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Making The Transition To Self Employment | Freelance Sprout | Find, Start, and Grow Your Dream Freelance Business
Read the six part series on creating a freelance business plan
 

Making The Transition To Self Employment

Date January 30, 2009


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There are many people that have the ability or talent to be successfully self employed, so why aren’t more people doing it? Working as a freelancer often comes with many perks that other people envy, however most people don’t realize the struggle it takes to transition from working full time for someone else to working full time for yourself. There are not many people who have the opportunity to quit their day job and pool all their energies into following their dreams and starting a new business. While this is certainly not the only roadblock keeping people stuck in their “day” jobs, it is one that causes many freelancers to quit before they find success.

It is common to start out freelancing on the side while working your regular job. In the beginning most people are so excited about the fact that they are pursuing something they are passionate about that the long hours don’t phase them. Since work doesn’t feel like “work” during this phase; it is advised you use this motivation to the greatest advantage. It is during this period of time that you should work out a rough business plan with both short and long term goals. Most people find as time goes by that there is little time left for anything else in their life as they pick up more hours working as a freelancer as they work toward getting their business going full time. By taking that initital burst of energy to establish your goals and set a routine that you can follow, you will be in a better position when your mind and body begin to reject working 24-7, which it will inevitably do. Success freelancers learn the importance of taking time off completely from projects to rest and rejuvenate, otherwise burn out can happen quickly.

Ideas for managing your time more effectively

As your schedule becomes more and more hectic which is bound to happen as you work tirelessly toward your end goal, effective time management is key.

  • Employment/Schedule- Ideally you will have an understanding boss who is completely in your corner and supportive of your new venture. In reality your boss will likely not appreciate it if you your new venture causes lack of productivity at your current job. If your boss is flexible you may be able to negotiate a change in your work day or flexible hours as long as you are able to meet your current employment requirements. Depending on your job you may be able to start earlier in the day to devote more time toward your freelancing in the second half of the day, telecommute, or slowly reduce your hours as you make the transition. If you don’t have that flexibility now you may want to look for a job that affords it, even if you take a pay cut. It is important to have the time to grow your business if you are serious about doing it full time.

  • Make the most of your time- When there are not enough hours in the day to begin with you must make the most of the time you have. If you have a lunch break at work, skip going out with your co-workers and pack a lunch instead. You can use the first 20-30 minutes to eat your lunch and the second half hour to get some work done. It may seem like a little bit of time but when time is of the essence every little bit counts. Many people making the switch will either get up an hour early or stay up an hour late and as long as you are able to be productive in that time, it is worth it. If you find you are spinning your wheels, either change direction or take a break to ensure you are not wasting precious hours getting nothing done. It is important to know when to call it quits and recharge.

  • Avoid distractions- It is entirely too easy to lose hours of time being distracted by things like the internet, email, phone calls, TV and your friends. Some of these things may be especially difficult depending on the type of work you are doing, if you must be online for research or other things it is possible to get sidetracked and lose minutes or more before you realize you are off track. Some people find it helpful to keep a time/activity log which helps track how much you get done in a certain period of time.

Striking out on your own is rarely easy however if you are determined to make it work and are willing to put forth the effort to make your business successful the rewards are well worth the effort.

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Related posts:

  1. Self-Imposed Stress for the Self-Employed
  2. In or out? Working at and away from home
  3. 8 Freelance Startup Entry Plans

One Response to “Making The Transition To Self Employment”

  1. blackbv said:

    Thank you for your submission to the Small and Home Business blog carnival.

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