Step into Remote Freelancing
By Guest Author: Tannia Suárez and Erin Booth
Have Realistic Expectations
People often ask us how we transitioned to virtual freelancing. The truth is, it took us several years to hit our stride, and we are still learning. In our experience, the key to a smooth transition is being realistic.
Being realistic and prepared can help you avoid costly mistakes and unnecessary stress. Below, are some of our top eye-opening, sometimes mind-blowing, gems we’ve learned along the way.
Take a long, hard look at your budget. Figure out how much money you need to make in order to at least break even.
Now, be real. Chances are you won’t make that in the first few months, maybe not even the first year, especially if you are leaving a steady job with benefits. But remember that you really want this, and find a way to make it work!
When we started out, we decided to move to a smaller, less expensive apartment, downsize to a single car, and make some serious changes to our spending habits (coffees, shopping, restaurants). Decreasing expenses majorly helped us break even faster.
Think of it as a trade-off for a lifestyle that affords you more time with your family, freedom to travel, or whatever your reason may be for working remotely.
One of the most jarring changes of making the transition into the freelance world is that you will no longer have a steady paycheck. Are you financially prepared for the income fluctuations that are inevitable as a freelancer?
This may seem like common sense, but think of it as a friendly reminder. Having a plan can help decrease financial stress, which allows you to maintain your focus on growing your virtual business.
Would you go skydiving without a parachute? Of course not, because you are smart. In the same way, don’t take a professional leap without a safety net.
Years ago, we were barely one month into our remote life when the company I worked for at the time shut down overnight. Fortunately, we had enough in savings to account for this type of emergency, so I was able to focus my energy into rethinking my business strategy and finding clients.
We recommend having at least 6 months worth of expenses set aside just in case. If that seems unattainable, consider sources of supplemental income, or in millennial speak, side hustles.
Keep your overhead expenses to a minimum and think about what you can realistically handle. For example, if you pay for an ad to run somewhere and you get 500 requests, can you handle that demand?
Beyond materials and marketing, use the free versions of virtual tools before you buy them. Think about it like test-driving a car before you commit to the monthly payments.
That sports car might look good, but you may actually need the practicality of an SUV for your everyday life. In the same way, make sure the app or software truly suits your daily needs.
Decide Where You Work Best
Have a plan ahead of time. I work best fully dressed, cup of coffee in hand, at a table that faces an open window. Others work best from a dedicated office space. Maybe PJs and the couch is your jam. Whatever the space and attire, make an effort to figure out where you are most productive.
Working remotely is awesome, but not without its challenges. Luckily, remote workers have a huge online presence, and we almost all love sharing our tips and resources. So, remember to be realistic and research everything. Subscribe at RemoteWorkGuides.com to receive our pearls of wisdom directly to your inbox.
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