In today’s society, having a day job is seen as the safest and most stable option of life. An ever growing group of people is starting to freelance, though. Both groups are running serious risks because their sources of income are vulnerable.
Trading time for money will never be a sustainable strategy of income. Regardless of the hourly rate you are charging, you have to infinitely keep selling new hours to keep generating income.
Freelancers trade time for money, too. But freelancers are less vulnerable than employees because they are constantly adapting to the variability of the market, while employees are imagining themselves in a comfortable position of having a contract, without adapting at all.
Freelancers are antifragile because their vulnerability is visible, employees are fragile because their vulnerability is not visible.
Employees might lose their job on any given moment due to a variety of reasons. That’s why it’s all or nothing for them. And they are probably not prepared for it because they failed to adapt in the apparent comfortable years of the job contract, while being trapped in the system with a house, a car and a family.
So, being a freelancer means being less vulnerable and having more freedom. Great. I call this the freelancer contradiction because you seem to have lots of freedom, gaining a higher hourly rate than an employee, but you actually have the same sustainability of income problem.
That’s why everyone, both employees and freelancers, should always be working on some sort of a side project next to their work, in my opinion. The objective should be to generate money while you sleep (so to speak) one day.
The internet is ideal for this because you can build stuff relatively easy without any technical knowledge and you can automate everything. I can’t code myself either.
Since I started freelancing back in 2008 I always have had side projects and tried several products. I failed a lot and therefore learned a lot. Failing is a stressor and stressors are information that help you adapt. That’s why trial and error works so well.
All these side projects have cost me lots of resources, both time and money. But it taught me important lessons, like never try a physical product again, start small and ship early.