Founder & Head Coach/CEO, The Funds2Orgs Group.
Millions of people in our country face unemployment, and the reality is that a lot of those jobs may not come back. Sure, the pandemic and shelter-at-home orders have hurt businesses and employees alike. However, many companies have likely discovered in the process that they could lower expenses by operating remotely, in whole or in part. As one Upwork study (via Inc.) found:
• 63% of companies have remote workers.
• 48% of businesses use freelancers.
The idea of remote work does not work for all businesses, but it does for some. And as it concerns the American worker, the more companies move toward remote working, the more the reality of work gets redefined. In other words, increasingly, I’ve seen a continuing trend of workers being responsible entirely for themselves as freelancers. Some writers expect that in the years ahead, more companies will move toward hiring remote freelance workers.
What does the shift in the nature of work in the U.S. mean for you? One of the things it means is that to remain competitive and continue working, you may want to consider starting a business.
Why You Should Consider Becoming A Freelancer Or Starting A Business
The year 2020 is momentous in many ways, but it’s also the year that more remote work became the norm. And that means that as business owners assess how to cut costs, payroll and office work are some of the areas they’ll review. For many businesses (although that is not what I do with my brands), there is a new attractiveness to having teams work remotely.
For instance, businesses could cut their operating expenses, such as rent and overhead. Specifically, companies could reconsider the workers in their offices and reclassify the nature of what they do to fit a remote work environment. If more companies move toward working with freelancers, that not only means they’ll have lower overhead costs, but it also means they’ll no longer need to cover health insurance. That means work and finding opportunities will become the sole responsibility of workers.
How To Start Getting Yourself Ready To Become A Freelancer Or Business Owner
As an entrepreneur, I will say that the idea of becoming a freelancer or business owner could be scary for some people. That’s OK. Just because you are afraid of something doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it. Again, a lot of the jobs lost during this economic downturn may not come back, especially as more employers lean into technology. So, you have a choice in your hands today. You could compete with millions of other people looking for any job, potentially with lower wages, or you could decide to take your work destiny into your own hands. I would choose the latter.
Shift Your Mindset To Start A Business Or Become A Freelancer
Before anything else, you have to change your mindset. As a business owner, you are the boss, but that also means that no one is going to do the work for you. And, it also means you have to figure out your path and stay on it, no matter what challenges come your way. You assume 100% of the risk, but you also reap 100% of the reward for being the leader in your life and changing how you decide to make money. As I’ve written about before, becoming a business owner means you have to master the art of self-reflection and action.
Understand What It Takes To Begin A Business
If you’ve never owned a business or been a freelancer, then you may not know the legal and fiscal issues involved. Therefore, it’s essential to do some investigating. Should you decide to become a freelancer, learn what that means and how to do it successfully. And, if you choose to create a business, an excellent place to begin is with resources from the Small Business Administration.
Once You Get Started, Remember That Promotion Is Essential
When you get your freelance venture or business running, you have to promote — always. Even if you get lucky by getting a stable account or two, you should never stop looking for new opportunities. While that could seem exhausting, it can be exciting if you think positively about it. So, as you develop your freelancing or your business, get immersed in learning how to promote what you do in the digital age. There are plenty of resources, including articles that explain how to write a book or create an online challenge to support your work.
Plan Long Term, But Work Short Term
One of the reasons I’ve seen a lot of people fail in business is because they see the long term, but then don’t realize that they have to take incremental steps along the way. There’s an adage that says that the journey of a thousand steps begins with the first step. It’s very accurate. You have to plan, but for success, you should create consistent small milestones of no more than 30–90 days. Create short-term goals continually to keep you challenged, motivated and successful as you build your business.
Finally, if you decide to take your work future entirely into your hands, I suggest getting immersed in the idea. Learn everything you have to every day from others who have achieved success. Make it a point to read books, listen to podcasts, join associations in your chosen industry and network effectively. Also, remember that building a thriving business takes time. Therefore, stay at it and make sure you remain agile. Business is full of uncertainty, and as an entrepreneur, you need to work with flexibility and an open mind.
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