Before I get to how my transition to freelance was easier than most, I’ll step up on my soapbox. My first tip to anyone who is considering going freelance (or take any risk in your career) is to build up your Freedom (or FU) Fund. At its baseline, money is choice. If you have $1, you can: spend it, save it, invest it, or donate it. You have the choice of how to use your money. At the next level, money is freedom. When you have a freedom fund, you can leave a toxic job, relationship, or lifestyle. You have the freedom to take more financial risks. Okay, onto freelancing!
In February 2017, I made the official leap from full-time employment to the freelance life. Here are three things that made that transition easier.
1 – I turned my last full-time job into my first client.
I loved my last full-time job. I wanted to keep my clients but work half the time. It turned out to be a win-win for my agency and me. My biggest client was about a year out of retirement (or commencement as he liked to call it). I would stay on that project and spend the next year transitioning all my other projects. It gave me predictable income and very little admin, like onboarding a new client.
2 – I hired a career coach.
Investing in a career coach, Katy Flatau, was scary at first (it was a big commitment and a good chunk of change as I was reducing my income) but it one of my best investments. Katy’s positive energy was a perfect balance to fear. Katy encouraged me to emotionally disconnect and leave on incredible terms. Katy also led a March webinar for us, Dream Bigger: Your 10-Year Career Strategy.
3 – I surrounded myself with other freelancers.
I quickly found some great mentors, threw myself into planning Freelance Business Week, and joined communities like The Riveter, RISE, TARRA, and Denver Marketing Mavens.
One thing that I wished I had more help with was understanding my numbers as a self-employed woman. I feel like it’s something that I will always be improving and learning. This is why The Pledgettes is committed to hosting events specific to the self-employed woman. Head over to our events page and check out our upcoming events and join us!