Four Reasons Why You Should Start Freelancing On The Side

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You probably already know that the workforce today is much different than it was 50 years ago.

What’s one of the biggest differences?

For one, freelancers now make up 34%—that’s 53 million people—of the U.S. workforce, according to a a 2014 survey by Edelman Berland.

Some of these freelancers work in graphic design.

Some work in interior decorating.

Some work as photographers.

Some work as developers.

The opportunities and industries in which you will find a freelancer are plentiful. It’s what some are calling Freelance Nation. A group of independents from all across the globe who are taking control of their work lives and taking ownership of their hours.

But why are so many people making the move into the world of freelance?

Here are four of the reasons people are making this choice and why you might want to consider freelance as an option whether it’s on the side or a full time gig:

Personal Development

Entrepreneurship requires skills that you don’t always get to develop and exercise while working a 9 to 5. Some employers offer their employees the ability to take on lots of different responsibilities but entrepreneurship doesn’t give the option – it’s a necessity.

From time management to finances – the job of a freelancer is one of many hats. As a result, you will have the ability to do things that aren’t a part of the typical job description of your 9 to 5. The benefit of this diverse to-do list is that you gain new skills, perspective and can even improve some of things that you would never have the chance to do in your regular work day.

Related: Five Things I Learned Doing Freelance While Traveling Europe

New Business Relationships

While many folks despise the saying: It’s not what you know, it’s who you know. 

In business, this is a reality.

Your network is your networth.

You need to surround yourself with people who will be able to make introductions, give you referrals, make recommendations and potentially hire you – to ensure that your career is one of success and growth.

As a freelancer, you will build more connections with people as you will need to establish a client list. You will build strong relationships with these clients as you’re helping them tackle things that are very important to them. These relationships have the ability to open up new doors and opportunities for your career and life.

Increase Your Monthly Income

Working on Computer

What would you do with an extra $1,500 a month?

Maybe save for a trip? Maybe save for a down payment?

Launching a business on the side offers great benefits in the form of new relationships and personal development but it also offers an opportunity to make additional income.

Related: How To Launch A Freelance Business While Juggling The 9 to 5

Back Up Plan From The 9 to 5

Once upon a time a 9 to 5 meant security and long term employment. Since the recession, the idea of having one job from the time you start your career until you retire has gone to the wayside.

Studies show that it’s projected that over the next 50 years more and more people will be acquiring work on a short term basis rather than long term stints. Whether that’s a three month contract or renewable agreement as  a freelancer – the security isn’t what it once was with a 9 to 5.

As a freelancer, you have the ability to establish a business that arms you with capital and a back up plan in case your 9 to 5 doesn’t work out. As you build your business, your freelance business doesn’t just offer the opportunity to become a backup plan, it has the potential to replace your job entirely.

Conclusion

If you spend any time chatting with a freelancer, chances are you can pick up a few more things that they enjoy about the freelance lifestyle. A good friend of mine is a freelancer and he spends 6 months of the year working and the other six months travelling around the world.

Of course, there’s no way to guarantee success as a freelancer — the best thing you can do is take the time to invest in learning everything you can about the gig before you make the jump.

If you’re interested in becoming a freelancer, the Hustle Manifesto is a book that I’d definitely recommend starting with. It highlights some tried and tested methods for escaping the 9 to 5. Once I’ve read that, I’d partner it with 100 tips for making your first $100k as a freelancer.

Of course, it’s not a guarantee that you’ll make $100K but the tactics highlighted in this book have been implemented by some folks who have.

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