The “gig economy”, also known as the “freelancer economy” or the “independent workforce”, is thriving. More and more talented individuals are ditching their 9-5 for the digital nomad,  independent contractor, and self-employed “gig life”. Rapid growth of the gig economy is showing us that the remote and independent workforce is the future. The dramatic shift has been facilitated by advancing technologies in savvy freelancer platforms and task-management apps that help the self-employed stay organized.

Independent workers are gaining the kind of financial freedom and geographical freedom they never had as a traditional employee. The kind of freedom you used to daydream about at your office cubicle – the kind of freedom that used to feel out-of-reach – is now more attainable than ever before, thanks to the rise of the gig economy. People who once only dreamed of being their own boss are realizing that it’s actually a feasible goal now.

The gig economy is reshaping the employment model, and revolutionizing the work-life model for the next generation. Click To Tweet

The term “gig economy” refers to a flexible, independent workforce lifestyle that is vastly different from the traditional employment model. While traditional employment tends to involve a permanent, full-time job with 40 hour work-weeks in one set location, vacation pay, sick pay, health benefits and plenty of stability, the gig economy is almost the complete opposite of all of that. Rather than committing to a daily 9-5 work day every day at the same company for decades, those who choose the gig economy lifestyle are taking a risk to avoid being tied down by the limiting nature of the traditional employment model. And as with any risk, if taken wisely, there is also the potential for impressive rewards.

Those who choose the gig economy lifestyle are trading stability, predictability and security for opportunity, freedom and possibilities. Click To Tweet

The gig economy involves a variety of one-off projects or temporary “gigs” that are often high-paying in nature, especially if the independent contractor is highly skilled. Exceptionally skilled individuals will have no problem landing various independent contracting assignments or long-term and ongoing freelancing arrangements. The freelancer often completes these projects from home on their own schedule, unless their “gig” involves driving for Uber during a surge, or working an event.

Last year, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that over 35% of the U.S. workforce – over 55 million people – are “gig workers”. By next year, in 2020, it is estimated that more than 43% of the US workforce will be gig economy workers.

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The gig economy is all about having access to a variety of different clients, and therefore an influx of incoming “gigs”. This allows the independent worker to juggle an assortment of incoming assignments from multiple clients. Many of these will be one-off projects, but others will become long-term relationships with steady freelance work on an ongoing basis. The cumulative annual earnings from the series of “gigs” can be equal to or greater than the annual income someone would otherwise earn at a full-time job. The freelancer can work wherever they want, whenever they want, and can potentially earn a significantly higher income than they earned at their full-time job.

Some highly skilled gig economy workers make more money in the few hours it takes them to complete one client project, than they’d have otherwise earned in an entire 40 hour work-week at their 9-5 job. Click To Tweet

Many of my mentees are much wealthier now that they are part of the gig economy. They were not satisfied with the mediocre income they were earning at their traditional full-time job, and they’ve stated that they now earn a ‘real living’ because they shifted to the gig economy lifestyle.

Do you feel underpaid at your permanent job? Do you ever wonder if you could earn a much higher income as an independent gig worker? The truth is, it really is possible to earn significantly more money once you say goodbye to your traditional job and join the independent workforce. Let’s discuss the possibilities.

Pros of Living The Gig Economy Lifestyle

Those who choose the gig economy lifestyle have the freedom traditional employees don’t have. If you choose the gig life, you’ll have the flexibility to work when you want, where you want. When a client assigns you a project or a “gig”, you can complete that project during the work hours that suit you best, wearing the clothes you want to wear, in the location of your preference – whether that’s your couch, your favorite coffee shop, or poolside at a luxury hotel.

Essentially, your comfort comes with you to work. You have more control over each aspect of your day, and you’re independent with nobody looking over your shoulders or micromanaging you. No longer are there dress code policies to abide by, a set schedule you must adhere to, or condescending team members you must put up with.

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Additionally, as a gig worker, each project or ‘gig’ might vary greatly from the last, making work more exciting, dynamic and fulfilling. Traditional employees of companies may find their work to be quite repetitive and mundane, when each day feels the same and there often isn’t enough variety to spice things up.

Gig economy workers also get to avoid toxic workplace environments, horrible bosses, discrimination, favoritism and office politics. Click To Tweet

When you aren’t thriving with a particular client, you have the freedom to change it up and choose another gig. The temporary nature of the work and the range of possible clients allows you to never again be stuck in an unfulfilling, dreary office environment or with negative colleagues that leave you unhappy and unproductive.

The control you have is one of the greatest pros of all. You get to choose who you work for, which projects you’ll take on, and how much you’ll charge per project. All of those things are up to you. By embarking into the gig economy, you can become your own boss overnight.

