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Top freelancers explain why they chose to do freelance gig over a regular 9 to 5 job.

Here's the reason why more and more are joining the work at home community.

Freelancing versus a regular 9 to 5 job.
Freelancing.
It could be about copywriting, email marketing, social media management. A business strategist, a lead generation expert, and SEO expert. A web developer, graphic designer, and an article writer.
You may be an expert in your chosen niche. Or a skilled person that helps business owners scale their business.
Whatever that may be. Freelancing is a great way to leverage your skills.
It is one of the best decisions I ever made.
Many people are still not convinced of how it can help them. The same reasons why some employees still prefer the security of working on a company.
Freelancing is a big challenge, especially for a newbie. That’s why I reached out to these top freelancers, all experts in their chosen field, and asked them one thing:
“Why did you choose freelancing over a regular 9-5 job?”

Mary Anne Dela Cruz.

Instagram Engagement Strategist/ Lead Generation Chatbot Messenger Builder at Annestoppable / FacebookInstagram

Freelancing gives me an opportunity to showcase my other skills aside from teaching and mentoring teachers. I am happy to see business owners grow their business through my skills. It gives me a chance to earn on the side. I enjoy the flexibility and freedom it gives me. It also gives me a sense of accomplishment at the end of the day.

Carlo Mercado.

Author, Wealth Coach at Carlo Mercado – Common Cents / Facebook

First off, let me begin by saying that it was not a natural choice.

Although we all know freelancing gives us time freedom, many still choose the “security” of a month-on-month paycheck, over a no-work-no-pay life.

Every freelancer, especially those who came from corporate, would know that it does not happen like a flick of a switch – where you waked up one day and decided to quit your job and do freelancing.

Some were laid off and had no choice. Moms wanted to have more time with their kids.

Some were burned out from employment and decided just to fuck it.

I’m one of them.

Freelancing free up some of my time. So I could focus on building an “experts” business. I tell myself that I’d earn money while growing my business because it freed some of my time (which I don’t get from corporate).

Freelancing was the key for that.

Although I am a freelancer right now who take client work (a financial advisor to be exact), people also see me as an expert in the personal finance niche behind the Common Cents brand (at least that’s what I think). And I’d have to thank freelancing for giving me the time freedom to focus on building that brand.

And of course, I thank the fantastic community of freelancers for the unending support. It’s amazing.

To end…

I want you to know that I didn’t jump to freelancing because I saw the grass was greener on this side of the fence. I think we can all agree that that’s not the case for most freelancers.

At least it was not right for me when I started.

So for those who are thinking of shifting to freelancing just because the money is here:

Yes, the grass CAN be greener on this side of the fence. But only if you water them. We all start with an empty lawn.

Ann Kristine A. Peñaredondo.

Facebook Marketing Strategist for Entrepreneurs and Experts, Blogger, Social Media Engineer at Anne Kristine; Podcaster at The Joy and Ann Show / Facebook

Why did I choose to freelance, mainly providing Facebook Marketing to business owners, as my chosen career?

Why not? This was not possible 15 years ago. I bet my parents (and yours) will take this opportunity, too, when this was available.

This career allows me to:

  1. Work with the people that I want to. Not that I am an anti-social, but I’ve had enough of office mates who want to suck your blood every day. I am a person who wished to not only to get my work done; I want to make a difference. And if someone in the office isn’t keen on doing that, then I won’t mind being a digital entrepreneur.
  2. Hyperfocus on a skill that you want to study and where you want to earn. One of my mentors recently told me, “Ann, if you’re working on social, but you’re serving people mostly on Facebook, isn’t it better to focus on studying and serving business owners do Facebook Marketing since you’re so great at it?” What a lightbulb moment.

Freelancing will give you an opportunity to:

  1. Earn different currencies without leaving our Motherland. I have relatives and friends who are Overseas Filipino Workers. I have seen its domestic and social effects first-hand. I don’t believe there are not many opportunities in the country. It’s how you look at things. It’s about time Overseas Filipino Workers be ONLINE Filipino Workers, indeed!
  2. Have a life – Just in case going to an office is not what you see yourself doing until your 60. And for crying out loud, life is short! And for singles like me: you’d have more time to meet a lot of people because you could expand your network much, much better. Wink wink.
  3. Become a better student. If I do not improve my skills, the Facebook marketing of my clients will suffer. Their leads will compensate. It’s a domino effect; everyone will be in trouble. This career made me more responsible for what I learn so I could become better.

