22 Jan On Going Solo & the Freelance Lifestyle
Image created by me on Canva.
On June 30th of last year, I published a podcast episode of Job Market Predictions. One of them was:
“I would not be surprised to see an influx of people using the gig economy not so much because they want to, but because they feel like they have to in order to make ends meet.” (This was bucking the trend because we were supposedly still in the throes of The Great Resignation and people could hop across the market forever and get more money each time. 😒)
I was interviewed recently by SubKit as part of their Go Solo series. When asked about my top 3 tips for people who are thinking about starting their own business, I said:
“1. You have to have faith in yourself. Without that, you’re doomed. Your clients will not believe in you if, deep down, you lack confidence in yourself. You also must trust that in a crisis, you will handle things appropriately.
2. Owning a business or running a solo freelancing operation is a lifestyle change. I don’t feel that is talked about enough. It’s a different lifestyle from getting a paycheck twice a month and punching a clock from 8 to 5. You must be able to create your own routines and habits and feel comfortable with uncertainty in life.
3. Perform a dry run first. Do your A/B testing. Figure out if your business idea is viable before you take the plunge. One of the reasons why my first stab at self-employment failed is that I was not able to do that. If you can grow a side hustle into a full-time business operation, it will also help you to ease into the process rather than jumping off the cliff and hoping the parachute opens on the way down.”
Owning your own business and/or flying solo as a full-time freelancer is a different lifestyle! As some folks are, indeed, turning to the gig economy to make ends meet after a layoff, I feel it’s important to understand that freelancing has its pitfalls, too. No work situation is perfect. Humans aren’t perfect and neither is any workplace scenario. But I think sometimes, the media can highly romanticize entrepreneurship. I mean . . . some of the stories I see on CNBC about people who rent their pools for a living or dog walkers who make a bazillion dollars a year . . . c’mon man. It’s “news” because those people are the exceptions and not the norm. In the same way I think we get a lot of hot air and hopium about this supposedly red hot labor market, we also see hopium about people who came up with an utterly bizarre business idea and are now millionaires. Um, OK. Is that a workable strategy for everyone in America? NO. And let’s stop pretending that it is. For one thing, there’s nothing wrong with wanting to work as a full-time employee inside a company that doesn’t suck and with a manager who isn’t a jerk. Likewise, there’s nothing wrong with wanting to start something of your own or freelance for more control over your own work life. It boils down to doing what’s best for you.
You can read the full SubKit interview here: https://gosolo.subkit.com/causey-consulting/