How to Become a Successful Freelancer in 6 Months

I’ve worked alongside a beach in Malaysia. I’ve taken yoga classes at 2 p.m. because I felt like it. And no, I don’t have a huge savings account (yet!) or a trust fund. I’m a freelancer.

Two years ago, I made the leap after two incredible office jobs in the publishing world: First as an editorial assistant at Vanity Fair magazine, and second as the managing editor of the Aspen Institute’s magazine. While I loved the work and people at both places, I knew I’d be happier working on my own schedule. Plus it would afford me significant international travel opportunities — a huge priority.

If you’ve ever fantasized about such possibilities, you should consider taking the leap into the freelance economy as well. In fact, now is the best time — a recent study suggests that 40% of American workers will be freelancers by 2020.

In such an unstable economy, it may be difficult and unfulfilling to hold on to a job you aren’t crazy about. A new study by Princeton University economists found that only 11% of Americans who have been unemployed for more than six months will ever find full-time work again.

While that might sound bleak, I’d suggest the other 89% view it as an opportunity to follow in my footsteps with one of the best decisions I’ve ever made: Go freelance.

Here are nine things I’ve learned during my two years of freelancing that have made it not only possible, but absolutely invigorating. Follow my lead, and I bet you’ll be happily self-employed — and too busy to even remember what working in an office was like — in six months or less.

For more, read the rest of Elizabeth’s story on PolicyMic.

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