How to become autonomous is one of the most common searches or goals we hear today. This is because there are many people with desires to take over their income, manage their own time and have the freedom to do what they like best.
“Do you work from home? Without a boss? What a delight! “… Answers like these are often heard when people ask me what I do and my answer is simple: I am a freelancer.
Yes, yes, I actually work and earn money from home , I do not have a boss, I manage my time as I see fit, I travel when I want, I do not get up early to take a bus, and if I feel like taking a nap after lunch I just do it …
In short … learning how to become autonomous has many points in favor.
But in this not everything is rosy. Why? Basically – and this happens mostly at the beginning – because it is hard for you to adapt to the idea of not having a salary and you wonder how you are going to assume your responsibilities, or because sometimes you do not know where to start or how to “sell yourself”.
How to become autonomous in a successful way
Learning how to become autonomous is not a simple job; On the contrary, it is a path of great work and personal effort that, today, I appreciate being doing.
Not only because I have the fortune to choose the job I really want to do and not the one I am imposed on, but because it has helped me to reinvent myself and discover passions that I did not even know I had.
But how have I managed to survive without dying in the attempt to be freelance? Based on my experience, I wanted to share these 10 tips that will be useful for you not to falter in the search of how to become autonomous.
Save what you can most
If you currently have a job and are thinking about taking the step towards work independence as a freelancer, this is a great recommendation:
Learn how to save money, at least 30% of your salary (if you can do more, much better) and put it in savings account that you never touch.
This will be a capital that will help you pay for your expenses during the first months while you discover how to become autonomous.
Once you start getting jobs, do the purpose of continuing with this saving. It may be difficult at the beginning and you do not have how to do it, but once you start to turn the wheel, do it!
Determine how much you want to earn and put a price on your work
I am not an expert in finance and am much less bookkeeper, but to put a price on my job, worked for me the next plan.
Investigate the market
Find out how much professionals in your professional field charge, as well as how much companies pay for the work you do.
You do not pay the same for programming a web page, for writing an article of 500 words or another of 3000 words, or for designing a logo.
In the search for how to become autonomous, a lot of research must be done to get an idea of how the market is doing.
Define an income goal
Establish what your income goal will be and determine how much work you need to do to achieve that aspiration. Having an objective of this type is fundamental to define how to generate new income.
The process of how to become autonomous requires that you take into account, within your salary aspiration, what you must pay within your social contributions, such as health, pension and, hopefully, layoffs.
Define how much your work time is worth
In case you go charging for hours, calculate how much your man/hour is worth. This mathematical exercise is very basic (again, I am not an accountant or financier), but it gives you an idea: take as a reference the gross amount of your last salary and divide it in 30 days.
Knowing how much your working day is worth, divide it in 8 hours and voilà … you will have an estimate of how much your work time is worth.
When you decide to work as a freelancer, virtual assistant, or independent worker, you are given the opportunity to be known throughout the world.
If you want to offer your services in another country, keep in mind that each market is different. Do not expect them to pay you the same, and for the same job, in Colombia, Argentina, Mexico or Spain.
Do not give your work, or do it at “egg price”
It is surprising to see how many self-employed workers perform jobs for absurdly low prices or even for free.
Should you do the same when you are looking for how to become autonomous? The answer is no. Do not think, even if you are starting, that you have to give away your work to get a client or that you should charge much less than what you set.
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Of course, everything is susceptible to negotiation and in this, there is always a constant pull and loosen, but it does not mean that you must deliver everything without receiving anything in return.
It is better that you dedicate efforts to satisfy a good client who pays you just and not that you wear out with those who pretend you do everything at “egg price”.
Being independent does not mean that others can think that you do not have economic aspirations. Your work and time are worth, so charges without it!
Use your contacts and do an intense marketing job:
Much of the success at the moment of becoming autonomous is in how contacts are used. Have you thought that maybe many people you have worked with may be needing your services, or can they recommend you to someone?
Take advantage of all those known and tell them what you do; In other words, do the marketing yourself, position your personal brand, “sell” and remind them that you are there.
I assure you that more than one will say: “Look, a friend is looking for …” or “Let me speak in my company because we are in need of someone like you”.
You will be surprised at the power of that voice to voice, especially if your acquaintances know the quality of professional you are.
