#ReadyAimPodcast Episode 8: The Freelance Economy

The American dream has always been about independence and financial freedom.  The freedom to do what you want, when you want, where you do it and with who you do it with.  Of course having financial independence is a must and certainly makes your experiences that much more enjoyable.

 

In celebration of National Small Business Week, I take pride in being part of the American Dream.  Where everyday, I wake up at the crack of dawn, put on my suit of armor, plot out my day and work hard, smart and with a lot of creative juice to conquer and move forward!  Small businesses like mine make up more than 95% of all businesses in America, employ more than half of the entire workforce and create most of the jobs in our economy.  So we should be celebrated!

 

However, many Americans found out the hard way that it ain’t easy being on your own and doing your own thing as a solo entrepreneur.  Regulations, start up costs, finding customers, paying bills, hiring employees, paying your taxes, paying yourself, these are just some of the challenges that come with being your own boss in your own business.  The buck stops with you.

 

If it is to be, it's up to me! - John Kai Click To Tweet

 

After the Great recession of 2009-2010, many of the gainfully employed were suddenly unemployed. Most of these folks did make it back into the normal economy, the JOB, the 9-5, the salary.  Many are “underemployed” but getting by.  For the brave few, they decided to give up on the conventional way of doing things and struck out on their own to do their own thing as an entrepreneur.  They made the leap and jumped right into the “Freelance Economy”.  Honestly, most prefer to be called “Self-Employed” and I actually like that better.  Sounds more substantial and less hipster-ish.

 

Hanging out your shingle and actually succeeding are two completely different things.  And the one thing that separates the fakers from the playmakers is having your mind right.  The right mindset is critical.  See this infographic courtesy of Rudebaguette.com.

 

This trend of the Freelance Economy is not going to change anytime soon.  Freedom is what we all enjoy and strive for and going back to work for “the Man” in a cubicle farm is the last thing I would ever consider doing after being on my own for over 20 years.

 

Ubiquitous high speed Internet access and powerful mobile computing tools are making it so easy for people to leave the old office business model and to a more location-independent lifestyle.

 

Our lawmakers need to understand this trend and support the growth of the solo-entrepreneur “new normal”.  It’s time for Federal, State and County governing bodies to update policies that reflect this evolving workforce.  Access to broadband and emerging technologies are the driver of this trend.  Financial and lifestyle freedom are the carrots.

 

This trend is the reason why “net neutrality” and an open internet for all is such a hot topic in the small business community.  Widespread broadband access across the country is also very vital to the fostering of growth and recognizing this new normal.

 

Traditional lending has not been able to keep up with the Freelance Economy.  That is why outfits like Kickstarter, LendingClub and Square Capital are filling the void and actually loaning money to small businesses that have always been shunned by traditional bankers. #DitchBanks

 

It is a great time to start a business and strike out on your own in America today.  March to the beat of your own drum, be yourself, find a niche and fill it or find the pain and erase it.  #DitchBanks

 

Below is a list of three companies that can help you get off your ass and into your own gig.  Start something today and check these companies out.

 

Fiverr.com is a global online marketplace offering tasks and services, beginning at a cost of $5 per job performed, from which it gets its name. The site is primarily used by freelancers who use Fiverr to offer a variety of different services to customers worldwide.  You can basically find somebody that will do a gig for you for $5 and up.  You could do the same if you desire.

 

For example, for a fiverr ($5 bucks, get it) you can:

  • Have someone record a dry UK british male voice over.
  • Or have someone write a 500 word short-story about you or your topic.
  • Have someone critique your website.
  • Design your text or name with Pez candies.
  • Promote and market your business on their blog.
  • Edit your podcast.  < Wait a minute! I could totally use this service.

 

It’s a great way to save some time and expand your network for a Fiverr and up.

 

Upwork, is the combined company of odesk.com and elance.com.  Upwork is a global online work platform where independent professionals connect and collaborate remotely to work on projects. Upwork allows clients to interview, hire and work with freelancers and agencies from around the globe.

Prospective clients can post jobs or projects and freelancers will bid on the job.  All payments are made through the company itself, which keeps a 10% finders fee for payment.  Funds are transferred into the contractors account after work has been initiated.  They have over 9 million registered freelancers and 4 million registered clients that use the service.  Annually, over 3 million jobs are posted and the work done annually over $1 Billion.  Upwork is the combined company of oDesk and eLance and is the largest

 

99designs.com is another freelancers marketplace.  They create products by crowdsourcing. Customers can solicit designers to submit designs for contests to create products such as logo designs, packaging and collateral materials for your business, website designs, clothing & apparel, book cover designs, creation of a Mobile app and more.  The pricing is dependent on the project that you submit.

For example a logo design starts at $299.  You start by filling a design brief and how much you want to pay.  Next you submit your project in a design contest and after 7 days you will have a ton of ideas to choose from.  I’ve used them in the past and it works very well.  I’ll likely use them for a mobile app idea that I have.

 

WPCurve provides you wit 24/7 access to WordPress developers and programmers to help you fix any issues that arise with your WordPress blog.  The service is available for a monthly fee of $99 with a 3-month minimum and they will work with you to solve your HTML, CSS and design issues that is the #1 challenge for most bloggers.  I have used the services of WPCurve exclusively to help me with the relaunch of the Hilohub.com blRAP008-