What do you really need to go freelance — like really need?
A good computer, solid WiFi, any software or programs you use, a shit ton of contacts, and ovaries of steel are the true necessities. There are, however, quite a few items that can make your transition to post-office life a hell of a lot easier.
A life partner with a stable career and steady income.
Some savings, for the slow days.
Phone/ Skype skills (as in, interacting with people).
The ability to advocate and negotiate for your terms and pay.
A mentor to guide and inspire.
The resourcefulness to Google what you don’t know.
Some semblance of organization.
Time management skills.
A dedicated work space (quiet, for making calls).
Help with kids/ house/ errands/ etc.
Ok, maybe there’s actually A LOT of stuff you need to successfully focus on building and expanding your career, without burning out. Which brings us to this conundrum: How much do you need to spend to increase your potential for earning?
What I mean is this:
The more you spend on childcare, the more time you’ll have to actually work (during daylight hours).
The more you spend on household maintenance and care, the more free time you have to alleviate mom-guilt or simply enjoy life, thus inspiring a healthier head space for work.
The more you spend on a dedicated work or coworking space, the easier it is to do everything from printing and scanning to networking and collaborating.
But what about when you’re starting out? You’re strapped for cash or possibly just smart enough to NOT burn through your entire savings.
Look into reserving free work/ study rooms at the public library
Find free (or cheap) networking and industry events through social media
Start a childcare swap with friends, family, or neighbors
Enlist the help of your partner to double down on household care while you ramp up your earning potential (you’ll totally pick up the slack later, swear!)
Suck it up and spend — “invest” — what you need to in order to get yourself up and running. For example: that newer, faster computer.
Theses are all things I did my first year when money was tight and time was at a premium. And all of them pushed me forward on my freelance career path.
What are your must-haves for getting started?