Freelancing is gaining in popularity worldwide for several reasons. Here in the United States, the job market has been slow to recover in recent years and the federal and state unemployment benefits are being eradicated overnight.
But there are also many currently employed people of very reputable companies who have also chosen to leave the rat race of corporate America and begin working from home in order to improve their personal quality of life. While starting your own business comes with a certain amount of risk, there are several significant benefits that make working for yourself very attractive.
Create your Own Schedule
Freelancing affords you the opportunity to create your own work schedule, designed around the lives of your family, your outside commitments, and the time of day in which you are the most productive.
Many studies have shown that the traditional 9 to 5 workday is not always the most productive choice for all individuals. Some people work better in shorter blocks of 2 to 3 hours at a time. Others work best at night when everything is quiet and the children are in bed. Working from home allows you to break the rules and create the ideal work schedule that fits perfectly with your individual style.
The freedom to choose where you want to live can also come with some very high financial rewards as well.
For example, some recent statistics have shown that real estate in San Francisco is 10 times higher than the national average and is expected to continue to rise in the very near future. This means that if you are employed in corporate America in San Francisco, then a significant portion of your monthly income is going towards these higher rental payments and mortgages.
Freelancing allows you to stretch your hard-earned dollars much farther by choosing to relocate to a less expensive area of the country, or even the world!
Save on Expenses
When you are working from home, you are no longer having to commute to your place of business. Not only does this save on gas money, but your regular automobile maintenance will also be substantially reduced.
With gas prices expected to keep rising at an alarming rate for many years to come, your freelancing income stretches even farther. Another expense that you can save is in the purchase of all those pricey dress clothes that are needed for the corporate environment.
When you work from home, this no longer becomes a concern because you have the ability to work in your pajamas or your favorite sweats. Imagine the money that you will save on dry-cleaning bills alone!
Generally speaking, once they get their freelancing business up and running, most entrepreneurs find that their stress levels drop instantly.
One study shows that 25% of Americans believe that their current jobs are the primary source of stress in their lives. This can lead to health issues, marital problems, and relationship issues with your children.
Working from home saves on commuting time back and forth to the office, which allows you to put more energy into your personal relationships. For those of us who have worked for bosses who are very demanding, starting our own business may be well worth the temporary shortage in monthly income.
Be the Boss
It is often very frustrating when you work for an employer whom you do not respect. We have all been there, working for a boss whose decisions we question on a daily basis.
Have you ever caught yourself thinking, “Why is he doing it that way? I could do it better. I sure wouldn’t do it the way he’s doing it. I have a much better way!” Why not put those thoughts and feelings into action and begin working from home by starting your own freelancing business? Many successful entrepreneurs began by thinking these same types of thoughts.
In the United States, there are some significant income tax savings that can be achieved from starting your own business.
One of the most beneficial deductions can be the amount of space in your home that is used for your home office. For example, if you happen to use 10% of your house as the professional location for your freelance business, then you might be able to deduct 10% of all of the household expenses as well, including utilities, mortgage or rental payments, and even a portion of your insurance premiums. Of course, this is just an example, and you should always consult with a tax professional before considering possible deductions.
Other standard deductions might also include your cell phone charges, Internet service, laptop, printer, software, online subscriptions, and travel expenses including gas mileage. Working from home by starting your own freelancing business has lots of hidden rewards!
So with this information, I hope you seriously consider starting your own business, even if just part-time for now, while you still manage your full-time job. Sometimes, you have to take the plunge and just do it!
Question: What is your take on freelancing? Are you currently a freelancer, or thinking about getting started as one? Share your comments below and on Twitter!