If you are like me who values financial security and wants to have financial freedom when you get old, creating at least one additional stream of income is no longer a luxury, it has become a necessity. Did you know that millionaires have an average of seven streams of income? SEVEN! The goal is to diversify your income against unexpected things that might happen to make sure that your lifestyle remains the same no matter what.
So what are the most common income streams for a middle-class person?
If you have all four, you’re halfway there. #1 is something we all have. But what happens if you suddenly lose it? I know a lot of people who experienced getting axed from their job out of nowhere, ultimately stopping their main stream of income. Items #2 and #3 are passive income that doesn’t generate huge cash flow that can be used for daily expenses. It is intended for long-term goals–for when you retire or when kids go to college. This is why #4 or getting a side hustle is so common nowadays. It’s quick cash that can be used now and for anything! While your main income pays the bills, your second source can be used for leisure (travel and shopping fund) or simply saved for the rainy days (emergencies).
How I Started
I went back to school while having a full time office job so for 3 years, I would study after work and spend all my free time with school-related stuff. After I graduated, I kinda missed being busy so one day I was browsing the web and found a data entry job. I got excited because I can spend all my free time into something productive and earn extra income to spend for traveling. Over time I found my niche and clients kept pouring in, my gigs got better and more stable and eventually I decided to quit my office job and focus on building my freelancer career. And the rest, is history. 🙂
On Finding a Side Hustle You’re Passionate About
We read a lot about FINDING YOUR PASSION, and thanks to websites like Thought Catalog and other similar sites, I feel like the phrase is largely over-romanticized nowadays. Passion seems like such a big word that you end up overwhelmed and not do anything at all. My advice is to just forget about passion. Start with finding what interests you, experiment with them and then see if you can be passionate about it and eventually make money out of it. Only by knowing what interests you is how you find your passion. Not by reading and scrolling down this article and then sleep or do nothing afterwards.
Get Yourself Through the Door by Going Part-time
If I have a nickel every time my friends from corporate ask me how to transition from being an office girl to a freelancer, I’d probably be rich by now. My advice is this: start by going part-time. Think of how many spare hours in a day you can dedicate for a part-time work and go from there.
There are several articles written about tons of side-hustles you can do online. I have also blogged about the various freelance marketplace websites you can go to and apply. You need to understand that to have a side-hustle or “raket” cannot be handed to you on a platter. You need TO GET OFF YOUR ASS AND ACTUALLY APPLY YOURSELF. To succeed in the freelance world, you need to find something you’re really interested in, invest time to actually be good at it, and then market your services to people who need them.
Setting Yourself Apart from the Rest
Starting nowadays is a lot harder than when I started because you are now competing with thousands of online freelancers who have more experience than you do.
I wish I can tell you that knowing just about everything works in this field. When I was starting out, I thought that becoming a passionate jack of all trades will allow me to skyrocket my online freelancing career. I thought that learning all the digital skills I can think of will set me apart from the rest, not realizing that a million other people are also probably claiming that. So instead of standing out from the rest, I was tagged as a regular virtual assistant, easily replaceable and forgettable. Then just over a year ago I decided to be more strategic with my job applications — I presented myself as a brand, a business owner who is an expert on a specific field; and soon enough clients approach me with their offers.
10 STEPS TO GET STARTED WITH ONLINE FREELANCING
1. Interest. Ask yourself this: Aside from browsing Facebook, watching Netflix or playing Mobile Legends, what are the things that you like spending time online? Get a pen and a paper and list it down.
2. Skills. What are you good at? Or what do you want to be good at? Look back at your previous work experience and combine it with your interests. Are you already good at the things you’re interested in? Or do you need to enroll to online courses to learn them?
3. Demand. Now this is what makes all the difference. Are there people out there willing to pay for your service? If so, how much are they normally paying those who do the same thing? How much are you willing to accept?
4. Consult. Do you know anybody who’s been online freelancing for quite some time? Talk to them and get advice on what to expect in this industry.
5. Update. Prepare your resume. Remember that as a freelancer you want to highlight the services that you want to offer. Using your old corporate CV will NOT work. Canva is my favorite tool to create freelancer resumes.
6. Clean. Spend some time cleaning up your online presence. Think about this: when a potential client Googles you, what will they find? If you’re going to offer writing services, do you have a blog that you can show for sample articles? Do you have a Linkedin profile? Pro tip: Create an About.me profile similar to this.
7. Prepare. Prepare everything you need to get started.
- A powerful laptop and a high-speed connection. If you don’t have either, it’s NOT going to work.
- A professional email address. Use Gmail (nobody uses Yahoo anymore!!!). Make sure to add it in your mobile phone so you can quickly receive emails from potential clients.
- A verified Paypal account. Almost 80% of clients use Paypal for payments.
- Freelancer apps. Depending on the services that you plan to offer, the most common apps used by freelancers are: Microsoft Office, Adobe Photoshop, Slack, Dropbox and Evernote.
- Freelance marketplace accounts. Start signing up and spend time for each profile and make it look good!
8. Apply. My tip is to spend at least 1-2 hours per day applying to various freelance marketplace websites. Be consistent about this and trust me, someone is bound to respond to you.
9. Patience. This is where most people fail. If you are not motivated enough to follow through, then all your initial efforts will be put to waste.
10. Respond. As soon as a potential client emails you for an interview, make sure to respond to them within 12-24 hours. Most clients need to hire ASAP so if you don’t respond soon you lose the chance of landing your first side hustle to other freelancers!
Earning a second stream of active income through online freelancing is not that hard for people who are willing to dedicate their time and effort to find clients and improve their skills.
There are two types of people in this world:
1. The ones who are brave enough to take big leaps into uncertainty, at the risk of failure, but for the sake of growth — and then,
2. The ones who are frustrated and angry at themselves as they trudge along, following the “shoulds” of life & society, secretly wishing they had the guts to do what you do.
Which one are you?