The gig or sharing economy has brought the ability to earn a living on flexible terms outside of traditional employment to the masses. There are different ways to become a member of the gig economy: Some people can participate in a system that more or less funnels business – such as ride sharing, while others leverage connectivity and technology to sell their services to others in need. Available work is considerable and vast, and there are numerous opportunities to make decent amounts of money. You do, however, have to put in a lot of effort, and it helps if you possess the personality traits of a go-getter, such as adaptability, tenacity, and a willingness to take risks.
Are you ready to learn more? These tips and resources, presented by Discover Your Money Temperament author Ted McLyman, can help you get started.
Decide if the gig economy is right for you
Before you venture into the sharing economy, it’s advisable to assess your skills and personality type to determine your chances of success. Most people have a marketable skill or can quickly develop those needed to get their feet wet on some projects. Although there are myriad opportunities, some skills are more in-demand than others. Some of the most sought after skill sets include:
- Dog walking and pet sitting
- Driving, either for ride-sharing platforms or for food or other deliveries
- Coding and web development
- Marketing and SEO optimization
- Social media
- Virtual assistant
- Writing and editing
More than base skills, success in the gig economy requires the right mindset and work ethic. When you freelance, you are your own boss for the most part. You might still answer to someone such as a team manager, but ultimately it will be up to you to complete your work. The consequences of poor workload management can be severe. Since you are not an employee, poor work will most likely result in no future work. The following general skills are helpful in attaining gig economy success:
- Self-motivation. Without set hours, you may find yourself procrastinating. Successful freelancers are eager to complete their work and move on to more opportunities.
- Problem-solving. When self-employed, you will have fewer resources for handling inevitable roadblocks.
- Organization. You will need to schedule your day and set up workflows to ensure that projects are completed in a timely manner.
- Financial responsibility. Some freelancers attain success only to poorly manage their funds. Poor money management can result in costly tax bills and penalties.
Start your business
If you’ve determined that you have what it takes to jump into gig-based self-employment and you have identified your hard skills, research potential sources of work and get started. There are several portals for gig work such as Upwork, Fiverr and Freelancer.com. Beyond these, each speciality has its own online sources for opportunities. Even popular traditional job search websites such as Indeed have contract and remote opportunities.
Plan to start small for optimum success. Take a few initial jobs – most likely ones that will pay much less than you’d prefer and test the waters. These initial assignments will help you refine and build your business.
There are some dull details you need to cover before you can get down to the fun stuff. First off, choose your business structure. An LLC is a popular choice, thanks to the asset protection and tax perks it provides. It’s also quick and inexpensive to establish when you go through an online service. After that, you need to create a practical budget and develop your business plan. Once those details are complete, you can start thinking about attracting customer zero!
Grow your business
As you continue your work, keep in mind the importance of pitching new sources of income. This is crucial in times when you are flush with work, as this can be the time when freelancers become overwhelmed. A tip for remaining mindful of the importance of pitching new work is to schedule a portion of your workweek solely for prospecting. Determine what is necessary for your field, but a good start may be an hour each week. Even if the hour is simply spent researching possible sources of new work, the time will be well worth the investment.
By identifying your skill, maintaining a well-organized workflow, and staying on top of your finances, almost anyone can excel in the gig economy. The benefits are great, and the opportunities are vast.
Photo Credit: Pixabay
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