Another benefit is that the gig economy allows you to remain open to new and exciting career opportunities.

One day, you could come across a life-changing opportunity that you’d never have come across if you were tied to your 9-5 job, doing the same thing day-in and day-out. Click To Tweet

Let’s not forget that you’ll suddenly have the ability to travel whenever you want, and take days off for social or personal commitments at your leisure.

You also have more opportunity to make a lot more money in the gig economy – but why? If you work for a company, you have several tiers of managers and people above you all making incrementally more money than you do. Their salaries are higher than yours, in part because they are keeping some of the value of the work that you produce. Is that fair? No. But luckily, in the gig economy, you work directly with the client. You get decipher the value of what you are producing, and you get to keep every penny for yourself by cutting out the middle man. You get to decide what to charge them, and if you’re exceptionally skilled, you can charge high-ticket prices.

It isn’t only those who work in the gig economy that are benefiting from it. Businesses are also adapting to and capitalizing on the opportunities to use gig workers to expand their business in new ways that were not possible before. Consumers are also winning as gig workers provide them with more options and ways to receive goods and services – such as being able to hire someone for a gig of assisting them in a project or helping them to do other small tasks.

Overall, the gig economy accommodates the desire for a flexible lifestyle while also promising more opportunity to make more money, and that’s why the gig economy is so desirable.

Who is Best Suited For The Gig Economy Lifestyle?

To survive in the gig economy, you have to be a self-starter, you have to be self-disciplined, and you also need to have a high income skill.

Being self-motivated and self-disciplined is especially important. Without the structure, set schedules and supervision of a formal workplace, you simply won’t succeed in the gig economy unless you know how to be a self-starter.

Gig workers need to be able to stay on task and avoid distractions, especially if they want to complete projects in a timely manner and build a solid reputation that leads to word-of-mouth referrals and more clients.

As a gig economy worker, you must constantly level-up your skills.

The gig economy is competitive, because potential clients are typically looking to hire one independent contractor or freelancer to complete a project for them - and they have plenty of options. Click To Tweet

You therefore must continue to upgrade your skills, stay relevant, self-educate, keep up with industry trends, keep your finger on the pulse, and position yourself as an expert. You also have to know how to sell yourself. You’re not the only one who offers this service, so why should someone hire you for the gig?

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Discover Your Gift: Why You Need a High Income Skill to Succeed in the Gig Economy

Those who have a high income skill are most likely to succeed in the gig economy. High-income skills, once mastered, can lead to life-changing success. I define a high-income skill as a skill that can make you a minimum of $10,000 per month, which is a healthy six-figure income.

If you’re a highly skilled freelancer, you’re more likely to earn enough for the life you want in the gig economy than you are in a 9-5 job. At a 9-5 job, your value is determined by your manager or boss, and not by the marketplace. Your hours are traded for a set dollar amount, determined by your boss. With a high income skill in the gig economy, however, you’re trading your skill for a high-ticket price that you’ve set for yourself – a price that the marketplace is willing to pay.

Highly-skilled independent contractors are the people who get highly-compensated for their work.

Remember that if you have a high income skill, you could earn more money completing one 4-hour project than you’d otherwise have earned in an entire 40-hour work week at a traditional job. Click To Tweet

You do need to know how to find high-paying clients, but once you find them, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at what they’ll offer you for your services.

High paying clients, also known as high ticket clients, are committed to finding the best person with the most impressive skill set, because they’re committed to their company’s success. They are willing to pay for the best person. Think of it this way: If you’re a highly-skilled expert, you’re selling certainty. They’re buying certainty. High ticket clients will pay a premium for that certainty.

What is your high income skill? To figure that out, first you’ll have to discover your gift if you haven’t already done so. What is it that you’re irrefutably talented at? Or, is it possible that you simply need to learn a high income skill? If this sounds like you, sign up for my 4-day training program where I’ll teach you the most profitable high income skill.

It’s also helpful to write out a list of the skills you know you have. Think about the specific talents you’ve been consistently complimented on throughout your life. Curious which skills can be considered high income skills? Some high income skills that will make you money in the gig economy include: SEO copywriting, Instagram marketing, platform selling, web development, designing blockchain technology, consulting, coaching, and closing.

If you have a high-income skill, you can earn a real living in the gig economy. That’s why Upwork’s 2018 Freelancer’s Report found that 93% of freelancers value skill-related training

(such as my 4-day skills training program) over a formal education.

Moonlighting and Supplementing Your Income: The Side Hustle

Many gig economy workers who now live the gig life full time, started out by dipping their toes in the water, by moonlighting or having a side hustle.