Julian Canita.

Facebook Advertising Strategist at JCan Online Marketing / TwitterFacebook

To be honest, out of the many excellent reasons, I chose freelancing because I didn’t want to cap my income potential.

What does that mean?

If you’re employed, and there is no commission or incentive scheme, that means client probably pays you regardless of the work you do.

Meaning, the more work you do, the less of value your service is. In fact, in some companies, you’ll be rewarded with more work.

With freelancing, your income increases as your workload increases and as your skill set improves.

Compare earning 30,000 (my average monthly salary in the hotel before) regardless of whether it is peak season or not vs earning 25,000 to 50,000 PER CLIENT PER MONTH…

Sergio Benoya.

Social Media Strategist for Life & Business Coaches and Entrepreneurs / FacebookLinkedIn

Four things that made me pursue freelancing: Time, Money, Family, & Autonomy.

While I was working in corporate, I used to commute 3-4 hours a day from the house to our office. That’s 3-4 hours spent daily in traffic, instead of learning a new skill, starting a new business venture, having quality time with my family, or playing with my pet fish, Fishy. I usually missed birthday celebrations, out-of-town holidays, and important family gatherings just because my leave wasn’t approved by my boss.

I was NOT the one in control of my OWN time but the company.

As you already know, time is the most valuable resource we humans have and the quality of life we enjoy usually boils down to how WELL we spend our time and with WHOM.

Freelancing made it possible for me and others to work from literally anywhere (as long as there’s internet) at our own time.

Want to have a 15-hour work week while quadrupling your current income? Learn how to become a VA, a social media marketer, a copywriter, a web developer, or any other freelancing skill. Specialize in something you’re good at while having fun at the same time. Once you’ve found your soul mate client, focus on delivering him/her quality results.

And then watch how much time and money you will have for your family while working anywhere, anytime.

Anne Yu.

Creative Artist / Content Marketing Professional at Anne Yu Media / LinkedInFacebook

I decided to quit my job as a junior multimedia artist in 2002 because I was pregnant and decided I want to be a full-time mom. Not a month after, I got a gig designing interactive CDs which doubled as trainee’s ID for a maritime institute, and that made me realize I can keep doing this instead.

I looked online where I could find clients, and I came across ODesk.

It’s this realization that anything you’ve been doing great at, has the potential to grow beyond its limits.

Freelancing is a stepping stone; several steps up the ladder in fact. I had always been interested in personal development. But mostly spiritual evolution. A year ago, after attending a 2-day training seminar with Dr. Mel Gill (the author of the Meta Secret) that I discovered how your reality in life could be changed the way a spiritual state is evolved. And that what I’ve been studying relates to the mundane realities of making money, propelling your career or conquering a new venture.

Freelancing is the best training ground to be a solopreneur. Whatever you may be good at, you’d have a better chance of mastering it and growing it into a business by freelancing it initially. It takes your given skills and guts, nothing more.

I started without a portfolio so eliminate that from the list of what’s holding you back.

AnneYuMedia is an example; it’s the culmination of my freelancing career that I’m going to launch very soon. You could see how the site will build up and I never wanted to hide the initial lack of content so that anyone could see how everything starts small and at times lacking.

It’s a creative studio, and yet I wanted to include some free services as my way of giving back. Hence, the Incubator Program available only for Micro and Small Enterprises.

I will also run a blog on the same site for motivational articles explicitly written for struggling freelancers who are stuck and don’t know how to proceed to build the ladder to climb. So to all aspiring freelancers, there is a bright future ahead. Keep motivated and pumped but most importantly be the master of your game.

Herlene Somook.

Founder, and Co-Owner, Creative Labs PH | Blogger, WAHMM! / FacebookLinkedIn

Most work-at-home moms like me would agree that freelancing has given us the best of both worlds. We get to do what we love and get paid for it, and also take care of our growing families. Often, we catch the most important milestones in our kids’ lives. We also get to work around a schedule that lets us fulfill our jobs as specialists and as homemakers.

But it doesn’t mean it’s an easy task. I often hear people comment how lucky I am to be living this life. In reality, I have to give up a lot of things to sustain this kind of lifestyle.

Yes, freelancing is a lifestyle that requires grit, guts, and sacrifices. No one wins without facing their fears of rejection and failure. Successful freelancer has had their share of self-doubt and self-sabotage, and yet we persevere and continue to do what we love.

