Walking away from a steady 9-to-5 to pursue your dreams of going freelance can feel a little bit like jumping out of a plane: exhilarating and bold but also pretty terrifying. While the idea of choosing your own clients and setting your own hours is appealing, freelancing involves way more than freeing up your weekday calendar to do what you love. At the end of the day, you’ll need to figure out how you’ll stay afloat financially, which goes beyond just paying your bills on time. It’s a delicate balance that requires ingenuity, diligence, and a bit of flexibility.
If you’re considering making the transition to full-time freelance work (or have recently made the leap, like yours truly), the good news is you’re not alone. In 2014, the Freelancers Union commissioned a study that found about 34% of the American workforce was composed of independent workers, and that stat is expected to grow to a whopping 50% by the year 2020. With so many millions going freelance, there are more than a few tried-and-true techniques that can help make you an extra-efficient, higher-earning business of one.
Ready to learn more? Click through to discover seven key steps to aid you on your freelance journey, including managing your expenses (both personal and business) and tackling your taxes like a pro with Intuit.