It’s no secret that a large chunk of the public are fed up with their nine-to-fives.
That being said, the rise of digital nomads and freelancers is telling in terms of just how easy it is to make money online and drift away from the traditional office grind. Considering that just about anyone can come up with a money-making blog in mere minutes, it’s incredibly tempting to take the leap into the freelance lifestyle.
However, taking that leap is easier said than done. When traditional work is all you know, it’s difficult to walk away from financial security and added bonuses such as healthcare coverage.
Yet the productivity and happiness of digital nomads is impossible to deny. Whether you’re thinking of taking the leap yourself or simply want to make sure you have everything in order to start your own business online, consider the following four steps as essential to making a smooth transition out of the daily grind.
Have a Nest Egg
The biggest mistake that first-time freelancers and digital nomads make is not having a nest egg. In order to effectively start your own business or work remotely, you simply can’t afford to put yourself in “feast or famine” mode. In other words, don’t put yourself in a position where you’ll be in financial ruin or are forced to work for peanuts to stay afloat.
Hving a nest egg saved up from your current gig will give you peace of mind when it comes to finding opportunities for higher-paying clients instead of settling for the bottom of the barrel. Likewise, you can avoid stressing out if you have a slow week or one of your regular clients ends up going ghost on you. The more you have saved up, the more freedom you allow yourself to grow.
Therefore, don’t leave your current job without having at least a few months’ expenses covered at the bare minimum. Ideally, someone else such as a spouse or family member can help support you as you get started, but certainly don’t rely on such relationships to prop you up for the long-term.
Don’t Burn Your Bridges
While it may be tempting to say “take this job and shove it,” burning your bridges when leaving your current gig is an absolute no-no. After all, you may need a reference from your colleagues down the line. Likewise, such relationships may help you network to find new freelance clients in the future or represent a back-up gig if things go sour.
Find a Mentor
Whether it’s a former colleague or a business mentor online, having someone to help you hash out your ideas and understand where to take your solo venture can help give you peace of mind. Especially when starting out, finding a mentor to provide tidbits of guidance can help you grow your business versus stagnating.
Never Stop Prospecting
Beyond not having a nest egg, another common mistake of freelancers and digital nomads is the belief that one or two clients is enough. For better or worse, freelancers must constantly be prospecting for new work for the following reasons:
- By sticking to only one or two clients, consider how much your income is slashed if one of your current streams of revenue is suddenly cut off
- If you only stick to the same base of clients, it’s more difficult to raise rates for your services for the long-term
- Your skills may stagnate if you don’t work to diversify and evolve your client-base
Being your own boss and adopting the digital nomad lifestyle requires discipline. Thankfully, you can work for yourself granted you understand the realities of freelance work and the nature of such business. While it may not all be fun and games, it’s an incredibly rewarding lifestyle for those willing to take the leap.