The siren song of freelancing has compelled many — the chance to create your own hours, be your own boss, and work from anywhere in the world. And while freelancing certainly has its perks, it’s not all rainbows and butterflies. To be a successful freelancer, there are certain things you need to have — something that might not be immediately obvious. Here are five:
#1 A Strong Work Ethic
There is no ceiling to how much you can earn as a freelancer; your earnings are directly proportional to your effort. This means that you won’t be successful as a freelancer if you’re not willing to put in the work. That’s why you need to have a strong work ethic and be self-motivated to make freelancing work for you.
If you’re not used to working long hours or being your own boss, it can be tough to adjust at first. But it’s important to remember that you’re in control of your career, and the more effort you put in, the more rewards you’ll reap. After all, no one will push you to succeed except for yourself.
So if you’re serious about making freelancing work for you, ensure you have the work ethic to match. It’ll sometimes be challenging, but it’s worth it in the end. Channel everything you’ve learned in school and in the corporate world to be the best freelancer you can be!
#2 A Retirement Plan
When you’re self-employed, you’re responsible for saving for your retirement. One option is to contribute to a traditional Individual Retirement Account (IRA) or a Roth IRA. You can also set up a solo 401(k) plan if you’re the only person working for your freelancing business or a Simplified Employee Pension (SEP) IRA if you have employees.
If you’re unsure how much you should save for retirement, a good rule of thumb is to set aside 10-15% of your income. However, this may vary depending on factors such as your age and how much debt you have. No matter how much you save, starting as early as possible is essential so that your money has time to grow.
#3 Comprehensive Health Coverage
If you’re freelancing full-time, you won’t have an employer who can provide you with the usual employee benefits. This means that you’ll need to get your own health insurance coverage. There are several ways to do this, such as buying an individual health insurance policy or getting covered through a spouse’s or parent’s policy.
Make sure that your health insurance covers dental, vision, and prescriptions. You should also consider getting a health savings account (HSA) to help you save for medical expenses. This way, if you ever need to get dental implants for missing teeth or Lasik surgery for your eyes, you’ll be covered.
Aside from buying a policy, you can also consider joining a professional organization offering members health insurance. Whichever way you choose, make sure you have comprehensive health coverage so you can be prepared for anything.
#4 Access to Tools and Software
One of the great things about freelancing is that you can work from anywhere in the world — as long as you have a reliable internet connection. But to work efficiently, you’ll need more than just an internet connection; you’ll also need access to the right tools and software for your job.
For example, if you’re a web developer, you’ll need a code editor like Sublime Text and a reliable FTP client like FileZilla. Or, if you’re a graphic designer, you’ll need a vector editing program like Adobe Illustrator. The bottom line is that you need to have the right tools and software for your job; otherwise, you won’t be able to work effectively.
#5 A Good Support System
Working as a freelancer has perks like flexible hours and control over your earnings, but it can also be incredibly lonely sometimes. That’s why you need to have a good support system, which can include friends, family, or even a group of freelancers you can connect with online or in person.
But never fear; there are ways to combat this feeling of isolation. First, you could try to work in a shared space like a co-working office or coffee shop instead of at home. You can also join online communities or meetups for freelancers in your area. These things will help you feel less alone and more connected to others.
Moreover, you shouldn’t put your social life on the back burner just because you’re working from home. Make sure to schedule time for friends and family, and take breaks during the day to get out of the house and do something fun. A good support system is essential for any freelancer, so don’t underestimate the importance of this one.
Freelancing can be a great way to have more freedom and control over your career, but it’s not suitable for everyone. So, if you want to make it work for you, start with these five things. Once they are in place, you’ll be on your way to a successful and fulfilling freelance career.