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‘The Big Leap’ offers good advice for freelancing

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Right about now, you’d pounce on just about any job. One that’s different than the one you have. A job that pays better, or offers flexible hours so you can deal with virtual schooling, unimpeded. Or just a job, any job that helps close the gaps you’ve had since spring. You’re talented, conscientious, time-sensitive, and easy-going, and in “The Big Leap” by Martina Flor, you’re ready for the next step. Is there such a thing as the perfect job? There might be. Imagine doing work you enjoy for a boss you love, sitting in a chair you picked out, in an office you decorated. Yes, you can have it all, if you’re willing to put in the work it takes to become a freelancer. “Of course,” says Flor, “this will not happen overnight.” First, she says, remember that a freelancer, by definition, is an entrepreneur and there’s a lot involved in that; to help you stay focused on it all, consider using a “scope map.” Determine the best timing for this: will you keep a day job to help pay the bills for now, or are you all-in? Remember that you’re about to be The Boss, and while there are benefits to it (earning potential, setting your own work hours), there are also many “challenges” (client deadlines, managing your time). To start, build and maintain a good website; that’s where you’ll present yourself to attract new clients and utilize the portfolio you’ll have. Consider creating more than one income stream: teaching, speaking, and other jobs-within-jobs are great ways to make money. Know where to find clients, price your work right, and learn how to read a contract and negotiate. Find your own most effective way of organizing everything. Keep your finances in good order and have a system for invoicing and keeping track of income. Know when it’s time to find outside help, such as accountants, agents, and other auxiliary workers. Finally, learn how to say “no.” That one little word isn’t going to destroy your business… Reading “The Big Leap” is like having a good conversation on a bad phone line: You know you’re getting really great information, but you also know you’re not getting it all and certainly not enough. This is not to say that author Martina Flor’s ideas are wrong: they’re just not complete. There’s a lot on portfolio creation and management, but not nearly enough warnings about making sure one has what it takes for successful entrepreneurship. Little is mentioned about seeking advice or mentors. The parts on organization and focus are way too light. Still, for unemployed readers, new grads, or anyone sick of waiting for life to normalize, this book is golden. In easy-to-understand, honest language, Flor sparks thoughts and offers ideas; paired with another how-to-entrepreneur book, that could be the start of something big. And there’s the important part: paired with something else. This is a very good book but it needs a companion so find something complementary, then find “The […]

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