Someone once quoted the late American President John F. Kennedy as remarking, “Once you say you’re going to settle for second, that’s what happens to you in life.” The same is true for teaching yourself the necessary skills to become an internet entrepreneur.
Once you decide that you are “just good enough to get by for now” your chance of bettering yourself through online courses and other forms of distance learning tends to fall by the wayside. And that prevents you from living up to your full potential as an internet entrepreneur.
Trust me when I say that there are no “get rich quick” plans. Regardless of your freelancing niche, success will only follow hard work. It really is true that the more you put into something, the more you will get out of it – including the time you spend preparing for your new career as a freelancer.
Not everyone becomes an internet entrepreneur to replace a current or former full-time job. Some people turn to jobs like freelancing to supplement an existing income, especially with recent tax adjustments taking larger chunks out of weekly American paychecks.
Regardless of why you are planning to dive into the world of internet entrepreneurship, there are some things you can do when starting out to increase your chances of being a success. Here are some that helped me out when I first began. Maybe they can help you also.
- Have an emergency fund. You should save up at least 3 months’ worth of bills before striking out in your new career. Six months’ worth is even better. This allows you to devote all your attention to your work without the stress of how to pay for your next meal, house payment, or tank of fuel for your vehicle.
- Set a fair rate. This rate must be fair to both your clients and yourself. Just because you are new does not mean you have to be the cheapest entrepreneur in your niche. Consider in your costs, how much profit you wish to earn, what the demand is for your services, and the rates of your competition.
- Make the most of the tools you have. Do you know what your most accessible tool is? It is the internet! Most people who work online do not take full advantage of all the benefits available. For example, SA freelancers can take their vSphere 5 training courses without ever leaving their laptop. Photographers and digital artists can submit work through email. And writers and accountants can conference with clients via Skype.
- Optimize your environment for working. Did you know that quite a few people who work from home actually work from somewhere else? A fellow writing friend spends several hours a week working from via complimentary WiFi at our community library or, better yet, the local coffee house. It is cheaper than renting an office and still allows her to get into the mindset required to be productive.
- Network with others at every opportunity. Just because you work online and do not have to see others face to face does not exempt you from networking. Networking can help you build referrals to use on your website. Social media is a great way to network, and each social media network offers a unique, cost-free way to market your business online.
Entrepreneurships? There’s an App for That
Both the Android and iTunes stores have apps to help you get your freelancing career off the ground. One is the Elance app, associated with the online outsourcing company. Other apps allow you to keep track of how long you work on hourly jobs, connect with your clients, and even attend distance learning courses.
The primary benefit of apps is that they help you stay organized. Once you start taking on projects on a regular basis, you will appreciate things like scheduling apps along with the ability to check email or maintain your PayPal account.
I have been freelancing for several years, and throughout that time I have learned that organization really is the key to success. I tend to look at internet entrepreneurship as I do the other areas in my life – a place for everything, and everything in its place. And so far it has worked splendidly!