The freelancing trend is growing in the Philippines. Working in your stressful job, not to mention, the horrible traffic after work might take its toll. (In your country it might not be a big deal, but wait until you drive along EDSA!).
Now, you started with freelancing. And have a couple of billable clients. When do you flip the table, quit your job, and become a full-time freelancer? How do you know if you’re ready for that leap of faith?
We are here to guide you through the process. Here are three things to prepare for before you become a Full-Time Freelancer.
Think Twice If You Really REALLY Want It
Online freelancing is a door to new possibilities. The location independence allows opportunities not available to traditional jobs. For one, you can work in the comforts of your home. The catch, the home can be in the Philippines, in Bali, in Tokyo. Name it. As long as there is a decent Internet connection, you can conquer the world.
As digital nomads, the common “saving up to travel in the future” can be “saving up while traveling”. A dream lifestyle for most Filipinos. For Parents who clamor for more time with their children, you can finally take care of them in their formative years.
But then, immediately quitting because you JUST hate your boss or you JUST hate traffic might leave you a life of regret after. You have to think everything through. Heck, you have to think TWICE if you really want it.
Do you just want to escape your current reality? Or do you have a passion you want to pursue? Running from your current reality should not be your sole reason. Although with perks, the life of freelancing is not exactly the overly romanticized wanderlust media is showing.
You have to tone down your expectations. Traveling might have you constantly packing your things to another place, living with no permanent address. On top of all, you are WORKING while traveling. It’s not a vacation all the time.
Do you really want that lifestyle? Try it for a few longer-than-usual trips to just get a hang of it. From there, gauge if you really want this lifestyle.
Find Something You Are Good At
Now that you answered, “Hell Yeah! I want to do this full time!” Do not immediately quit and fly to Vietnam. You have to build your skills and client base first.
Find services you can offer while on the road. Find something you are good at. Most freelancers didn’t start with skills where they can draw income online. But then, with so much online resources right now, most freelancers just learned through self-study. If they can do it, everyone can.
These are some highly in demand remote working skills you can take a look into. Try doing freelancing work first on the skills you’re good at. Focus on building that craft.
Right now, there are even platforms to help you acquire work. There is Upwork.com, Freelancing.com, Onlinejobs.ph. You can even check these 10 Websites to find your online gigs.
Financial Preparations Before You Quit
Congratulations on finding your niche service. You are raking the dough. You are working hard towards your goal. Do you quit your full-time job now? Not yet!
You have to prepare yourself financially for your new life. Freelancing is like a business. If you don’t have a financial system in place, you might get back to where you started. Or worse, be buried in the cycle of debt.
The first thing you need to do is strategize your budget towards your possible new lifestyle. This guide might help you in investing and saving for your retirement as a freelancer. Read this first.
It is important to note that you must have your 6 months of emergency funds now to handle any difficulties along the way. This emergency fund must be based on the budget of your new lifestyle, in case it will significantly change after you resign.
Next, create an additional buffer on top your emergency fund. These are funds that might be used when you don’t have enough clients yet to sustain your new lifestyle.
You must remember, back then you have a job income (Income A) plus freelance income (Income B).
Income A + Income B – Savings = Expenses (Fixed and Discretionary)
After adjusting your budget, if you take out Income A, would it suffice to cover your new budget? If not, that is the basis of your “buffer funds”. Multiply that amount to three months. For the next three months you will have:
Buffer Fund + Income B – Savings = Expenses (Fixed and Discretionary)
Work towards this goal until you can replace the buffer fund with more freelance income. You can add more “buffer fund” to be safe.
If you have enough recurring clients to support your new lifestyle, you may not be required to save up for a buffer fund.
Now, you are ready to embark on a new journey. Freelancing full time might be a scary leap of faith. But then, with proper preparation, you can smoothly transition to this dream lifestyle.
It may be hard, but it’s worth it.