A lot of people enjoy their job as a freelancer online.
I mean why wouldn’t you?
You get to set your own hours, you’re usually doing something you enjoy (writing, illustration, design, etc…), you’re earning $$, and most important of all, you don’t have to go too far away from your family to work.
It’s an awesome job description and very few people can claim to be in a better situation career wise.
If you’re a freelancer and you’re satisfied with this kind of setup, then kudos to you. I’m glad that you found something that makes you happy, assuming that it does make you happy.
But just so I don’t have to stop writing at this point, why don’t you indulge me and read on as I raise several points that might make you think twice about your career choice.
My objective in this post is not to force you to veer away from the path that you’ve chosen, but to present you with what I feel is an important consideration.
Let me start with a statement and a question:
- You can’t freelance forever
- Do you really want to?
You Can’t Freelance Forever
You will grow old and will be forced to retire at some point.
Yes, because you work online, you have the option to extend your working years as much as you want. Most clients are unlikely to fire you just because of your age. In fact, most of them don’t even know or care about your age. They just want results.
But you will reach a point when it becomes physically or mentally impossible for you to work. And that’s where the problem of freelancing lies.
Where do you get your money then?
If you had worked for a company offline then perhaps you’d have some sort of retirement plan. But being a contractual worker, it’s unlikely that your clients would set one up for you. That’s exactly why they decided to outsource jobs to you in the first place, because they didn’t want to deal with this type of expense for their employees.
If you have savings, then good for you.
But how long will that last?
This is the first problem that I saw with freelancing when I started. There was no retirement plan, so I had to make one for myself. But I’ll get into that later.
Let’s move on to my next point.
Do You Really Want to Freelance Your Whole Life?
This same question can actually be worded differently and then asked to someone who doesn’t work online.
Do you really want to be an employee your whole life?
Granted that you’re contractual if you freelance online and you have the option to choose your clients. You could even consider yourself self employed since you don’t really have a boss.
But you still need to WORK FOR SOMEONE in order to earn.
You still need to meet deadlines, follow project guidelines, and you can’t always take off when you want to because your clients might need you (although you have more leeway than most in this department).
Basically, you’re still working on the projects of other people.
They pay you for your work but you have no stake in whatever it is that you built because at the end of the day, you’re just another laborer. Most of the time, you’re not even able to take credit for the things you created.
You may have gone online to run away from the corporate set up or the daily grind of office work. But if you really look at your situation, did you really get far enough?
The answer I found to these two dilemmas that I discovered was internet marketing. Well to be more specific it was the generation of Passive Income through Internet Marketing.
It may not be for you, but it works for me. And I hope you’ll bear with me as I tell you my story.
I used to be a freelance writer so the move from freelancing to Internet Marketing wasn’t too difficult for me.
To be honest, I actually set my sites on IM really early, about a month into freelancing.
I remember thinking back then how curious it was that people were willing to paying me to write for them.
I started with $5 an article. Then some people started paying me $10, $15, and one client even paid me $25 per article (long ones of course).
It was insane to me. I couldn’t understand why they would pay so much.
Then I stumbled into adsense, then sites like hubpages and later on I found the warrior forum and several A-list bloggers that talked extensively about passive income. My favorite to date is still Pat Flyn (SmartPassiveIncome.com) although the guys from AdsenseFlippers is a close second because I really love their niche site creation method and I plan to copy it for my own.
Anyway, this led me to the realization that I was in the wrong industry.
I didn’t want to work for anyone; I’m lazy by nature to be honest. I don’t like to be given deadlines or to be told to do things in a certain way. It’s especially infuriating for me to be told to “correct” an article that already is (of course I’d willingly do it if it wasn’t).
But what really got me fired up most was the thought that my $10 or $15 article could potentially be making them $5, $10, $15 or even more dollars A MONTH. And I know it’s possible because an article of mine on hubpages once earned me $15 in one month through Amazon Affiliates.
I was effectively being paid a onetime fee for articles that could potentially make them 10-12 times the same amount in the course of a year.
Now if they could do it, I thought, why can’t I?
So I gave it a try and I now have 1 blog, 2 niche sites and 29 articles on hubpages that make me a couple of bucks a month.
Not a lot of earnings I know, and if you head over to my blog you’ll find out exactly how small an amount it is.
BUT at least I know that what I’m earning is passive income.
Meaning I could literally stop freelancing now (I’m on an indefinite break actually), leave all my sites alone, and the meager amount I earn would just keep coming in every month.
But of course I’m not going to do that. Now that I know I can earn money through my sites and my articles I’m going to continue scaling things up.
The goal is to reach a point when I can depend on my passive income to pay for all my expenses without having to work.
Basically what I want to build is a collection of sites and businesses online that will earn me enough passive income to sustain whatever lifestyle I wish to live. A very big goal I know, but that’s what I want.
I’m not sure how long it’ll take to get there but at least I know for sure that it’s possible.
It could take me years, but however long it is, I know it’s much much better than working for someone till I’m old enough to regret all the time that passed me by.
So what about you? What’s your plan?
The whole point really of me talking about my story like this is to show you that you shouldn’t be content with simply earning $$ and working at home comfortably. I never was, but mostly because I’m lazy and was looking for something that can sustain my laziness for long termJ.
There are much better opportunities available to the people who actively look for them and it doesn’t even have to be Internet Marketing.
IM is just what works for me.
You just need to realize that you have that option. That you can, and should, start something today that could potentially allow you to retire in 3, 4 or 5 years from now if you want to.
In fact, even if it takes 10 years for you (or me) to develop something sustainable and long term, isn’t that still better than being a freelancer for 20?
I’m not saying you should stop freelancing or whatever it is you’re doing now and totally devote your time to passive income generation. I don’t think many of us can do this anyway.
My point is that you should START something now if you haven’t yet.
You could build your business, or if you’re like me, your sites while you continue to freelance. But seriously consider starting something now. Because like I said above, it’ll probably take a long time to set up.
I know that at the rate I’m going it’ll take me years to generate what I’d consider a respectable income from my articles and sites. But I also know that I’ll get there.
If all the popular IM people were able to do it, why can’t I? They were all just regular people before they became successful after all.
How about you? What’s your plan?