But despite all its challenges, I still wouldn’t trade this career for anything in the world. Freelancing has given me opportunities I never thought possible, and because of it, I can maximize my potential and also inspire other mothers and writers to do the same.

Emily Tan Cal.

General Transcriptionist, Trainer/Module Creator (Transcriptions), Writer / FacebookTwitterLinkedIn

I chose to be a freelancer because I wanted to stay at home with my kids and manage the household better because if I left the kids alone, it would be chaotic. But, aside from that, I didn’t like the competition per transcriber in the office. Yes, there were perks in the office, for sure, but I have perks at home, too.

Never mind the GCs (gift certificates) we receive every quarter for a beautiful performance, then, there’s the Christmas party, then there are the giveaway things they award people who have been with them for the last five years, ten years or whatever. And, of course, they get promoted to a higher position which means higher compensation.

Staying home and working at home has its perks. You will have a flexible schedule to follow, but still 8 hours a day. In my current job, I have a 3-week vacation leave in May and a week vacation in December.

I have work to do every single day, which is fine with me because that’s what I do best. And, being compensated with the same amount that I was getting in the office is cool. Heck, I also have a 13-month pay. Oh, don’t forget, I have an HMO, too.

I could also be a trainer on the side online and get compensated, too. So, what have I got to complain? So, where would you choose to work? At home or in the office? I will choose to work at home. No one could ever beat that.

Dreamy Rose Loquinario.

Customer Service, Sales and Hiring Manager at Telework PH, Breastfeeding Advocate, and Peer Counselor Graduate, and Co-Admin: Breastfeeding Bulakenyas / LinkedInUpwork

Freelancing not only led me to achieve more but also helped me in giving back more.

I started like most of the people in the freelancing industry. Working on a BPO company away from home, making ends meet and doing the same old routine. But when the opportunity to apply as a home-based customer service representative through a client from Upwork, came, I jumped in.

I didn’t resign at first but have continued working from home and doing full-time work office based as well. The sleep and time deprivation got to me, and I have decided to choose one field. I opted to be home-based, and I have not regretted my decision since 2011.

For seven years, I have realized that aside from having more precious time with family, money, travel opportunities, Freelancing gave me a chance to be part of advocacy that’s very close to my heart which is Breastfeeding and even got me into being a Nutrition Council Member of our local government unit. With being able to manage my time, I was able to do more for the society.

For those who wanted to start or is already beginning, I would advise you to always do the extra mile. It may come unnoticed now, but it will get you somewhere, better. And when you think you finally reached your goal, I hope you can also give back in your little way.

Liezel Kabigting.

Pinterest Marketing Specialist at Liezel Kabigting – Boost Your Web Traffic / FacebookLinkedInPinterestInstagram

I’ve chosen to freelance because I want to gain time FREEDOM and extend the possibility of earning more. When I was in a corporate world, I felt how limited my income potential is and how limited the time I spend with my family, especially with my daughter. But before diving into freelancing, I highly suggest you have to carefully plan your exit strategy from your 9 – 5 job.

Invest on books and courses to broaden your knowledge and use all of your free time to learn new skills that would help you to identify what services you want to offer and be 100% committed and focus on taking care of them personally.

Nika Peji.

Copywriter and Content Strategist / InstagramLinkedInMedium

I chose to be a freelancer because I wanted the freedom to choose who I work with, what projects to accept and what to do with my time. The corporate set-up never worked for me because I don’t like strict rules and a repetitive weekly schedule.

Although it may seem glamorous, freelancing is not for everybody. When you’re a regular employee, you can rest easy knowing that you’ll be getting the same amount of money twice (or once) a month.

As a freelancer, you also have to put yourself out there and market your skills and offers.

As challenging as it is, I won’t have it any other way. I know this will be my ticket to achieve the location independent lifestyle that I’ve been dreaming.

Carl Dombrowski.

The Startup & Toward Data Science Medium Writer, Ai, ML & NLP coder. CEO of WeBots / TwitterMediumYouTube

There is an estimate that by 2020, 40% of the working force in the United States will be freelancers. We are escaping from the industrial era where everyone was working from 9 to 5, Monday to Friday.

More and more companies are now willing to deal with freelancers because it’s a much more flexible type of relationship with the working force than hiring employees.

