A few months ago, I watched a news piece on PBS NewsHour that I found both shocking and inspirational. The segment’s primary goal was to announce a start-up company based in New York which offers office space that freelancers can rent to conduct business. The company’s name is WeWork.
As you may know, most freelancers – like myself – run their business from their home office.
While many people unaware of what it takes to build and maintain a successful freelancing business tend to believe that we freelancers only work a few hours a day – in our pajamas – and have little impact on the global economy, companies like WeWork understand the many challenges that freelancers face on a day-to-day basis.
But, WeWork is not the only thing about the news segment that I found surprising. The piece also mentioned that nearly 40% of the workforce in the United States is made up of us ‘solopreneurs.’ That’s quite impressive! After watching the segment, I got a little curious and decided to do some fact checking. Sure enough, I found many articles stating the same figure, including this one from Freelancers Union.
That statistic got me thinking: With so many people freelancing today, why does it seem like the average rate on job sites like Guru, Upwork, and Freelancer is so very low? What does the future freelance economy hold? Will more 9-5 work-a-holics turn to freelancing? Why?
Let’s face it, freelancing isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. It can be hard at times, and there’s no such thing as “steady income” unless you have several long-term clients. Not to mention the cost of insurance (health, vision, dental, and others) can be pretty high.
Aside from the tougher parts of freelancing, it also offers many benefits that working in the corporate world doesn’t offer. Many people may not understand this and only focus on the “negative” aspects of running your own business.
When I became a freelancer, I did it with one goal in mind: to provide the highest quality services I possibly can while earning a living and staying at home to raise my children. That’s my ‘why.’
Many people may suggest writing down your ‘why’ and posting it somewhere near your workstation as a constant reminder to help you push through the tough days and give you daily inspiration. Personally, I don’t need to do this, because I see my “why” in living form each and every morning.
What’s your ‘why?’
What are your thoughts on the future of the freelance economy?