When to make the leap to F/T freelancing

by Ilise Benun

If you’ve been freelancing on the side and trying to decide when is the right time to make the leap, you’re not alone.

Here are two freelancers who blog for the Creative Freelancer Blog with their perspectives on the topic:

Alisa Bonsignore, writer: If your finances are in order; if your business is booming, so much so that it detracts from your day job; if you have a spouse with health insurance (huge plus!); if you’re comfortable with uncertainty; and if you are prepared to meticulously document hours, receipts and other expenses. Then and only then are you really ready to rock this thing the right way.

Or, in my case, if your employer is shutting down your site and moving operations to another state.  But ideally you’d have the nitty-gritty details nailed down regardless.

Heather Parlato, designer: This is a tough one. I was laid-off, so I didn’t exactly choose, though I had a 3-month lead-time of notice, and I knew I was getting a severance as a cushion. Pairing that with having steady work from a main client, I felt I was ready. I think the most sensible thing is to come up with a level of income you’re comfortable with getting from outside clients, and a level of savings that can get you through 3-6 months of expenses, get your starter plan in order and plan your out-the-gate marketing onslaught. and then do it!

Are you on the fence? Wondering if you’re ready or waiting for some sign to tell you it’s time? Some have used the Creative Freelancer Conference as their “launch date” and you can too: it’s June 21-22 in Boston and we’ll be recognizing everyone who is (or has) launched their business in 2011 at the conference. You can be one of them too! (Early-bird registration ends April
30. Set that as you deciding date.)

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About Andy Brenits

Andy Brenits is a brand and creative strategist with extensive experience building and leading creative teams for national and international brands. He has worked with major brands such as Banana Republic, The Gap, National Football League, KPMG, and Arizona Public Service. In addition to consulting and writing, Andy is the President of the board of directors at InSource and lectures on Visual Branding at Columbia University in New York.

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