In the past decade, the world of work has totally changed. Remote working used to be something only experienced by the minority, and working from home was seen as a privilege afforded to people who had proven to their boss that they could be trusted.
Yet now, people are actively looking for employment opportunities that enable them to earn money for themselves and work from anywhere in the world. As such, the gig economy is expected to more than double in revenue between 2018 and 2023, as more and more people seek to offer their services as freelancers.
So, what does it take to change your mindset and think like a freelancer? How can you motivate yourself to stay at home and complete enough work to support your family? We believe there are two key aspects to starting a freelance career from home. The first is mindset, and the second is offer. We will explore both of these in detail in this post.
How to adopt the mindset of a freelancer.
When planning your life as a freelancer, the first thing you need to do is adapt your mindset to a new way of working. What do we mean by this? Well, traditionally, your home is your place of sanctuary where you relax with family and friends, whereas your office is somewhere you commute to in order to earn money.
As a freelancer, this concept of home and work is distorted, and you find that you now have to dedicate a part of your home to earning money and being productive. Many freelancers struggle with this in the early days, and the temptation to flick on the Xbox or watch TV is often too difficult to resist.
It’s important that you dedicate a part of your home to be your workspace. This can be the shed at the bottom of the garden, the kitchen table, or the spare bedroom, but it needs to be a space free from distractions where you can focus on completing your work. If you don’t separate your workspace from your leisure space, it will be difficult to be productive at home.
You also need to think carefully about time management when you’re working from home. It’s helpful to develop a routine that isn’t too dissimilar to that of an office job. For instance, getting up in time to have breakfast, chat with the kids before school, and heading to your designated workspace before 9 am is an excellent way to start the day. If you don’t make an effort to get up and be productive, you will struggle to adapt to the mindset of a freelancer.
Another vital consideration is how you think about your work from home. When working in the office, many people see what they can ‘get away with’ and often try and shirk away from laborious tasks. When you’re a freelancer, you need to be totally focused and take responsibility for your work. If you don’t, there won’t be anyone to pick up the pieces and motivate you.
How to articulate your offer as a freelancer working from home.
Some people think that freelancing is only for super-talented software engineers who spend the whole day writing code for complex computer programs. This couldn’t be further from the truth. If anyone truly put their mind to it, they would realize that they could earn money as a freelancer. The key is to work out your offer and be clear about how you’re going to make money.
We appreciate that’s easier said than done, but everyone is good at something. In the present day, freelancing opportunities abound for talented writers, photographers, administrators, web developers, and so on.
Many of the skills that you’ve put to use in an office setting can be applied to your freelance career; you just need to think differently about how to frame your offer. For instance, if you’ve held down a position as an office administrator, carrying out tasks like scheduling appointments, responding to email enquiries, and processing data, you could almost certainly find opportunities to do something similar as a freelancer.
‘Virtual Assistants’ are becoming increasingly sought after, as online entrepreneurs are looking for help running their businesses remotely. Your transferrable office skills all of a sudden become extremely valuable to an entrepreneur that needs your experience, and you can set your own hourly rate before agreeing to take on any work.
When you start looking at your skills objectively, you begin to realize that you’re not an ‘office administrator,’ rather you’re a person that is skilled in typing, organizing, communicating, and transcribing. Each one of those skills can then be used to build your portfolio as a freelancer without being beholden to one specific role or company.
What’s more, freelancing isn’t just about selling your skills. You can also sell physical products that you can make at home. Many entrepreneurs sell crafts, cookies and cakes, clothing, and even artwork. Again, when you think about your talents from a broader perspective, you will begin to realize that there’s so much potential to monetize your skills and hobbies.
When you’ve taken stock of your skills and abilities, you are then able to articulate your offer. Frankly, it could be several offers; many freelancers make money from a number of their talents, so there’s nothing stopping you from doing the same.
You’re now ready to begin your freelance career.
Like with so many things in life, freelancing is possible when you put your mind to it. We’re certainly not saying it’s easy, but it’s definitely achievable. You just need to think differently about work and look at your skills in a new light.
When you have adopted the mindset of a freelancer and worked out your offer, you’re all set and ready to go. Don’t forget that freelancing is a journey, and it will take you a while to get settled, but it’s definitely worth it when you start bringing in business and working for yourself.