In this module, we discuss why the best way to start freelancing is to do it part-time.
Ideally, you’ll already have a job or career that somehow complements your chosen freelance field. If not, that’s fine too. Either way, you’ll want a reliable source of income as you get started.
There are other benefits too:
- There’s less pressure on your burgeoning business.
- Mistakes become learning experiences, not something that ruins your life.
- You learn business skills at a more digestible rate.
- You can pick and choose clients/projects without fear of going broke. This helps you build your ideal career instead of chasing paycheques and finding yourself far from happy.
- You can build your savings for when you do go full-time. I recommend at least three months of savings. Six months is ideal. And by a month’s worth, I mean all the expenses that arise within a month: rent, food, insurance, incidentals, etc. This covers any slow time.
You may want a separate emergency fund for unforeseen issues. For example, my apartment flooded with human sewage at the start of 2016 and I had to cancel meetings, shift project deadlines, and otherwise deal with a crappy (haha) situation. Because I had an emergency fund, I wasn’t left homeless or destitute. Even if insurance came into play, it can take a while to collect the actual funds. Don’t leave yourself vulnerable.
- You can build your portfolio – and if you’ve been choosing your clients and projects carefully, that portfolio will be tailored and meaningful to future clients.
- You can also transition your current employer into one of your first clients. Of course, this depends on the nature of your existing job, but it’s a great way to get started. Some bosses are even happy to negotiate a day off each week for you to focus on your side business.
- Going public about the decision to freelance part-time is another great way to get those first few jobs. Finding and meeting clients – and convincing them to work with you – is a time-consuming process. Ironically, there’s a lot of downtime in the process too. If you’re doing this part-time, that downtime is where you can make a living while sowing the seeds for a life on your terms.
To learn more about how to get started freelancing, check out my podcast with Brennan Dunn.