Taking those all-important first steps in your new creative business can be hard to confront, certainly if you’re used to working for somebody else. Going from a steady paycheque to an unpredictable one (if at all) can make you understandably nervous. The good news, however, is that you don’t need to take those first steps without planning it all out first.
There are numerous ways of starting from the very beginning. The two most common paths are to adopt a side hustle until you’re making money or to go all-in. Those who firmly believe in the latter option feel that it’s necessary to have someone running the ship full-time in order to succeed in business. They believe that you need to invest all of your time, energy, and resources into your venture.
Those who advocate the side hustle approach believe it to be a foolish mistake to enter an industry in which you have no knowledge. If you have no experience of working for yourself, taking on staff, or paying your own taxes, it might be an idea to wait until you have everything planned out.
Ultimately, however, it’s up to you to adopt whichever path aligns with your values and personality. If you choose a path based on what you feel you should do based purely on another’s advice, you will be less likely to enjoy success.
Freelancer vs entrepreneur
The first decision you’ll need to make is what you want to do. Many people begin their self-employed journey as freelancers before moving on to becoming entrepreneurs. Other remain freelancers and earn a good income. Some opt to become entrepreneurs from the get-go. The simplest way to explain where freelancers and entrepreneurs differ is through the way that income is earned in each.
A freelancer gets paid whenever he works. It’s as simple as that. It isn’t any different from having an office job where you’re paid for turning up and doing your work. The advantage is that you’re an independent contractor so you can work when and from where you choose to. You make your own decisions and simply need to remain in communication with your clients and deliver your work within the agreed-upon timeframe.
You can enjoy a lot of success by focusing solely on freelancing. You’ll gain knowledge of which clients you want to attract, as well as how to competitively price your services. The more time and effort you invest, the more rewarding your freelancing career will be.
At that point, you can continue to increase your prices until you feel you’ve reached the right price point. Acquiring clients is undoubtedly the trickiest part. Once you’ve begun to grow your reputation, however, you’ll start to receive testimonials and word-of-mouth recommendations.
An entrepreneur profits from his business in a number of different ways. He makes money when in the office and when away from it. This isn’t the same as passive income, however. While passive income is a valid income stream for some entrepreneurs, it isn’t the very definition of it.