Freelance Checklist

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I was pretty amazed by the response I received to yesterday’s response. I feel like I’ve written a post just responding to all the comments. I really appreciate all the support.

In a fortuitous coincidence Trent at The Simple Dollar had a post today on “15 Things to do to Make Jumping into Freelancing/Self-Employment Financially Successful.” Let’s see how I’m doing on his list.

  • Learn to live on less.
    I’ve been doing this for a long time and live on much less than the average American. I plan to significantly reduce my expenses below my current level in the next couple of months.
  • Create a budget both personal and business.
    I don’t keep an actual budget. I do track all of my income and expenses and know where my money goes. I also have a target amount that I try to keep my monthly expenses under. My business expenses are minimal and should stay that way. I don’t think I’d benefit from doing a budget currently. If my circumstances change to where I think a budget would be of benefit then I’d start keeping a budget.
  • Build up a big emergency fund.
    I have about two years of expenses in savings. I think that qualifies as a big emergency fund.
  • Now make it bigger.
    Well, I’ll be adding a little more to it as my study money comes in. I think my emergency fund is quite big enough. If I do happen to make some surplus money though I’ll keep adding to the emergency fund.
  • Start reaching out to your audience and client base now.
    This step is partially done. This blog counts as reaching out to my target audience but I could do more to expand its reach. Also, I need to work on reaching people on Twitter and sites other than my blog.
  • Eliminate as many regular bills as you can.
    This is normal for me. I will be reducing my bills even further in the next couple of months.
  • Write a business plan.
    I haven’t done this. I do need to come up with a more detailed plan but I’m not sure if I need an actual business plan for what I’m doing.
  • Now rewrite the business plan.
    My thoughts on this are the same as my thoughts on the step above.
  • Find a mentor.
    That could be helpful. I do get advice from my readers and other bloggers. It should seek out advice more often.
  • Make it easy for people to see the good stuff you can do.
    I plan to make money mostly from my writing and anyone can see my writing right here.
  • Communicate,Communicate,Communicate.
    This is one I need to do a lot of work on. I rarely tell people about my blog in real life and don’t do a lot to promote it online either. I need to change that.
  • Build connections with local small business/entrepreneurship groups.
    I read a lot of blogs that are focused on what I want to do but I’m not involved with any local groups.
  • Have a place where you can focus on work – and only work.
    I need to do this. I get easily distracted from my work right now.
  • Build your current bridges as strong as you can – and don’t burn them when you leave.
    I’m not sure if I have any current bridges but anyway I won’t burn any bridges.
  • Practice,Practice,Practice.
    I’m working on that and by its nature it is something I will always continue to work on.
  • Overall, I think I’m doing pretty well on this checklist. My main focus is going to be coming up with a more detailed plan of how I’m going to make my money. In addition to that I should work on my networking/communication but I’ll need to somewhat overcome my introversion to be successful at that.

    1 thought on “Freelance Checklist”

    1. Greetings Andy,

      I think that one key point that is not directly mentioned in your post is that you actually have to sell something. Freelancing is a great way to earn money and build a business because you are selling your skills.

      Many people are after easy passive income. While that may or may not exist, I don’t think that is a sustainable long-term business. Freelancing is a lot like work, but it is a real business where you can build a brand for yourself. Niche websites and long one page marketing sites may still get results now, but that snake oil is not a legacy to leave behind to the world after you are gone.

      If freelancing is the direction you are going to take, kudos to you!


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