You don’t have to be a freelancer to be a digital nomad, but freelancing is one of the most popular options for location independent working. Here’s a brief look at some of the pros and cons of starting a freelance business.
Pro: Freedom! Monday morning and you fancy a day off? Not really a problem for the seasoned freelancer, providing you have no pending deadlines why not just not push the power button on the computer and go to the beach instead?
Con: The fear! Taking the step into the freelance world can be daunting – what if you get no jobs? What if the money runs out? ARGHHH! It’s a brave decision to make but it could be the best of your life.
Pro: Potential earnings! Providing you’re willing to put the hours in and are able to find the work there really isn’t a limit to how much you can potentially earn. The only sticking point may be how many Monday mornings you want off!
Con: Motivation! Working from home or whilst traveling can be a great experience providing you have the self motivation to succeed. It’s not always easy to wake up in the morning and not turn on the TV, surf the internet or go for walk, anything to avoid work eh? However that does lead to….
Pro: Flexibility! So what if you don’t want to work in the morning , why not have a lie in or the morning off. You can always work at night right? Depending on client location regarding time zones it may even be easier that way.
Con: Possible isolation! If you’re used to working in a team or with the public, suddenly finding yourself working alone can be a daunting prospect. Although there are increasing numbers of freelance networks which can offer support, isolation is something that should be considered.
Pro: Various income streams! Again, depending on the jobs you are working on, there is no reason that you can’t take on several projects at once meaning several streams of income! Over the past few years full time/traditional employment no longer offers the security it used to. Job losses and redundancy are a major threat. As a freelancer you have the prospect of recruiting several regular clients to weather any potential employment storms, should you lose a client or two along the way.
Con: Work based benefits! Or lack of them. Many major companies offer benefits including health and child care, insurance and even simply free coffee if you are lucky. The professional freelancer will be responsible for all of the above (unless you hate coffee) which can add extra strain on your finances.
Pro: Choice! As a freelancer you (hopefully) will be earning enough to be choosey about your work, and pick projects that interest you.
Con: The tax man! Freelance work is, unfortunately, the same as traditional work in that you have to pay the tax man. The downside here is that as a freelancer, you’ll have to do it yourself. Taxes can be time consuming, confusing and a bit depressing when you realise just how much you may have to give away!
Freelancing not for you? Other options include salaried remote working for a single company, eBook authoring, niche websites or dropshipping to create a residual income, or working as you travel in more traditional jobs abroad such as bartending, fruitpicking or tourguiding.