If I had known 10 years ago how easy it was going to be to become a freelancer well, geez. I would have started way back then. Shoulda coulda woulda didn’t. I know now and man, let me tell ya, what a sweet life. I can’t even believe this is my life on any given day. No really.
I wake up, look over my balcony at volcanoes and a lake and I’m surrounded by lush mountains and butterflies and hummingbirds and oh……..my ………..God, pinch me I must be dreaming. And it’s nice and warm, every day. Every single day. Not scorching hot, just nice and warm.
You see, becoming a freelancer allowed me to do two things I always wanted to do:
- Quit my crappy job as a hairstylist in a salon (run by the spawn of Satan) in a mall, and
- Leave my snowy home back in Northern Ontario, Canada and take my few belongings and my money machine, er, I mean my laptop and plant my sun loving butt in Guatemala.
How did this even happen? Sometimes I still sit and think, “wow that happened fast” but wait, how on earth did that happen so fast? I mean it seems like just yesterday I was holding a pair of shears in my hand and solving Sally’s problems while cutting her hair. And here I am now, sitting in a treehouse in Guatemala in shorts and a tank top (meanwhile back home it’s -25?) So how did this happen, I mean really?
Like this: 5 ways to become a freelancer
I did some poking around.
I mean, good God, the internet is fantastic! What are people doing? How are they doing it? What do I have to do to be like them (well not exactly like them but like them). There were writers and virtual assistants and graphic designers, book cover designers, editors. Omgosh the possibilities were ENDless! Pages and pages and sites and sites full of jobs and ideas. Where the hell have I been?
What am I good at?
Do you have talents that you can actually monetize? Who knew you could get paid to write? I had no clue. I write and write and people will actually pay me to do that? Geezus. Sign me up. A little more poking around and I found out that I needed to start writing for free for awhile. Cool. I can do that. I don’t mind that at all. Maybe the rules are different for other gigs but I doubt it. Go poke around. It’s kinda fun actually.
Be prepared for rejection.
Ok wait, I should rephrase that and say make sure you have thick skin. As you submit free stuff, not everyone is going to accept it. (oh wait, ok this doesn’t really qualify as a way to become a freelancer, more like a warning) All this rejection is really good for you (ya right). No really. It makes you practice and perfect your craft so somebody really big will hire you (which is what happened to me, yippee!!)
Free gigs + persistence=jobs.
Keep sending free gigs to prospective clients. You have to be really persistent and determined here. Like don’t get frustrated and give up and I know you’re going to want to. Please don’t. Keep at it. You are good at what you do. Practice, get better, keep sending your stuff for free, get your name out there, connect and then whammo. You will land a job or two. If you’re lucky it might be the big break you have been looking for (I wasn’t that lucky right away).
Write it out.
Your goal, your dream, your desire, whatever the hell it is you want. I had it written out on a big neon pink bristle board on my dining room wall *Retired from my day j.o.b. by July of 2015 and a full time freelance writer*. Guess what? It actually happened, just like that.
By July I handed in my resignation at the salon I worked at. What freedom. I saw that date on my board every single day. I looked at, felt it, believed it, damn I could almost smell it I wanted it so bad. Write it out and look at it. Every single day!!
See how easy that is? Really. That’s all it took. Determination, a dream, a desire and patience. My freelancing career has been good to me and I have one steady client that I absolutely adore. My work now involves some social media managing (you pick up new skills along the way, right?) and it has offered me a life of freedom. I am pretty much free to work anywhere in the world I want, which is exactly what I wanted. My destination of choice was Guatemala. Who knows where next year will have me travel to.
So tell me, how bad do you want to be a freelancer and live the life of your dreams?
Hey, excuse me, could you please pinch me again? Just to make sure this really is my life.
Peace and Love
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