When I started doing the research for starting my own personal finance blog last June, my wife and I were house-sitting for a family in our church. I had been unemployed for six months and had a couple of weeks before I was to start my first post-graduation job as a bank teller (totally worth the thousands I spent to get a university degree by the way (that was a lie)). Even though we were living with my in-laws with no rent and my wife was working, being unemployed that long put me through the ringer emotionally.
I was beyond desperate, because after 6 months of trying to find a job in corporate finance, I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life. But I knew from my internship in the financial planning industry that I was passionate about personal finance, and I had been getting emails from Jeff Rose’s blog for quite a while, so I started doing some research.
A year later and I’m now making almost as much from my freelancing as I do from my main job (which is fortunately no longer a bank teller)–and I spend about a fourth of the time doing it. Say what?! That’s right. It’s delicious 🙂 I love freelancing.
Part of that is because I got a sweet gig to start out that has grown and grown way beyond what I originally thought, but I’ve also been able to add some more to my portfolio and I’m also expanding beyond personal finance, which has also been fun.
Doing what I love
The biggest thing for me on the freelancing is doing what I love–which is writing about my opinions on the things I’m passionate about. When I first branched out from this blog and started writing for the money, my articles kinda sucked because I became more focused on trying to do it as fast as possible to maximize my rate per hour. But eventually it got to the point where it wasn’t worth it anymore, so I started to take more time and get into the topics I was researching and writing. The funny thing is that now I spend less time than I was before, but I’m enjoying every moment of it because I’m doing it because I love it, not because I’m making bank.
Influencing people for good
I don’t expect everyone to agree with all of my opinions (if you don’t you’re a jerk), but I feel like there have been some things I’ve written about that have done a lot of good for people. For example, after I wrote my review of Republic Wireless a couple of months ago, I had 7-8 friends who made the switch and told me they loved it. Only one of them used my affiliate link**, but I’m still glad they did it because it’s giving them extra money every month to put toward other things that important to them.
And whether people agree with me on anything I say or not, at least I’m throwing ideas out there for people to consider. Maybe what I say isn’t the right way for you, but by reading my blog, you start thinking about it and find a better way. That’s pretty cool.
This one I don’t have yet because I’m still working my regular job during the day, but as I eventually get enough business where I can ditch my cubicle and do this full time, it’ll be nice to be able to work harder one day or week so I can take off without having to ask anyone like a six-year-old asking his mommy if he can go out and play after his chores are all done. Maybe I’ll write some other time about my hatred for the structured workday and paid time off another day, but just know that I find it a little bit patronizing in a lot of ways.
But it’s not just the freedom to take off to visit family for a week or two whenever I feel like it that I’m excited about. I’m also excited about the freedom to create whatever I feel is worthwhile and adds value. I don’t get that in my current job. And I doubt there are many corporate jobs where you can do this without some sort of governance or restrictions.
No, what I’m talking about is real creativity. Like my friend Alicia, who paints portraits of people’s animals in the coolest way I’ve ever seen, and is also currently writing a book, which I was privileged to be one of the preliminary readers–and it was awesome. Or my cousin Jessie, who can crochet just about anything. That’s pretty awesome, and I’m excited for that opportunity for myself.
Do you have experience with freelancing? What have been your likes and dislikes?
**p.s. Don’t feel bad if you don’t use my affiliate links. They’re obviously there to make me a little extra money on the side, but if you’d prefer not to, that’s cool.