Many people are afraid to stop their daily job to start freelancing, but you don’t have to quit your job to start your freelancing career. I first started freelancing on a part-time basis, and only left my job when I felt it could provide me with a sustainable income.

I chose to freelance because it allows me to work on mandates that speak to me and that I am passionate about.

There are two critical components in a starting a successful freelancing business:

Find the one thing you are genuinely passionate about and that you are willing to do, on a daily basis, for the rest of your life. Freelancing is not easy, especially when you start doing it. So you better like what you do, this is not a 9 to 5 job. You need the dedication to do it.

Define your goals, your niche and then validate the service you want to offer by starting with a few clients. These first clients will allow you to learn a lot on the freelancing path and let you see if this is what you want to embrace.

There are a few things you can do to prepare for your new life: announce to your offline and online network your move before you start to be a freelancer. This career will likely open some opportunity for you. You will be surprised how much people can be interested in your gig from your network.

Update your social media profiles according to your service offer: change your Linkedin bio according to your service offer. Do the same on Facebook and any other social network appropriate to your niche.

Prepare a small business plan that summarizes all of the steps you will need to prepare in order to launch your service offer.

These pieces of advice are just a starter, and your path will more than likely be different than mine. It is the reason why I believe being passionate and dedicated is so essential.

Love what you do. Don’t get discouraged. Never quit and you’ll be fine.

Allan Ngo.

Founder of Email Marketing Philippines, Digital Solopreneur, and Inbox Society / Facebook

It changed how I viewed the world.

It started by accident. I was in-between jobs and was spending tons of times online, and I figured why not to try earning from the internet. It began with ODesk (before it became Upwork) where I made 3x more than my managerial job in the bank without taking any course or following any guru advice.

Coming from a traditional brick and mortar business background, this was a total eye-opener for me.

I would help run our family business in the day and do my online (affiliate marketing) business at night. Did it for more than six years on the side before I was able to transition to full-time work at home dad status

I still do freelancing (mainly email copywriting) for select clients to expand my income streams and continue to hone my craft by writing for clients in different industries.

In my opinion, freelancing is the fastest way to earn online. As an added perk, it not only gets your feet wet in the online marketing space but it will also equip you with the necessary business skills you’ll need to transition into running your own online business and finally be your boss.

Natasha Rivera.

Techie VA to Online Course Creators and Founder of Work From Home Be Awesome and Mommy Tasha / Facebook

I chose to be a freelancer mainly because of these things:

  1. Time Freedom: Working from home gave me more time to spend for myself. I can sleep all I want, eat anytime I want, and enjoy reading books. (I love to sleep!) Moreover, I also have more time to spend with my family. I can now join them for breakfast and dinner. At the same time, I can now look after my kids as they sleep. I can attend to my eldest especially when he’s having his night terrors.
  2. No Schedules: I can work anytime I want. I need to make sure that I meet the deadline for my projects. So I have the freedom to decide what time of the day I’ll be working or taking breaks. On instances that I feel bored, I can stop and unwind.
  3. No need to travel. Finally! When I was still working in a BPO, I had to allow at least 3 hours for travel and waiting time for the company service. And even though there’s a shuttle, this still did not save me from experiencing daily traffic. Not being stuck in traffic anymore gave me more time to work on the things I love.

Mhariquel Pinky Anicete.

Digital Marketer, Speaker, and Author at Pinky Anicete / FacebookInstagramLinkedIn

Freelancing gives you a sense of freedom you’ll never experience as an employee.

The difference is when you’re employed, you are obliged to follow the schedule set by the company.

When you’re a freelancer, you own your time which means no need to request for vacation/sick leave.

When you’re employed, salary increase depends on the company. But when you’re a freelancer, your income level depends on you which means you can increase your rate whenever you want to.

And when you’re employed, you have dress codes, strict policies and sometimes horrible bosses.

When you’re a freelancer, you may work on your pajamas, there’s little to no policies between and your client, and you are your own boss.

Heartie Queen T. Tamayo.

Creative Marketing Director & CEO, Heartabiz Digital Marketing / FacebookLinkedInInstagram

I can’t even begin to tell you how much I LOVE that question.

Why? Because I’m a Mom.

My family means the WORLD to me.

There’s NOTHING more important than my husband and kids. They’re why I do what I do. And getting to work from home, or wherever we go as a family.

