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Flexibility. It is what many people want for their lives and why the gig economy is becoming the future of work, as shown by its growth. It is expected to reach $873 billion by 2028. While it’s nice to become part of a fast-growing opportunity, you must always do your due diligence to make sure the opportunity is right for you. In this case, it means knowing how to thrive in the gig economy. Doing your own research will be a large factor in your success, and the following information will help you get started, if embracing the gig economy is something you are thinking about.
How do you survive in the gig economy?
Like entrepreneurship, surviving in the gig economy takes a specific mindset and the readiness to market your unique skill set to the people and businesses who need them. Typically, you have to do this in an online forum, which means improving your technology, as well as your online interpersonal skills. On top of that, you will also need to ensure you:
- Are clear about your marketable skills and the value they deliver. Whether you’re a plumber, a writer, tutor, technician, or another kind of profession, you must know and easily communicate how your skills serve a need or solve a problem.
- Set your brand apart from others in your niche. Your brand is your reputation. In every way, your brand must communicate what you do, how you do it, and how that differs from others in your niche. Everything matters and sends a message, including the way you dress, your website, emails, and so on.
- Establish a consistent work routine. You are in charge of your income, the amount of work you bring in, and for meeting all your deadlines. That means you must be able to effectively juggle everything, including the regular marketing of your services. It can be done; it just requires a regular routine that you follow without question.
- Develop your network. Your power of association is key to your success when you are part of the gig economy. Always remember, we want to do business with people we know, like and trust. Referrals from your network will be a big part of your success in the gig economy. That means a regular part of your marketing routine must include networking and then following up with your connections to develop the relationships further.
What is the downside of the gig economy?
While independence, the ability to work from anywhere in the world, the variety in the projects you take, and the ability to set your own rates are attractive points for many who embrace the gig economy, there is a downside that you need to explore fully before you make any decisions about joining it.
The constant hustle is not for everyone. To be successful in the gig economy, you must continually market yourself, make connections, and follow up. You have to be able to get your work done in the now, and still look ahead months into the future to predict and then fill your schedule. The constant hustle is inspiring to some and overwhelming for others.
Cash flow issues can be a problem because work is not always consistent. That means developing a financial plan, as well as a marketing plan. It will be important to have an emergency fund set up for yourself, as well as funds set aside for times when you are in between gigs, that way you have cash reserves you can fall back on if it becomes necessary.
There are no benefits when you work for yourself. This, again, means planning ahead and putting money aside for any health-related issues you might face. No one wants to face a health crisis, but it’s even worse to go through it without an income to support you.
You must prepare for your taxes. In the gig economy, you get to charge higher rates for your services than you might make with an employer, but you also have to think ahead to the tax bill coming at the end of the year. Setting aside a certain percentage of your pay from each gig for your taxes is a wise decision to make, but not everyone thinks about it until they have no choice but to face it.
Isolation. Working for yourself also means working on your own much of the time. It is one of the things that people find most difficult when they move into the gig economy. There are ways around that isolation, and each person needs to make their own strategy to deal with those types of challenges.
Is the gig economy worth it?
Ultimately, this is a decision that each person must make for themselves. The statistics show that it is a rapidly expanding work sector and that the people in it enjoy what they do, and the flexibility it brings, but though it may be the future of work, it doesn’t mean that it is the right choice for everyone.
If you think it something you would enjoy, doing the research and learning how to thrive in the gig economy will be a huge part of your success. Take the time to build your strategy. Just like any business, when you enter the gig economy the more you preplan, the better off you will be.
If you would like to work with a mentor who can help you make your business and financial plan before you move into the gig economy, I invite you to apply for my Master Mentorship program today. It will help you accelerate your results!
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