Are you creative, artistic and talented? Do you dream of making a living through photography, writing or web design? Maybe you want to work from home so you will have more time with your children, or maybe you’re tired of office politics.
For many moms, the thought of freelancing from home is a dream worth pursuing. Here are some ways to make the dream come alive rather than having it turn into a nightmare.
Don’t Quit Your Day Job — Yet
There are some days you might just want to quit. You may have good reason to quit, but if your family depends on you for much or all of their income, it’s best not to make a hasty decision. So don’t quit your day job, at least not yet. Instead, carefully plan ahead so that your transition into freelancing full time can be a gradual one.
Work Your Business Part Time
A Great way to gradually transition into freelancing full time is to start a business while you still have a job. Your day job can cover the bills so that you can reinvest all of your income from your business for a period of time. Although everyone’s timeline is different, you should plan to work your business part-time for at least a year before quitting your job. A year of experience will help you to see which months are slower than others, give you an opportunity to determine whether or not you have the discipline to work from home, and provide enough time to build a solid client base. It will also enable you to start saving so you have a financial cushion before you quit.
Cut Expenses and Save Like Crazy
Many websites and books promise that if you follow their formula, you will become rich. Some even promise quick riches with little work. But the reality is that running a business is tough, and some months will be better or worse than others. While you’re still working your day job, reduce your cost of living as much as possible and avoid going into debt. The lower your cost of living, and the less debt you have, the easier it will be to weather the financial storms often associated with owning a business.
In addition to cutting expenses, save as much as you possibly can. Most financial planners recommend having three to six months’ worth of living expenses in savings before making a major life change such as quitting a job.
Before quitting a job to freelance full time, take a good hard look at yourself and be honest regarding everything pertaining to running a business. For instance, running a business takes discipline. How are you doing in the business discipline department with your part-time business? Don’t think that once you quit your job you’ll magically become more disciplined. If you don’t have the discipline to work unsupervised now, don’t expect to have it when you all of a sudden have to work all day unsupervised.
Also be honest about how much you really make per hour at your home business. Track the time you spend on your business, and keep careful tabs on how much you spend on your business. While it’s true that at the beginning you may make very little profit, you should be making at least as much as your current hourly wage before you quit your job. Don’t forget that you won’t have a boss covering your pay when you’re sick, on vacation or take a holiday, so if anything, you need to make more than you do right now.