At Spera, we strongly believe in the power of creating a work environment that you’re passionate about, whether that’s in the gig economy or freelancing full-time in the freedom economy. We created a platform for freelancers and small teams because we love empowering other self-employed and independent workers to be the master of their own projects and the work that they do. It’s never too late to take control of your life and your work.
Thankfully, the very nature of work itself has evolved. This is proven by the hundreds of thousands of people around the world who declare their independence from the standard 9-5 job each year. Although freelancing isn’t always easy or simple, becoming a part of this amazing movement towards more freedom is absolutely worth it.
Below, we’ve broken down how to make the transition from working a typical job full-time to working independently for yourself, some of the tools your freelancing business will require and tips on how to stay on track when declaring yourself an independent worker seems almost impossible.
What’s the Difference Between the Gig Economy and the Freedom Economy?
Navigating the world of freelancing can be a bit confusing at times. Can someone be both an entrepreneur and a solopreneur? Are you still considered an independent worker if you work amongst a small team of other freelancers? And what is the difference between working in the gig economy and the freedom economy?
Let’s start with that last question.
Working in the gig economy means working short-term contracts in addition to the typical 9-5 job. Someone working this way may enjoy some of the stability that comes with having a 9-5, or they could be in the beginning stages of trying to transition to freelancing full-time. According to Freelancers Union more than 34% of the total American workforce qualifies as a freelancer – that’s 53 million people!
On the other hand, operating in the freedom economy means you’re working independently full-time and not juggling another “normal” or traditional job as well. Digital nomads within the freedom economy have embraced a total mindset of freedom over their life, schedule, and day-to-day decisions.
So, to recap, it’s possible you’re working within the gig economy (taking shorter-term projects and jobs) if you’re a member of the freedom economy. However, if you’re operating in the gig economy, you haven’t made the leap to total freedom within the freedom economy quite yet.
The question is, how do you make that leap – and remain motivated?
How to Transition to Working Independently Full-time
If your endgame is to freelance full-time, we couldn’t be happier for you! There is truly no greater feeling than becoming your own boss, working on the projects you actually want to, and with the client’s you’re super excited about. Having said that, we recognize that it can be a scary transition from a stable full-time job to working independently.
Here are a few tips to help you get started:
- Tell yourself you can do it. And keep telling yourself that, every single day if you need to. You need to convince yourself that you’re capable of making the transition so that you start to genuinely believe it. Success in any endeavor worth doing is largely about mindset.
- Understand that there is no shame in the side hustle game. The vast majority of full-time freelancers had to build their freelance experience and list of clients while working a 9-5, too. It doesn’t mean you’ll be juggling both forever. So hang in there and keep plugging away.
- Network like crazy. Speaking from experience here, this is key. The more people you make aware that you’re trying to freelance full-time, the more exposure your business is getting. The more you ask for opportunities, the better.
- Start working on the details. The sooner you set yourself up for success in your new company, the better. Tackle the more mundane details of being a business owner while you’re still working your other job, so you can hit the ground running when the time comes to peace out of your 9-5. This means setting up your dba and LLC, figuring out quarterly taxes, getting your website built and more.
- Make the leap. Once you’ve mastered the four steps above, you just have to rip off the Band-Aid and go for it. As long as you’re willing to work hard and do what it takes to succeed AND keep debt and expenses low – you’ve got this!
The Tools You’ll Absolutely Need as a Solopreneur
The sooner you can begin utilizing the tools that will help your freelance biz succeed, the better. There is a slew of apps, websites, systems and freelance platforms out there, but it’s important to understand what will help you truly get work done more easily and more efficiently. Consider some of the following essentials for your business:
- A simple, efficient way to get paid. Set yourself up for success by making the freelancer payment process easy and convenient for you and your clients. We all know how painful asking someone to pay you is, month after month. The sooner you have a comprehensive platform that allows you to collect payments in a variety of formats like credit cards, in person transfers, and ACH, the better off you’ll be.
- An invoice app or tool that allows you to send professional invoices. Before you can get paid, you need to send your invoices out! Opt for a system that lets you customize your invoices with your logo and that includes other details that make you look professional. Furthermore, be sure your invoices can be automated, so you’re not relying on your sticky notes each month to remind yourself to bill someone. Treating your business like a business is key.
- A project management platform that keeps your clients in the loop. Whether you’ve been a part of the gig economy for a while, or you’re new to this solopreneur, self-employed or entrepreneur thing, it’s no secret that great communication with your clients is absolutely vital. Implement a system that allows you to keep your customers up-to-date on their projects and in-the-know about upcoming deadlines. You’ll save yourself a lot of time – and headaches – once you do.
Now that we’ve covered a few of the important tools to implement within your freelancing business, it’s time to discuss how you can remain motivated and on the right path when times get tough.
Tips for Staying the Course When Freelancing Full-time Seems Impossible
Although we could go on and on about all of the amazing benefits of working in the freedom economy, we also recognize that it can be super challenging at times, too.
First, it’s okay to feel overwhelmed as your own boss! Whether you’re freelancing full-time or still chugging along in the gig economy, as a freelancer, you’ve promoted yourself to boss, HR director AND client relations manager all at once. That’s a lot to manage sometimes!
Here are a few ways to stay the course when times get tough:
- Don’t go it alone! Shout out to the amazing tool that is the internet. Online there are hundreds upon hundreds of amazing support groups for freelancers and independent workers. Check out some of these virtual networking tips for digital nomads we wrote.
- Remember your end goal. When you’re in the trenches every day, this can be challenging. Creating a vision board is a great way to remain focused on your end game and fight off frustration.
- Reward yourself for your successes. Remember, you’re the boss, the administrative assistant AND the marketing director now. This means no one else is going to give you a slap on the back and cheer you on for your big wins. So be sure you do this for yourself! Avoid burnout and treat yourself when you’re kicking butt.
Own Your Independence and Transition from the Gig Economy to the Freedom Economy
There is no better time than the present to explore transitioning from the gig economy to the freedom economy.
Take your work life by the reigns and create a job you truly love, whether that means choosing the path of an entrepreneur, digital nomad, solopreneur, self-employed business owner or on location independent contractor. Own your independence and make it happen by setting yourself up for success. Getting clear on how to make the transition from working full-time to working independently, learning about the tools you need for your freelance biz, and implementing tips on how to stay on track when declaring yourself an independent worker seems almost impossible will get you started in the right direction.
At Spera, our platform was truly created with you – the independent worker – in mind. We understand the complex challenges of your business and we’ve created a tool that helps you run your company more efficiently, from start to finish.
Level up your freelancing game and check out a free demo today.