Moonlighting is when someone supplements their income with a second job, in addition to their full-time job. Many teachers, for example, moonlight as tutors. Platforms such as VIPKid allow teachers to tutor kids online, during evenings and weekends, as a way to make extra money from home. Similarly, many people with full-time office jobs moonlight as an Uber driver. These are just a couple of examples of moonlighting.

The modern version of moonlighting is the “side hustle”.

A side hustle is typically more entrepreneurial in nature: it’s something you create on your own, such as a service you offer that aligns with your passions more than your full-time job does. Click To Tweet

Your side hustle will be your priority when you’re not at the office, typically during evenings and weekends, and your side hustle is probably something you’re very talented at and passionate about. Someone who is very talented at photography, for example, will get side gigs and freelance work as a photographer when they’re not at their formal workplace. Someone with a talent for writing might have a side hustle as a freelance writer.

In many ways, if you start a side hustle, you’re slowly introducing yourself to the gig economy. If your side hustle becomes successful, you might ditch your traditional workplace and jump into the gig life with both feet. Click To Tweet

Do you know what many of my mentees who tried out a side hustle and dipped their toes into the gig life quickly found out? They found out they could earn more money in one hour at their side hustle than they earned in a full 8-hour work day at their traditional job. If you found out you could do that, how long would it take you to quit your full-time job and exclusively choose the gig economy lifestyle? It wouldn’t take long, I’m sure.

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Who Is Not Suited For The Gig Economy?

The gig economy is not for everyone, just like entrepreneurship is not for everyone. Some people are risk-averse and they need a predictable paycheck. These people need to know exactly what their paycheck is going to be, and exactly when they’ll be getting it. They need the certainty of a bi-weekly paycheck in an amount they are expecting to receive every 2 weeks. These people don’t care that they could potentially make more money as a freelancer – they’d rather stick with their full-time job because of its predictability.

If you have a full-time job where you feel as though you’re more intelligent and more skilled than your coworkers, yet you’re earning the same salary as them, how does it make you feel? If you’re ok with that, then perhaps you’re ok with the 9-5 lifestyle where the over-performers are rarely overpaid, and typically get paid about the same as the under-performers.

Let’s use teachers as an example. Some teachers truly care about their students, and go above-and-beyond to create interesting and interactive material for their classrooms, while also going the extra mile with after-hours help and extra attention given to their students. Other teachers at the same school, making the exact same salary, might be mediocre teachers who do the bare minimum and never offer any extra time, let alone put forth the effort to come up with creative material for class. These two types of teachers sound like night and day, right? One of them is an amazing teacher who goes above-and-beyond for her students, and the other teacher does the bare minimum, and doesn’t give students any extra time. Does it seem fair that these two teachers get the same benefits and earn the exact same salary? I don’t think so.

While people who successfully navigate the gig economy and land high-paying ‘gigs’ on a regular basis love that they’re finally being paid what they’re worth, risk-averse people tend to settle for being underpaid. Click To Tweet

A 9-5 employee might know they aren’t going to be rewarded with more money for doing better work than their colleagues, but they also know there’s zero risk that they’ll be making no money at all next month.

Are There Any Cons of The Gig Economy?

The gig economy allows for more freedom, but also a lot more risk. There’s more opportunity, but also more uncertainty. And, even though you have the flexibility to choose your own work hours, you sort of have to always be available. If a potential client contacts you on a Sunday, and you don’t respond, they might find a different freelancer. Many gig economy workers feel like they need to always be ‘on the clock’, constantly checking their email even late into the night and on weekends, to ensure they don’t miss out on an opportunity to be hired by a new client.

Gig economy workers don’t always know where their next “gig” will come from, which can lead to anxiety and stress. They don’t have sick pay, vacation pay, retirement plans or health benefits anymore either. Many gig economy workers rarely take real vacations. Because many freelancers can work from anywhere in the world, they tend to work during their vacations, which doesn’t always feel like a good thing.

What are some other cons of the gig economy? Some independent contractors may find the remote, removed and isolated lifestyle of the gig economy a deterrent. Independent, remote workers will sometimes feel lonely, and miss the social aspects of going into their office every day and interacting with coworkers.

Many gig economy workers spend their days alone, and working from home can result in cabin fever. Click To Tweet

However, there is always a solution if you’re willing to find one. Gig economy workers can rent office space, where other gig economy workers and entrepreneurs also rent space. They can therefore form new connections and integrate some social aspects back into their work life. As far as health benefits and retirement plans go, a gig economy worker earning an impressively high income from gig work can afford to purchase their own health benefits plan, and save for retirement.

