As we propel ourselves with alarming speed into the 2020s is it any wonder that many workers, especially the younger generations, have become increasingly disenfranchised by the process of climbing the greasy corporate pole?
In an era where the corporations who employ us deliberately keep our wages down to protect their profit margins, in an era where opportunities for promotion are few and far between and the job market is defined by a competitiveness that borders on savagery, in an era of zero wage contracts and exploitative practices that rob workers of the benefits previous generations took for granted, is it any wonder that so many of us are choosing to eschew the 9 to 5 and take our livelihoods into our own hands as freelancers?
The gig economy provides more and more opportunities for those with pluck, initiative and self determination to forge a better future for themselves, but of course freelancing is not without financial risk. You will no longer have the luxury of a reliable income, sick pay or paid vacation time. However, with a little planning, foresight and, yes, investment you can insulate yourself from the financial risks of freelancing…
Don’t give up your day job just yet
The beauty of freelancing is in its flexibility. With this in mind, there’s no reason whatsoever why you can’t begin freelancing in your free time, building up clients and experience as a side hustle on sites like People Per Hour. This will allow you to start off from a place of financial security while also insulating yourself from the financial disparity that most new freelancers face.
Invest in the right help
While most nascent freelancers may be keen to drive down overhead costs, investing in the right help is an essential part of the infrastructure of your financial security. An accountant, for example, will usually save you more in tax than they cost as they can help you to prepare your accounts for the IRS and ensure that all tax deductions are accounted for. Likewise a lawyer with experience in foreclosures like Dickson Frohlich can advise you even if the worst case scenario should come to pass and you’re unable to keep up with your mortgage payments. Don’t let your aversion to overheads keep you from getting the help that could save you a fortune later.
Save and plan
Speaking of saving, a freelancer can never afford to be cavalier with their funds, especially when they’re getting plenty of work. Always be budgeting even in times of plenty and pay into your savings account even when times are lean. This way you will always be able to keep the roof over your head, even when you don’t have as many clients.
Charge your clients what you’re worth
Finally, one of the most egregious acts of self harm committed by nascent freelancers is their chronic knack of undercharging for their services. As the newest game in town they think that it behoves them to race their competitors to the bottom. But if you do this, you may dig yourself into a rut and never be able to hitch up your prices lest you alienate your clients.
Charge what you’re worth from the outset, however, and you won’t suffer a cap on your earning potential.