The freelancing barriers that I faced when I started freelancing a decade ago are not barriers anymore and is a breeze for anyone starting freelancing in 2016
The idea for this post came from Ray Edwards recent video where he shared about the 5 barriers that are not a barrier anymore for startups.
It’s a must watch video and so first watch the video.
If I look at my journey as a freelancer or entrepreneur I think it was quite a bumpy ride back then but now it is quite a breeze when I compare it to a decade ago.
1. Easy to find clients
When I started in 2002, there were so many freelancing sites that you can easily get overwhelmed about them. Everybody was launching freelancing market place and I also launched one GlobalDevelopers.net back then.
I started with 8 to 10 freelancing sites back then and tried many things like I purchased a GMail invite on eBay (Yes Gmail was not available unless you had an invite). Sold many GMail invites. To have more invites I even opened few fake GMail accounts using my own invites. There was no eBay.in and it was all eBay.com.
Coming back to finding clients, when I was in college, I grabbed few homework help type of work to build a reputation as a freelancer on freelancing sites before I could get real work.
Fast forward to 2016 and I see clients are fine hiring a college student for getting real projects done as long as they can judge that you can finish it.
The real reason for such scenario is more and more people want to be hiring on a contractual basis. Even I prefer hiring freelancer on site like Elance instead of hiring them full-time. Such mindset has created a surge in the amount of work available to freelancers.
2. Receive real money in the bank account
I could create a PayPal account with Indian credit card (I could manage a credit card as a student in India) in 2002-2003 but then I could not withdraw my money from PayPal to my Indian bank account. They would not even send a USD check to India.
I was accumulating funds in my PayPal account and can spend them on merchants who accept PayPal. I used to purchase hosting, vBulletin, Skype Credits and was making payments from my PayPal account.
As I see my PayPal account history today, 1st May 2003 is when I received my first PayPal Payment of $5 and on 11th November of 2005 I got my first PayPal check issued in USD which would take a month to reach me and then a month to encash in my bank account.
Not to mention the amount of questions bank representative would ask before taking USD check for clearance.
When PayPal started issuing a paper check, I was over the moon because now I could get my money from my PayPal account into my hands though it will take couple of months to get the money hit my bank account.
Similar things can be said about the eBook payments, I could not accept payments for digital products in Indian Rupees but now Clickbank supports payments in INR and we have instamojo as Indian Payment processor where you can sell digital goods.
3. Better Forex Rates
When I started receiving payments in 2005, 1 USD was paying me 45 INR and today 1 USD will pay 67 INR. With the same hourly rate you make 25% more money.
Better forex rates have allowed me to make lot more money and keep rates competitive.
4. Brag about working from home
If I say I work from home, poeple used to give me a stare assuming I am not doing anything or I don’t have a job or am fired from my job.
Freelancing has always been working from home but now when everyone is freelancing you can explain your mom that you are working even when you are at home but it was really tough for me to explain back then what I was doing and how I was earning.
You can now partner with others who also prefer working from home which was real tough then or you can even find employees who are more than willing to work from home.
We are living in a time where things are becoming really easy for businesses, entrepreneurs and freelancer and so you should definitely consider it. Are you freelancing yet? Share your views and story in comments below.
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