Being a freelancer, having a side hustle, or being self-employed in any way can be so exciting! You are able to have more freedom in your day while also likely pursuing your passions more. After being self-employed for nearly two years, I have learned a few key takeaways that I hope will help you as you consider taking the leap yourself.
Create A Routine
The freedom to wake up when you want to, go to sleep when you want to, take a nice long leisurely lunch break when you want to – these are all the perks to being self-employed. However, don’t get carried away! It can be very easy to fall into the trap of too much freedom. What’s important to lead a successful lifestyle in self-employment is creating a routine for yourself.
I start off my morning ritual by making a hot cup of matcha. It truly brings me joy. I also meditate, read, and in general have “slow” mornings. The days working for yourself can be so variable, I enjoy the stability and grounding that a morning routine can bring me.
Get Your Money In Order
Money is priority #1 when you work for yourself. For your personal finances, note how much your monthly living expenses are. How much do you spend on eating out, entertainment, gas, etc? List everything out. This will give you a great understanding of where you stand financially, how much you need to save as an emergency fund and how much you need to make on a monthly basis.
A benefit of working for yourself is that there are deductions where you may not have had them before. If you drive to a business meeting with a potential partner, make sure to notate the mileage usage because that can be a deductible business expense. If you have lunch with a client, you may also be able to deduct 50% of the cost of that meal as a business expense.
Money and finances can be confusing but what’s great is that now there are self-service tools like TurboTax that make it very easy for you to understand your taxes. If you ever have any questions on what could be a deduction or how to file anything, you can click to connect with a real CPA or EA with TurboTax Live Self-Employed.
So much of working for yourself has to do with building relationships. Much like with most things in life, having a community or support system of people that believe in you is vital to success. Start talking about who you are, what your services are, and what you can offer to others. You never know where your next client may be!
Invest In Systems
Without the structure and processes that are set in place in most companies, you need to create your own internal systems that work for your new work flow now that you are on your own. Some areas you may want to think about optimizing and putting systems in place may include:
1) Investing in a project management tool to keep you on track with all the various hats you now wear
2) An accounting solution like QuickBooks Self-Employed to help you manage your business finances in one place, keep track of mileage, capture receipts, and more! At tax time, you can easily import expenses from QuickBooks Self-Employed into TurboTax Self-Employed during tax prep.
3) An email marketing service to help automate marketing messages to your clients and customers
Identifying systems and tools can help optimize your efficiency. Trust me it will help clear your mind and create enough space for you to focus on what matters – mental clarity for optimal creativity and growth!
Hopefully these tips help you navigate the world of self-employment!
This post is created in partnership with TurboTax. All opinions are 100% my own.