For many freelancers, the income from projects plateaus at some point. You find out that the max you can earn in a month or year doesn’t go beyond a certain figure. While others are fine with this, there are some people who prefer that their income grows over the years as well.
Although you can always work more hours or charge higher, what if you’ve already reached the limits for both? I say, why not make yourself your next client?
After years of working to help build other people’s businesses, it’s always worth to take the chance to start building yours. The good thing about putting your skills for your own advantage is that the returns are limitless. The only restriction is how much you’re willing to grow it.
With client work, you charge a certain price point that’s usually fixed or is capped at a specific amount. While a business that has a product at its core and doesn’t require trading your time is much more scalable profit-wise.
The benefits go on and on, but how can you exactly take your freelancing to the next level by being your next client? Read on to find out!
Choosing Between Your Dreams and Being Practical
Everyone wants to land their dream job or put up their dream business. but only a minuscule few get to attain theirs. So where does that leave the rest? To the miserable or mediocre job or business purgatory? Maybe. But do you have to be one of those people? You don’t have to.
I know that for many, there are bills to pay and mouths to feed. That’s why a lot of people go for the more “practical” choice and just take any job that pays them enough to live. However, like beauty, what’s practical is in the eye of the beholder as well. What might be practical for one isn’t necessarily always the same for another.
For example, I had a friend who was envious of her friend for nabbing a sugar daddy. The said friend of the friend broke up with her current boyfriend to pursue a relationship with the richer guy. My friend justified her friend’s choice as the right one as it was practical.
I, for one, don’t really see the practicality in that. I mean, how is it practical that you rely on another person to get the things you want in life? What if that person leaves you? What would you be left with? I’m not being pessimistic but I’m just considering the probable scenarios that could happen. I think a more practical choice would be to earn your own keep so you can be proud of yourself and so no one can put a leash on you.
Why Sometimes Being Practical Is Just Another Word For Settling
At its essence, being practical is just another word for settling. And it’s one of the worst feelings you could ever cultivate.
It feels like you’re lying to yourself. Sometimes, it can even reach the point that it becomes painful to live. I know because it happened to me once upon a time when I tried jacking the corporate life. I felt like a mindless drone going to work day in and day out. Not only did I question my sanity, but the purpose of my life and why I ever thought it was a good idea in the first place.
The answer? All because I wanted to make the “practical” choice.
I got debts to pay, cats to feed, and expenses to fork out on. I couldn’t possibly live off with little to no money, right? Or so I thought.
Then I got fortunate and was fired after a month for poor performance. I cried, not because of the loss. But because I can be finally free to pursue alternative means of earning money that doesn’t require me to take on a tedious desk job.
Even without that job, I managed to make sure that the cats were fed, the debts were paid (through installment), and that at least one or two of my expenses were taken care of. A previous client paid me an outstanding project fee shortly after and I was able to go back to my previous un-miserable self the moment I realized I’m free of that job.
Why Money Isn’t Really That Important
Money is important. After all, it pays the bills, buys you things, and finances your vacations. But it’s not that important if it comes at the expense of your will to live. Or…not unless you’re a greedy money-grubber whose only goal in life is to acquire hard cash as much as you could.
This study has shown that earning anything beyond $75,000 annually won’t make you any happier. Granted, not many people earn beyond that a year but if you make the necessary lifestyle adjustments, you can live well beneath a $75,000 salary.
This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t strive to earn anything more than that amount. But if money is the only thing keeping you tethered to your miserable job then you might want to re-assess your priorities.
It’s pretty common in today’s society to base much of our self-worth on our income. But doing this removes the power from you and makes you a servant to money instead of the other way around.
A better way to see money is to regard it as a tool. It’s a tool to improve your life, to help gain you more freedom, and to allow you to focus on things that really matter to you. If the money you’re earning now isn’t doing any of that for you, your sacrifice may be worth nil.
What Being Practical Should Mean For You
Although it took awhile before I finally saved up and had extra money to spare, I made sure that I made the better choice work for me. This is because I know that being an employee is no longer an option for me. Ever.
