One of the first steps towards moving away from the rat-race and essentially owning your own time and owning your own income-generation channels is venturing into the world of the so-called Gig-Economy. It’s not quite like operating your own business, but more like owning your job. This comes with the type of flexibility you’d otherwise not be afforded if you were slogging it away in the corporate world, but it’s not all fun and games either. You still have to be prepared to work hard, a far-cry from the romanticised view of freelancing often associated with gigsters occasionally checking their emails with a laptop on a beach somewhere. Some real work has to be put in.
If you’ve been holding down an eight-to-four job in the corporate sector and you’ve crossed the floor to become a gigster, the very least you want to get out of your new income generation channel is income which matches what you previously earned. You want to maintain your current lifestyle, unless of course living off less disposable cash is a sacrifice you’re willing to make for something like being able to set your own working hours or being able to determine when to get out of bed each morning. Discipline is the name of the game however and it’s harder to come by than you may think.
When it comes to freelancing or working remotely, your money-generating abilities are immediately tied to how much work you manage to get done over a certain period of time as opposed to what time you officially clock in to your office. It can get really hard to maintain the discipline required for you to reach your earnings targets, but there are some ways through which you can give yourself the best chance of building up some good consistency.
One of these is professionalising your operation. Trust me, working out of your bed only seems like a good idea until you realise that there are virtually zero comfortable positions to work long hours with your laptop in your bed. There’s only one comfortable position really, but it’s a hit-and-miss thing and doesn’t work for everyone.
Professionalising your operation means creating a working environment your clients would feel comfortable with if they were afforded the option of watching you work. At the end of the day clients want good work delivered, so this working environment you create doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg and it doesn’t have to be overly clean and organised either. An “organised mess” sometimes just works extremely well for some people. The key is to have a working space which actually inspires you to work and get your work done, otherwise if your bed which is just a metre away from your workstation proves to be too irresistible for you to ignore, head into the CBD and work out of serviced offices, like the BE Offices in London.
Yes it may feel like you’re slowly creeping back to the office life you wanted to escape, but if this is what it takes to instil a bit of that much-needed discipline in you, then you’ll soon make a success out of operating in the gig-economy. Finding clients and a consistent stream of paying projects is a different challenge altogether, but word gets around quickly in the gig-economy, so your good work will soon result in some good referrals.