It took me only four months to become fully self-employed.
That was over four years ago and I haven’t had a job since. I want to tell you how I did it and why you can, too.
No, I’m NOT talking about pyramid schemes, and I’m not selling anything.
I’m talking about the legit FASTEST way to self-employment that I personally know of, plain and simple!
I just know the world needs as much help as it can get right now so I’m sharing what I know in the hope that it will help even at least ONE person out there who needs to hear HOW they can help themselves.
And hopefully she’s a woman who will kickass online to outgrow her impostor syndrome and fund her DREAMS, which is my #1 do-gooder mission in life!
First, let me hard-wire your brain with some shiny new facts to eliminate any doubts you may be having ALREADY.
I know how the human brain usually switches straight to the ‘AS IF!’ instinctual safety mode, so let me bullet-proof this lil’ bubble of hope in you a bit.
Most people would assume you HAVE to have an established business with a logo, website, business cards, yadda yadda yadda from the get-go, right?
And just thinking about that may feel overwhelming to you right now.
BUT YOU DON’T NEED ANY OF THESE THINGS!
All you need to have is the ability to do something that someone will be willing to pay you to do.
And that thing can be as simple as adding emails into a spreadsheet.
Then you go and find that person and convince them you can add in emails.
Then you get good at finding more people who need emails added into a spreadsheet, again and again (helloo, marketing!)
So how do you convince people to pay you to do anything in this world?
First, you sell yourself to them.
You leverage who already knows and trusts you or you go out and get to know new people. You establish trust and build relationships.
People are the key. People are what you really need.
I know we can’t meet a lot of people face to face right now, but we have this amazing interwebs access, right? Use social media to let everyone know you are looking for work online.
Join local Facebook groups, especially.
Second, did you notice what kind of business I am talking about there?
There are two main types of businesses:
- Products and manufacturing, and
On average, it takes a products and manufacturing business 13 months to see a profit, while it only takes around 3 to 5 months for service industries.
I learned this to my dismay many years ago when I earned my Certificate in Small Business. I was starting a handmade jewelry business. It took me nine months to see a profit from that business. I struggled to become self-employed with that business for 8 years.
When I switched to my second business in online services, BAM! Four months and I said sayonara to any sunk-ship nostalgia I had about making handmade jewelry. Crafting jewelry had been my passion, but it didn’t pair well with my other passion, which was to travel, so I had to give it up.
Making and producing things takes supply materials, more labor time, more extensive overheads, inventories, storage space, and generally has smaller profit margins.
While services – especially online services – have next to NO overheads and no storage requirements. All you need is a laptop, a comfy chair, a desk, and some reasonable software and office equipment.
So don’t go into products and manufacturing if you want FAST self-employment!
Set yourself up to do an online service business – and then learn to market it!
Third, if you don’t think you have any skills, let me assure you that you indeed do, you just don’t know how to sell it yet.
Would you agree everyone knows how to attach a file to an email and send it?
Everyone with a computer, right?
Most people would think that isn’t a skill and it isn’t something anyone would pay anyone to do, too, but they would be wrong.
You see the thing with services is that it’s not about the skills or the level of the skills, it’s about the time.
Your value in the service industry is that you are saving someone time.
And time, my lovelies, is the most valuable thing in this whole ‘effing world, so when what I’m proposing is learn to sell your time.
As a social media manager, I am primarily saving people time. There are other aspects of value that I can deliver, but that’s the #1 thing.
So what I propose is start off as a virtual assistant online – that is by far the fastest way to self-employment that I personally know.
VA’s, as we call them, do everything from Instagram hashtag research to blogging to adding email addresses into a spreadsheet.
Becoming a VA is the lowest-entry – and most useful – entry point into the online business world, and the fastest way to self-employment I would personally recommend to my friends.
VA’s learn a vast array of online skills, often taught to them by the clients who hire them. I know this because every VA I have hired I have had to teach, step-by-step, to show them what I need help doing. I create Google doc numbered guides and videos so that they know exactly what to do.
They learn to do all the things busy business owners simply do not have time to do. Many VA’s make a career out of it, while others use it as a jumping off point to a more specific skill set they develop an interest in. Many professional social media managers and copywriters started out as VA’s.
And NO, you are not competing with overseas VA’s who can charge as little as $4 an hour. For the simple reason that there will always be people who refuse to pay $4 an hour VA’s or those whose native language is not English.
You ARE, however, competing with every VA who is out-marketing you!
You can obliterate your competition as you learn better marketing and steadily increase your skills.
Building an online business presence takes time, but it does not need to be the first thing you do to start a business.
I explain this in detail in this post, How to Get Your First Clients And Kickass at All 3 Stages of Your New Freelance Career.
Marketing yourself as a single mom, for example, can actually help you get clients – the ones who want to help single moms!
It’s all about how you sell yourself first, not your skills, not your website, and not what you charge. That’s all icing on the cake that is you – your personality, your communication, your charm, your personal presentation.
There is someone for everyone out there, trust me.
I’m as unconventional as you can get and I’m doing just fine!
When you align your services to someone else’s needs perfectly and clearly, that’s good marketing.
They want your TIME. They want to pay you for it. Selling your TIME is the fastest way to self-employment.
Just be true to yourself, don’t be afraid to tell people your needs as well as what you can do and are willing to do.
You will get clients if you persist in trying to get them.
And then do start learning as many new skills as you can. There are numerous free and very affordable courses online. Start with the small ones and just build, build, build. The way I did it was to take a complete course in how to become a social media manager.
You can read my complete story from unemployed to self-employed freelance social media manager here.
Lastly, understand that the fastest way to self-employment is all about your mental game.
I personally believe that persistence is what makes people successful at most anything. Just good ole’ keep truckin’, keep showing up, keep at it.
I wanted to be self-employed for so long, I sacrificed everything to have it.
I lived on a very low income, forwent paid vacations, nice new things, and salary security. There were some VERY tough times, stressed relationships, decisions others would call crazy, but I knew what I wanted!
I didn’t want to work for the man.
I wanted to make my own security in my ability to make money in my own way, on my terms.
If you are a creative daydreamer longing to become a self-reliant freelance independent, you can do it. Just keep at it! Keep learning.
I have a special quiz you can take to see if you’ve got what it takes to kickass as a self-reliant creative. It’s a list of questions to ask yourself based on what I know about the struggle to become and STAY self-employed.
You can get that free quiz when you sign-up to my newsletter with the form below this post.
Then you’ll get my help to outgrow your impostor syndrome and KICKASS at marketing in your inbox!
So, are you ready to give self-employment a go? Do you agree that becoming a VA is the fastest way to self-employment? Or do you know of an even faster (just as legit) way? Please let me know what’s holding you back so I can help destroy your fears and uncertainties.
I hate to sound like a Baptist preacher from Georgia (my home state!) but I really believe that if someone as introverted, insecure, and weird as me can do it, so can you. That’s exactly the kind of woman I hope to help the most!
And if you’re already a self-employed freelancer but you’re hoping to transition out of trading your time for money, you are where I’m heading!
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