Although 63% of freelancers did admit feeling anxious about all they have to manage in a 2018 freelancer’s report from Upwork, 77% said they have a better work/life balance as an independent worker.

Why Do Some Companies Prefer To Hire Gig Economy Workers Instead of Employees?

Why do so many businesses these days prefer to hire independent contractors and freelancers over full-time employees?

Business owners no longer have to go through a costly and tiresome hiring process. With the growth of gig economy workers, business owners can now zero in on the specific skills they are seeking, and hire specially-skilled freelancers on a per-project basis. The employer can even use the independent contractor’s first project as a trial, meaning that if it goes well, they can offer that gig worker ongoing work. There’s no obligation, however, to continue working with that person after their “gig” is complete.

If they choose to hire independent workers, companies also have a larger talent pool and a wider range of applicants to choose from, as they don't have to hire someone based on their geographic location. Click To Tweet

This concept of hiring remote workers is also a cost-reducing benefit for businesses. They’re reducing their need for office space and office supplies, which means they can cut costs on both. They also don’t have to pay for health benefits, sick pay, or vacation pay. In general, overhead costs are drastically reduced when companies choose to hire freelancers.

Employers are also attracted to the concept of hiring independent contractors to complete projects because if the relationship doesn’t go well, there doesn’t have to be a termination. In the gig life, it’s common for the relationship to end when the contract ends, or when the project is finished. Gig workers are used to this. There is therefore no need for an awkward conversation or an uncomfortable employee termination if the relationship didn’t work out.

Finally, freelancers tend to produce higher-quality work, because they are hoping for repeat clients. Freelancers tend to give each project their all, in hopes of landing repeat business from the company. They want to impress the business owner, and they don’t take the company’s business for granted.

Types of Gigs and How To Find Them

There are a plethora of gig jobs available across a wide variety of industries. The tech-savvy will find one-off projects in web development, mobile app development and software development. Creative geniuses will find lucrative gigs for content writing, photography, and graphic design. Digital marketing experts will find plenty of gigs for social media management and online marketing. The list is endless. But how do you find gigs?

With the rise of the gig economy came the rise of online platforms and mobile apps designed for independent professionals to find temporary work. Click To Tweet

These days, it’s easier than ever to find gigs, especially if you’re highly skilled in something that the marketplace has demand for.

Upwork, for example, is a global freelancing platform where businesses and independent workers connect online and do business together remotely. When a freelancer goes to the Upwork website for the first time, he or she will create a profile detailing their skills, experience, and the services they offer. Each day, new ‘gigs’ are posted by various businesses, companies and entrepreneurs needing help. Upwork users can apply for any newly posted gigs that suit their skill level, and this is when having a high income skill comes in handy. Your new potential client will check out your Upwork profile and decide whether or not you’re the most skilled freelancer who applied to their posting. Upwork accommodates both short-term and long-term projects, hourly or per-project work, and entry-level or expert-level tasks.

High Ticket Closing

Freelancer is a website similar to Upwork, but allows you to compete with other freelancers in contests to prove your skills are top-level. If you’re confident in your expert abilities, know that Freelancer will help you showcase your talents and help you attract more clients.

TaskRabbit is another platform that helps independent professionals of the gig economy find gigs. TaskRabbit is a mobile marketplace that matches freelancers with tasks based on local demand, allowing consumers to find immediate help with everyday tasks, including cleaning, organizing, moving, handyman work, and administrative work.

Toptal is the online platform you’ll want to use if you’re an industry expert with a high income skill. Toptal is reserved for talented, expert-level freelancers. To use Toptal, you’ll have to pass their screening process which determines just how expert-level your skills are. Passing this screening process gives you access to high ticket clients such as JPMorgan and Airbnb. The pay tends to be quite high, as this is not a platform for low-ballers or low-bidders.

These are only some of the countless apps and online platforms that will help you find clients. You can also find clients by attending networking events, or by pitching businesses that you think could use your services.

Why The Boom in Freelance Work?

According to Upwork, there are currently nearly 57 million Americans working on a freelance basis – and that number is rapidly growing. Their 2018 report on freelancers in America also found that combined, Americans are spending more than 1 billion hours per week freelancing.

But why the boom in freelance work? For one thing, advancing technologies are making it easier than ever to succeed as a freelancer. Task-management platforms such as Trello, Wrike and Slack have empowered freelancers to work efficiently and manage their gigs with ease.

Task-management apps are important because gig workers are self-employed and they have to be their own manager, their own accountant, their own marketing department, their own assistant, etc.