Take advantage of social networks:
How to become autonomous requires that the person is made known among the target audience, and for that, social networks are a perfect ally. Here, some points to keep in mind:
Make the most of your LinkedIn profile:
Remember that being the social network of professionals par excellence, it is practically an obligation to be present in it.
Write the profile well, check that you do not make spelling mistakes, ask your acquaintances to recommend or certify your skills, publish your portfolio of work, etc.
In the same way, join groups related to your work field, make your contributions and take advantage to promote yourself.
Audit what you post on Facebook and Twitter:
Be careful with what you post on Facebook or Twitter, since the personal image you project there will speak of who you are. Make sure that if they look for you there, they get the best first impression.
If you prefer, create your own fan page as a professional and dedicate that space only to labor issues and to let you know.
In the same way, join groups of freelance professionals because there they share many contents, news of interest and, best of all, business opportunities.
Sign up for online platforms:
Undoubtedly work from home took the Internet completely and revolutionized the way of working.
When you are looking for how to become autonomous, a large number of virtual platforms can be found on the net: Fiverr, Nubelo, Workana, Upwork, or Freelancer, to name just a few that you can join to offer your services as an independent.
Investigate several of them and understand well how they work and the work dynamics they offer you. I do not tell you that you have to be at all (you would not have time), but I do recommend that you, at least, be part of two.
Be constant and persistent:
If you are looking to become autonomous in a virtual platform, the key to success, and to succeed in the job, is perseverance and perseverance.
It is normal to take a long time until someone trusts you and assigns you your first project. This, believe me, can be really frustrating. So you must have patience.
How to avoid losing patience, in the beginning, looking for clients:
– Do not give up when you see that your proposal was rejected. Cheer up! Check how you are presenting yourself and selling your service offer.
– Every day (yes, every day) review what new projects are available and send proposals. If you want to see results, you have to insist on the maximum and persist in the search. Rest assured that at some point, something happens.
– Be aware that achieving results and making money online takes time. You may be lucky and achieve your first project quickly but, from experience and from what I know of other self-employed workers, I know that this takes time.
– The positive side is that once you achieve it, it is easier for other potential customers to believe in your professionalism and hire you, thanks to the qualification and comment that that first client left on your work.
Do not stop learning:
The market for independent workers is so big that, yes or yes, we are obliged to stand out from the competition and get to the level of what the market is demanding.
Take advantage of the possibility of opportunities and manage the time at your leisure and take the opportunity to complete the program, photography or design course you wanted to do some time ago.
Look for online or face-to-face short courses that certify your skills. Update yourself, renew your knowledge and learn new things that will help you complement your work and broaden your work perspective. Remember that companies request more and more comprehensive and versatile profiles.
Discover what you’re good at:
One believes that knowing this is simple and even obvious, but the truth is that no. For this, it is essential that you find your purpose in life.
Do you know how to write very well? Do you translate to other languages? Are you a master in illustrator, who can design designs for printing business? Are you an incredible strategist? Do you design with great creativity? Do you run a computer program that only a few know?
Find your pros and strengthen yourself more in that and determine how to start facing your cons. Take advantage of these weaknesses to learn and diversify your service offer.
Set hours and be disciplined
Even if you do not have a boss, and you do not have to arrive at an office at 8 in the morning, get it in your head that your work is serious and that you also need to be strict with yourself.
Learn how to get up early and start working, keep your word with delivery times to which you commit and set a work schedule.
If you are not organized in this, you will end up working overtime (it has happened to me) or, sacrificing the weekend that you want to use so much to rest (it has also happened to me).
Do not listen to those who think that because you work from home, you do not work or do nothing.
I always say that the freelancer’s life is a daily struggle. For me, it has been a pleasant struggle thanks to which I have grown personally and professionally and I have learned a lot.
How to become autonomous is a job that requires perseverance, perseverance, a lot of strength, patience, and discipline.
A yes if you are someone who can not get out of bed, or you’re a couch potato or do you think that work will fall from heaven like manna without much effort, this is definitely not the job for you.
Are you part of the group of people who, like me, make a living as a freelancer? Do you have any other advice not to die in the attempt that you can share? I’m sure I do not know all of them.