When I first started freelancing, one of my goals at the time was to earn some extra money on top of my ‘normal’ day job. I had some bills that I REALLY needed to take care of … in fact, if I’m truthful (and we’re all friends here, right?) I was in a bit of a bind financially.

I turned to freelancing because there was no other way (legally) that I could make extra money. Once you’re on a salary in your ‘normal’ job, there is no opportunity to make any extra income.Get out of financial hardship

There’s no working on the weekends and getting paid double-time, no working extra hours to get some extra moola, there’s no real opportunity to make extra cash when you need it.

So what’s a girl supposed to do? A few of my male friends (they shall remain anonymous…) made jokes about bar work … you know the kind, with poles in them … and while I had one dark moment where I considered THAT prospect, it didn’t last long…

But still, the financial situation I was in was getting no better, I had 10+ missed phone calls a day, messages left at my work and a number of unopened emails on my computer … it got to the point where I just couldn’t avoid things any longer, at least not without some serious repercussions.

[Tweet “I had one dark moment where I considered THAT prospect, it didn’t last long…”]

How Freelancing Can Get You Out of Financial Hardship

One of the reasons I started so quickly with Location Rebel and oDesk was my drive to get myself financially stable. Yes, I wanted to work for myself and get out of my job, but I also wanted to stop the phone calls, messages, and emails from constantly hounding me.

No ‘normal’ 31 year old should be in this situation, but I had managed to allow myself to become lax with my finances and admittedly, I’m a bit of a spender and my attitude towards money has always been, “it’ll work itself out.”

Yep, guilty as charged. Money and I have not always seen eye to eye!

One of the things that really attracted me to freelancing was that I could use my spare time effectively and make extra money and clear my debts. It was an amazing feeling to get my ‘normal’ paycheck each week as well as my income from oDesk.

I can truly say that freelancing saved me from a very dark financial hole.

Quick-Start Guide to Freelancing

If you’re still on the fence about starting a freelancing gig, get off it! You actually have nothing to lose and everything to gain…

Here’s how to get started:

  • Write down all the skills you have, both what you do at work and what you love to do or are great at
  • Is there a cross over of skills? Can you capitalise on what you do at work and translate that into a freelancing skill?
  • Start with one freelancing skill initially. That could be freelance writing, web design, social media managing, project management, proofreading, writing sales copy etc
  • Register on a number of freelancing sites, like Upwork, Fiverr or Elance. Set up your profile completely, ensuring you add your profile photo and complete some tests to support your skill, ie, proves that you can do what you say you can to would-be clients
  • Start applying for gigs! Make sure your first few jobs are charged at a lower-than-normal rate. You do this to build up your rating and reputation on that site. You only need to do this for the first 3-5 jobs, then increase your rates
  • Out-perform your ass off! If you wanna keep clients, you need to over deliver. Whether that's delivering the work 24-48 hours ahead of schedule, offering them something extra for free, over deliver
  • Rinse and repeat!

The point is to get started. Freelancing is not hard, you just have to pick something and run with it.

Still not sure what you want to do? Or where to start? I’ve got a solution … it’s called Side Hustle Blueprint and in it, you’ll learn the steps you need to take to get yourself from idea to freelancing in 30 days or less.

The buck stops with you—if you wanna get yourself out of financial hardship, you have to take action and do something about it.

And no, that doesn’t mean burying your head in the sand!

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Lise Cartwright
Lise Cartwright

Founder of Hustle & Groove and your creative business strategist. If you want to get notified of new posts just like the ones you see here, then make sure you join the awesome H & G community — Join Now!

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