Would you ever leave your job with a stable income, jump into working for yourself without out a plan, without enough money to cover monthly expenses, and no clients/customers ready to buy your products or services? I’m guessing your answer would be no and if you are ever told to jump into entrepreneurship without doing some planning, don’t walk run away from them because not only is that bad advice, it’s highly possible that you will more than likely fail.
What you should do is test the waters, start a side-hustle or start freelancing on the side in addition to your regular job. If I knew back when I started what I know now, I would have started freelancing on the side a lot earlier. Here’s how I started my freelancing journey.
I never said I wanted to be an entrepreneur when I grew up. Never even imagine myself being a creative professional. Creating graphics and websites was all just a hobby that I got into back in High School. I applied and got accepted to colleges, majoring in biology major but after spending year at my chosen school I realize that my heart was no longer in becoming a Pediatrician.
I switch schools and received my Associates Degree in Digital Media Communications. While getting that degree my eyes were open to all of the opportunities that were available to me. I never thought that being a creative of any type was an option to make a living from. I even tried to do some design work on my own and with a group but all that failed. So I decided to push on and get my Bachelors Degree.
My new goal was to gain employment prior to graduation. I did get a job and a really good one. I was so happy. Graduation came; I got my degree in Information Systems Management but in the mist of all that the recession hit and few months after walking across that stage I was laid off. I will forever be grateful to my boss and manager who both help me get my portfolio together. I still remember the words my boss told me, after I show him some of the work I had done, he said that before I would ever leave that company I would have a real portfolio.
The portfolio I walked out of that job with came in handy but not like I thought it would. Eight months after I lost my job I was getting nowhere with my job search. No one was hiring and when they started back hiring they wanted people who were already working. So I knew that I had to do something and fast. From my experience, I learn that not every graphic or web designer works as an in-house designer, some are freelancers. They may work in-house; gain work through a placement agency or work on the side for themselves. With that in mind I knew that I had to do.
I started a twitter account and start blogging under read name. I had personal blogs before but not under my name and showcasing my portfolio work. My blog at ArtiatesiaDeal.com, afforded me tons of opportunities but the most valuable ones was the design work. Not only was I setting up and maintain website/blogs for other people but I was designing web graphics (banner ad, blog headers, social media graphics, etc.) and print work (business cards, flyers, banners, etc.) for more than just family members and myself. I learned a lot about myself in my first business, as well as a lot about running a business. There were a lot of mistakes but I wouldn’t change it.
Want to hear more about my startup story and how I took the jump into freelancing? Then check out my audio bundle, Zero to Freelance. (Click here for PayPal Payment option)
Why you should start freelancing now?
Take it from me, do not wait until you loose your job and can’t find a replacement. Be proactive because if I have to say the biggest lesson I have learn is that its better to have more than one source of income because if one dries up you still have your second and that shouldn’t be your savings or emergency fund. This should be a separate line of income.
You do not need to do it full-time; you can start small doing something part-time, hence the term side-hustle. This is a great way to figure out what you are truly passionate about. And if you can start that side-hustle with zero investment then that’s fantastic but do know that its going to take money to make money, just be wise about how much of an investment and risk you are making. Getting in over your head is what you want to avoid at all cost. So you may be asking yourself, how do I get started?
What to do before your start
Before you even start your start hustle you are going to do some soul searching. Here’s my advice to you, start getting your financial house in order. Figure out what 6-12 month worth of your monthly expenses is and start saving that money. You should also start cutting back on expenses.
Then you can start brainstorm ideas on how you can start bringing in extra income. Here a jumping off point to get your engines started. Are you into photography? Start getting paid to taking photos. Many people need affordable headshots for their LinkedIn Profiles. Love baking? Think about selling your bake goods at local bake sales or fairs. Love teaching? Maybe you can offer tutoring services. Get more side hustle ideas in my audio bundle, Zero to Freelance.
Let’s get the conversation going.
What’s one thing you know how to do very well and love doing? Have you ever thought about turning it into a side-hustle to bring in some extra cash? Share you thought in the comments below.