Welcome to Freelance Friday! Each Friday, I’ll share something Freelance-y that I learned during the week that will help other freelancers or entertain cubicle-queens. Thanks for reading!
One of the hardest parts of freelancing is also the most obvious: you have to earn your own money. And while that is a huge stressor, it’s also the reason your time is more valuable now. If you’re feeling doubtful, do the real money math and compare your former position to your current one.
You’ll find that your time is magically worth more when you earn your own money.
Here’s how business works: when you work for someone else, they make money off of you. So if you draw a 35K salary, it’s because they’re making 50K or more off of your position. That 15K difference goes into your benefits, the office space, wooing the clients, and paying the CEO and c-level staff crazy salaries.
When you work for yourself, you get to tap into that 50K need for your services without paying off the company for the connection. This means you have to take on those expenses and risks — but it also means your time has a more concentrated value.
This is why freelancers need to charge at least $50 per hour. This is why I can work “part time” (that is, less than 40 billable hours per week) and cover our expenses (though of course I’m working up to maxing that out ;-)). What I actually earn goes directly to me and the US government, not me, the US government, and my employer.