Regardless of your age, you can still feel the unspoken expectation to go to college and get a job. Not any job,
the job that will take you through the next 30+ years of your career. How is this residual belief still a part of our culture?
I, personally, find it utterly fascinating!
I’m 48 years old and I have never worked at a company more than 25 months, and it was only my very first job that lasted the full 24 months and 3 weeks. There are multiple generations now that are living in a state of internal confusion as this underlying belief in needing a job hits up the reality that owning a business has WAY more to offer for most people.
The Tide is Changing.
Thanks to all of the courageous people today and those before us, the tide is changing. The current may still be churning underneath, quietly, but there is a spring tide coming in and breathing life into how work is done. From anywhere, in a lot of cases.
Corporate work, it was believed, could only be performed from a desk in the same office as everyone else on a project. There was a ton of fear about how you wouldn’t perform at all if the work was done from anywhere else.
Freelancers Union, out of New York City, outlines the massive growth in independent work trends in their latest “Freelancing in America” report. Currently over 50 million people freelance and experts predict a majority of workers will freelance by 2027.
The Breaking Wave.
The old way of work is broken. It reeks of stagnation, fear, control and sadness for too many people. Look at how business has evolved – how Coca-Cola has transformed branding, how Google changed the workplace with a fun work environment. And now an entire blogging industry has arisen as the catalyst for stay-at-home and traveling remote work opportunities. Humans are uniquely designed to create, and to respond to experiences that do not work for them.
Entrepreneurship is a prime example. Out of all the options to create a business today, my personal favorite of the business models is freelancing. It allows you to break free, test your personal boundaries, be a stay-at-home parent or sit back and take care of yourself when needed. The only missing piece is realizing the massive need for understanding how to run a business.
The Potential Riptide.
Jumping in to running a business, of any kind, with no knowledge of what to expect and how to prepare is the riptide with an undercurrent that can leave you lost and frustrated. Whether you’re looking to make the jump or are currently running a business and struggling, stop and take a step back. Ask yourself a few questions:
- What areas of the business do I know the least about?
- What areas of the business bring in the most money?
- What areas of the business require the most money to run?
- Who is my ideal client?
- What would help? How do you know this would truly help?
Now that you have an initial list of questions, dive in. Look at the answers, what do they tell you?
You are looking for signals of what you need to learn or find help with. Create time every single week to spend working “on” your business, instead of “in” it. That is what asking these questions (and others) is – looking at it all objectively, reaching out for help and taking a break to connect with your goals.
Remember, YOU run your business. If it is running you, something isn’t working – fix that.
In 2014, The Freelance Conference (aka #FREECON) was brought to life to gather and support the growth of freelance business owners. The birth of #FREECON inspired Emily to start of The Freelance Association, a 501c3 freelance community designed to provide a safe space for freelancers to learn how to run their business.
Currently living in Austin, Texas, Emily’s outside interests include rowing, sailing, traveling, scuba diving, snowboarding, whitewater and cycling – basically, having adventures and living life to the fullest.