Is It Time to Go Solo(preneur)?
There’s nothing like a major change in the economic climate to make you rethink your day job. “Business as usual” currently means a large element of uncertainty about what the future holds for your working life. Whether you've lost your job, had your hours cut, or have seen these things happen to people you know, your feeling of security has likely taken a hit. And maybe that can be a good thing, something that calls you to start taking action.
Last week, I talked about how now is the perfect time for you to look at all the resources available to you, and to consider what you can do to serve the world with under-utilized gifts, skills, and talents. By doing this, you have the potential to take full control over your income, and your family’s long-term security.
You also may have noticed a growing trend that existed even before the coronavirus pandemic hit—more and more people are opting out of the traditional 9 to 5 and becoming “solopreneurs,” either by becoming a freelancer or starting a business.
As a freelancer, you would draw on the talents you’ve used as an employee, or even other skills you’ve developed outside the scope of your day job, to help support other people’s businesses. And, once you see it going well, you may decide to start a business of your own.
There are unlimited possibilities, and the way we live and work in today’s world means there’s never been a better time to get started. Here’s why.
We Have the Technology
For a solopreneur, working from home is the norm, and software companies are only helping that trend along. New tech tools exist that make it easier and easier for people to use their own computers for what would normally be done in an office environment. There are as many project management tools, to do lists, calendar apps, cloud storage tools, and industry-specific software programs, as there are preferred ways of doing work. A lot of these tools have free options, and you can scale up your technology according to how much your business is growing.
Plus, as we become more connected digitally, it’s quicker and easier to coordinate teams online. That means you can coordinate with your clients and contractors to have meetings, share documents, and pay and get paid more easily.
Be True to Yourself
There are plenty of reasons to shift from being an employee to being your own boss. It’s impossible to completely agree with the way someone does business. Sometimes that just has to do with paid time off policies, or just not hitting it off with the person in the cubicle next to yours. But sometimes it has to do with larger issues than that. Maybe you just don’t want to work somewhere that you don’t feel in sync with the mission.
When you work for yourself, you have the freedom to choose who you work with, and what values you choose to uphold. And chances are, when you’re doing work you care about, you’ll be a whole lot happier.
Live the Life You Want
Another reason to be your own boss is to increase your flexibility. When you manage your own schedule, you don’t need someone else’s permission to go pick up your kids from school, workout in the middle of the day, or work on a project in the evening rather than the middle of the afternoon. You don’t have to worry about someone standing over your shoulder and dictating how you should approach a project you’re working on.
In the same way that more technical tools are emerging to meet the new economy, so are new modes of health care. Medical, dental, and other individualized and family plans just for gig workers are becoming common. Whereas it used to be very expensive and difficult for independent contractors to get affordable insurance, the barriers are starting to lower.
Scale Your Income
On one hand, the idea of not having a steady paycheck could be nerve-wracking. But on the other, it could open doors to greater wealth and full control, when you’ve made the transition from employee to freelancer or even business owner, wisely. When you work for yourself, you are no longer limited to earning the amount of money that your company says you should. You can raise your rates as your value increases in the marketplace. You can work more hours, or less. You can charge fees that make sense to you and that your best clients will be happy to pay. As you learn more, and your contracting skills and confidence grow, you’ll realize that you’re the only one who can limit the amount of money you make.
A steady job is not necessarily a sure thing. If you’re in a place of transition with your life and career, it could be the right time to take the leap and begin working for yourself, and then even becoming the boss you always wish you had. Just make sure you consult a trusted legal professional before you make your final decision. We’re happy to help lay out everything that you need to consider when you want to go solo.