The rise of online freelancing platforms such as Upwork and Freelancer are making it easier than ever for freelancers to find work, which encourages the once-hesitant to finally ditch their 9-5 and join the independent workforce with… Click To Tweet

Of course, a major factor in the boom of freelance work is the lifestyle benefits this flexible lifestyle offers to freelancers. A study on freelancer behavior by DesignCrowd, for example, found that 55% of participants chose freelancing so that they could choose their own work hours, and 61% love that they can choose projects that match their interests. A freelancer study by Upwork found that overall, the top 5 reasons individuals are motivated to start freelancing are the desire to: 1) to be their own boss, 2) to choose when they work, 3) to choose their own projects, 4) to choose where they work and 5) to earn extra money.

And, as mentioned earlier, the freelancing economy also benefits businesses and employers who need highly-skilled individuals for short-term projects. The fact that more and more businesses are hiring freelancers instead of employees is of course contributing to the boom in freelance work.

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Top 5 Reasons Individuals Are Motivated To Start Freelancing - Infographic: pic.twitter.com/UauPs1AnBm Click To Tweet

The Future of The Gig Economy

Is it possible that the traditional 9-5 employment model could become obsolete in the near future? A recent study by Upwork predicts that within the next decade, freelancers will become the U.S. workforce majority, and freelancers in America already contribute $1.4 trillion to the U.S. economy. That’s right: The gig economy is already a trillion-dollar market.

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The Upwork study also found that each year, technological advances have been increasing the amount of gig work obtained online by self-employed individuals. I believe that technological advances will continue to expedite the growth of the gig economy, as obtaining gig work will become easier and easier. The gig economy lifestyle will therefore continue to become more and more attractive.

Rapid growth of the gig economy has already resulted in political and technological advances towards offering freelancers and gig workers more options in terms of health benefits and retirement plans. While freelancers used to lack options when it came to having benefits, advances in technology have created customizable plans that mimic employee health benefits.

Catch, for example, is a new service that sells health insurance and retirement savings plans directly to freelancers, independent contractors, and self-employed individuals who are not covered by employee benefits. Catch also offers tax withholding estimator services for self-employed gig workers who need help getting organized in setting aside money to pay their taxes. This way, gig workers can put money in a separate account, to remain untouched until it is time to pay their taxes.

Marcos Jacober, CEO of Life Hacks Wealth, predicts that within the next decade, 25% of traditional jobs will not exist anymore. Click To Tweet

This prediction aligns with Upwork’s prediction that the majority of the U.S. workforce will be made up of freelancers within the next decade.

As the gig economy continues to grow at a rapid pace, more and more millennials will choose modern skills-training over traditional college courses, so that they can be best-equipped for the gig economy. If you want to set yourself up for success in the lucrative gig economy, don’t forget to sign up for my 4-day skills training course. The future is yours, and so are all the high-paying gigs.

Summary

If you’re a self-employed independent contractor or a freelancer, you’re part of the “gig economy”. Rapid growth of the gig economy is showing us that the independent workforce is the future. Nearly 40% of the U.S. workforce – over 55 million people – are currently “gig workers”.

A recent study by Upwork predicts that within the next decade, freelancers will become the U.S. workforce majority, and freelancers in America already over $1 trillion to the U.S. economy. 

Why Do People Choose The Gig Economy Lifestyle?

The gig economy lifestyle offers more freedom, more flexibility, more control, more opportunity, and more possibilities.

According to global freelancer platform Upwork, the top 5 reasons individuals are motivated to start freelancing are the desire to: 1) to be their own boss, 2) to choose when they work, 3) to choose their own projects, 4) to choose where they work and 5) to earn extra money.

You’ll Probably Make More Money in the Gig Economy – Especially With a High Income Skill

Many of my mentees are much wealthier now that they ditched their 9-5 job and joined the independent workforce. Many people who ditch their traditional job now earn a real living because they shifted to the gig life. This is especially true for people who have an in-demand high income skill, making it easier to find high-paying gigs. My training program helps people develop high income skills so that they can thrive in the gig economy.

Advancing technologies have facilitated the rise of the gig economy. Freelancing platforms such as Upwork and Toptal help gig workers find gigs, high-paying projects and lucrative freelance jobs. Those with exceptional skill sets will stand out on these platforms and land plenty of gigs.

What Type of Person Can Succeed in the Gig Economy?

To survive and succeed in the gig economy, you have to be a self-starter, you have to be self-disciplined, and you also need to have a high income skill.

As a gig economy worker, you must constantly level-up your skills. The gig economy is competitive, because potential clients are typically looking to hire one independent contractor or freelancer to complete a project for them – and they have plenty of options. Join my training program today to help ensure that you will stand out and succeed.