Traveling the world, meeting new people, getting more done without all the stress of commuting and office politics—these are just a few of the perks of freelancing. According to Forbes, with 50% of the U.S. population already working like this, how does the average nine-to-fiver become a jet-setting freelancer?
Originally referred to as telecommuting or teleworking, freelancers are those who do their job outside traditional office space. IBM was one of the first companies to employ freelancers on a large scale and did so as early as the ’80s.
These days many companies allow their employees to punch the clock from wherever they want; home, a café, or even halfway around the world.
So with the possibility of making any place in the world your home office, how can you clock in, and cash in, from anywhere?
What If Freelance Became the Norm?
Well, by 2020, Gen-Z will make up 36% of the global workforce. As digital natives, they’ll probably want the same freedom with their jobs that they’ve always had with technology. Of course, not all industries are suited to freelance. The most common freelance jobs are in marketing, software, and e-commerce. However, many freelancers aren’t employees at all.
Adriana Ayales, the owner of Anima Mundi Apothecary, spends eight months of the year running her Brooklyn-based business from a jungle in Costa Rica. She says there are a few keys aspects to running her apothecary remotely: “The best way to manage a budget is having trustworthy team members and leaders. But at first, it was hard for me to balance that you know, like creating yourself a salary, making sure everything is running smoothly, to me that all came down to trust, trusting in your work and yourself and your team and strategizing the budget in accordance.”
What about freelancers who don’t have a home-base for their business?
Well, the ones who skip the brick-and-mortar and head straight to the airport are called digital nomads. They earn a living and travel at the same time, and can do so anywhere that has an internet connection.
Hanson Grant, co-owner of Think Board, a peel & stick whiteboard company, has worked from over thirty countries in the past five years. He runs his entire business online.
“I think after being exposed to, ah, selling products online and being able to control the hours I work and make money while I sleep, etc. I really got excited about the opportunity to be able to work on a company while travelling domestically or internationally.”
How you bring in the dough while travelling is up to you, but another consideration is saving money. Hanson often finds that travelling can be cheaper than staying put:
“From a financial perspective since we run every business expense through our travel credit card, we get to fly for free. So that’s wonderful. Um, and then the air bnb’s actually ended up becoming cheaper than our rent in Boston.”
Jennifer Lucey-Brzoza owner of Noat, a greeting card company, finds that freedom and saving money aren’t the only benefits of running her business this way:
“Working remotely is something that has always felt really important. I get a lot of inspiration, I get a lot of new ideas from being in unfamiliar places, and being exposed to new people and new art, and new environments.”
Thanks to modern technology, having a career no longer means establishing a routine and settling down. Those who embrace the freelancer lifestyle are redefining the way we view our jobs and start businesses to make money.
So now that you can turn anywhere in the world into your office as these 3 entrepreneurs made with Shopify; how and where you reel in the cash is up to you.