That’s when I realized then that I would much rather prefer to do things that I can believe in. You know what I mean?
Once the dust has settled, I reviewed the line of reasoning that led me to the choice of taking up a 9 to 5 job even though I know it doesn’t fit me.
One of the conclusions I arrived on was that I based my definition of what’s practical for me by society’s standards. That a stable, high-paying job is weightier than having the freedom to work and live as you see fit. Being practical then just boils down to what matters most to you. Not what society, strangers or your loved ones think is practical for you.
If you’re the pragmatic type who can continue on living whether what you’re doing resonates with you or not, then kudos to you. For those who aren’t, don’t make the same mistake that I did.
If there’s one takeaway that I got from my stint at a 9 to 5 and what I’ve managed to achieve after, it’s that you can never lose if you choose things in life that really resonate with your personality and core values. You’ll only be doing yourself a disservice if you veer away from that.
Most often than not, that discontent will show through in the way you work and your performance. When you feel fulfilled in what you do, job satisfaction and success usually comes naturally as well.
Being Your Own Client Means You Get to Create Your Dream Job
Now that we have the practicalities down pat, it’s time to get to the meat of the article—how to be your own client.
Being your own client is a way for you to create your dream job. Creating it for yourself means you get to design a career that’s not just fulfilling for you, but meaningful as well. You get to make use of your talents and work on your own interests.
But finding your dream job can be akin to trying to find a needle in a haystack. More than that, most people think that this is just a pipe dream.
Why so? Because it’s difficult to do.
You need to have the courage to strike it out on your own, be willing to fall a few times and go against the grain. All of which are tough for the average person conditioned by society to do.
Going out there, handing in your applications, and attending interviews require work but the part is already charted for you. It’s what everyone does and requires no in-depth figuring of things beyond where or how to apply.
But with creating your dream job, you have to grapple with self-doubt and how to take things to where you want them to. There’s a lot of exploration and learning things from scratch—and most people don’t really want that kind of nitty and gritty.
Despite this, I would still take the choice of being able to create my dream job. It might be the more demanding path but as the saying goes, big gains require big pains. Ultimately, it’s your call whether you opt to be stuck at a job you hate.
Perks of Being Your Own Client
For me, the best thing about hiring myself is that no one can fire me. And as long as I do a good job of working on my goals, I won’t have to.
Unfortunately, the real world isn’t as simple and clear-cut. Nowadays, you can be fired even for the most trivial things, which comes with being under the thumb of someone else.
If you had the option, wouldn’t you rather put your career fate in your own hands?
But more than the power of steering your career is that you’re really only free when you work for yourself. Not in terms of freelancing catering to different clients but having your own business where the only people you answer to are your customers.
Hiring yourself as a client isn’t just about escaping the downsides of the 9 to 5, but being able to live your dream life and career.
When You Can’t Find the Perfect Fit
Making decisions regarding your dream job or career, however, can be difficult. Maybe you don’t know what career or job you want. But even for those who already know what they want, finding the perfect fit can be elusive.
However, any kind of perfection is only meant as an ideal. You don’t really need to find the exact, perfect fit as no single job could ever cover all your interests and talents in one. As long as it feels close to your ideal then it’s most likely enough. You might take a few pitstops to get there but that’s totally fine as long as you get there.
Don’t view these pitstops as failures as they can really give you an amazing idea of what your dream job really is. More importantly, no one knows for sure where success could lie for you. So exploring while you can is a viable strategy as you build your concept of your ideal career.
As you go down this path, you might have to take a pay cut if you’re starting over. But if it’s done with your professional growth in mind for the future then it’s a small sacrifice in the bigger scheme of things.
Leave Room for Chance
As with most things in life, you can only plan so far ahead. They key is to have a guideline in place but still leave room for opportunities that come your way.
Although research and planning are important, chance can still play a role on how your career turns out. Make sure to keep an open mind, embrace uncertainty, and look out for windows of opportunity that might suddenly open along the way.
Don’t settle for your current job just because it’s profitable, familiar, or in demand. In the long-term, people are more successful and happier when they choose or create a job that fulfills their strengths and interests.