That’s what makes having a Lifestyle Friendly Freelancing business so great!

On a personal note. The primary reason why I have decided to shift my career to Freelancing is to watch my kids as they grow. Back in the days when I was still in my corporate job, finding a nanny to help watch our kids is very difficult. And now looking after our kids provided more peace of mind knowing that I took care of my kids and offered them everything that they need.

In addition, I have a very flexible schedule. Since I don’t need to commute from home to office, I could give ample time to things that matter to me and my family.

Working at home also improved my lifestyle as I have more time to take care of myself as well. I am living a healthier life since I have decided to work at home. Thanks to lesser exposure to pollution, stress caused by long commutes and traffic.

Because the journey I took—through the valleys of doubt and the winters of deep inspiration as well as the summits of boundless creativity and the summers of transitioning quickly—have left me transformed…

The process has humbled me.

I’ve realized that having a team of advisers, mentors and coaches had helped me achieve my goals and keeping this industry’s reputation intact by assisting more clients.

Rhea Buenavista.

Freelance Virtual Assistant, Community Manager at Freelancing PH / FacebookInstagramLinkedInTwitter

My reason for choosing to freelance is not technical. It was more of a personal choice for me, as a “follow your heart and let it lead the way” kind of thing.

I am a wife and a mother. In my life, second to God, my priority is my family. I’ve always believed that I should be able to personally take care of them and working Corporate doesn’t make that easy. Freelancing gave me the freedom to put first the things that are important to me while still earning a decent amount of money.

I have been doing freelancing for years now, and from time to time, I get messages and questions from mothers and fathers who have been struggling to find quality time for their family. I am doing my best to share what I know and my experiences with them to pay it forward.

Freelancing takes effort, patience, and hard work but it helped me achieve the quality life that I’ve been longing to have.

Rowell Austria.

Facebook Advertising Specialist, Digital marketer at Rowell Austria / FacebookFacebook Group

I’ve chosen to freelance because of two things.

1. To spend more time with my family.
2. To diversify and earn more than any employment could give.

Let’s talk about number one. I was an OFW. Though I was earning good money, I can’t accept the fact that I’m losing time for my loved ones.

Skype was not enough. As well as money. Those are the things that were bothering me and won’t let me sleep at night.

So I decided to go home after my contract and never looked back.
Was it scary? Of course! But I needed to decide. Nothing more is creepy than missing golden moments like seeing your child grows. Sharing talks and have meals with your family under the same roof.

Number 2. The scariest part. I knew back then that I had no firm plans how would I get the same money that I was earning as an OFW. But I had to do something. Thanks to online freelancing. Even though I know how to sell online, online freelancing opened a new opportunity for me to earn more while doing what I love. Serve others, help them with their businesses without leaving my fam.

Heck! I learned to diversify, and I never stop learning new things to grow my knowledge of it.

I think that’s the key. It’s ok to be afraid, but do not let that fear paralyzes you.

Do it afraid.

Neri Villacorta – Marcos.

Direct Response Copywriter at Growth Triggers Online / FacebookTwitter 

Initially, I choose to enter the world of freelancing because of my son.

I’ve worked as an accountant, and the salary I got is not enough to support our family.

At that time, my husband is also working, but the money was not enough to make ends meet.

I said to myself, “This should change.”

So I searched online and discovered freelancing.

At first, I’m thrilled to know that you can earn in dollars working at home.

Plus, we seriously needed an extra income to support our growing needs.

But what’s more significant than money is the chance to be with my family anytime I want.

The freedom to see my children’s milestone and how they grow are irreplaceable by any material things.

Aside from that, I gain the freedom to pursue things I never thought I could get.

I’m able to start coaching a bunch of people. I also experienced to be a speaker in one of the leading conference in the Philippines.

I’ve tried to launch an online course to help a few people to enter into freelancing the right way.

You see, being a freelancer opened up a lot of opportunities for me to grow and expand my horizon.

And those are things my previous corporate job can’t offer.

My life starts to have purpose and direction.

A journey I will forever be grateful with my family and me.

Thank you for reading this RoundUp! I hope you enjoyed this post. If you do, please share it with your friends and followers.

Thank you to all of my expert contributors to this RoundUp! I feel so inspired by reading your stories. It just goes to show that the decisions we make will have an impact on our future.

If this post made you want to become a freelancer, check out my previous RoundUp it will surely help you with your transition to freelancing.

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