Often when people talk about striking out on their own, they’ll refer to it as “taking a leap.” I’ve used the phrase myself when talking about my own freelance adventure. But, in truth, I really don’t like it. I think it negates the amount of advanced planning that goes into a solo venture, especially a successful one. Yes, there is a certain amount of faith involved in entrepreneurship, but there is a whole lot more strategy.
Freelancing had always been part of my “someday” plan. While working full time, I freelanced on the side, conducting telephone interviews for stories from my car on my lunch break and writing in the evenings. Those small side gigs paid dividends when I called the editors to let them know I had become my own boss and could take on more work.
I also spent months researching what set successful freelancers apart. I was even able to get paid for some research by writing an article on freelancing for my alumni magazine, which ran three years before I put my own plan into action. Learning what worked for others helped me create my strategy prior to quitting my full-time gig.
That being said, many of us need a catalyst that prompts us to put our plans into action. My freelance dream became a reality when I wanted to work around my son’s (and now my daughter’s) schedule. While that first move may have felt like a leap at the time, it really was just the first step in a well-crafted plan. Advanced planning and the determination to live the lifestyle I wanted have made my successful freelance venture my new reality.
Photo by kebb via iStockphoto.