suggest having 3 - 6 months of cash runway, but that may depend on your business pipeline and marketing efforts. Second, if you will no longer have access to employer-sponsored insurance plans, you should start shopping for affordable insurance plans designed for the self-employed. Also, you should evaluate what administrative tools you need to manage your business and set aside money for taxes. You might find that tools like QuickBooks and stand-alone invoicing programs are overly complicated for your business when all you really need is a single application.
You have support from your community.
Transitioning into a full-time freelancing career can be scary. You may feel like you are taking a leap without a safety net. While companies like SoleVenture can help provide you with that safety net, it is still important that you have the support of your community – whether that is your family, friends, professional network, and/or your industry peers. There are also online communities available through social networks like Clubhouse, LinkedIn, and Facebook that can help connect with you other freelancers or professionals transitioning into a freelancing career.
You are making this decision for a long-term career.
You understand that building your freelancing career is a journey and not necessarily a short-term destination. You are truly ready to join the millions of full-time freelancers who are enjoying their professional freedom.
SoleVenture is helping thousands of new and aspiring freelancers launch and grow their businesses. If we can help you with yours, please contact us at [email protected].