If you’ve found your way to this website, you’re either part of the gig economy or thinking about getting in on it. I’ve been gigging in some way, shape or form since the early 1990s – earlier if you include my teenage adventures in babysitting, which sadly never measured up to the awesome movie of the same name.
If most or all of your income is derived from freelancing, self-employment or gig work, you are a Gig Boss. Not everyone can stomach the seeming irregularity of this lifestyle, but after dealing with two layoffs due to a lousy economy and one firing for being a bad fit (I’m proud of that, actually), I can’t say that I ever found a ‘real job’ to be all that stable. I personally like knowing that a turn for the worse doesn’t mean my income going to zero overnight – it means some income shrinkage, which sucks but also gives me a chance to try out new strategies or shift my focus to another project with good $$ potential.
I divide types of gig work into two categories – quick money and your dream job. We’re all very familiar with the quick money gigs like ridesharing, food delivery, moving help, dogwalking – but for the most part, it just meets our short-term needs and not our ambitions. Hell, some of us don’t even know what we want to be when we grow up, even though we’re 35, 45, 55 and we end up in dead-end jobs we never really wanted that eventually make you think, “I’d rather pick up dog poop on my own clock than show up for one more day of this neverending sh- crap” (see what I did there?). If you enjoy the flexibility and nature of the ‘quick money work’, there is nothing wrong with going all in…under the right circumstances, which is a whole ‘nother blog post.
Then there are the more profession-oriented platforms out there to discover and pursue your true ambitions. Not that every wannabe graphic designer is jazzed to get low-ball commissions on Fiverr, but you truly never know where a gig of any calibre might lead. And wouldn’t you rather make your newbie mistakes on a $20 client than a $200 or $2000 one? No? That’s just me? Oh. Well, if nothing else, it’ll give you an idea of what it really takes to make it, and what you should really be charging.
In an ideal world, those who find their side hustle taking on a life of its own transition to Gig Boss. But let’s face it – that’s not a path we can all take. You might suddenly find yourself out of a job or need more flexibility to manage your responsibilities asap. If you’ve got a few of the following qualities, there’s a good chance you can make the gig lifestyle work for you.
Take time to hone your these gig life skills. We’ve all got our strengths and weaknesses, but if you’re the type that feels galvanized by the prospect of having no limitations set on your schedule, income and ambitions, you’ll find a way. And hey, you’ve got me with you on this journey, and I’ve been called a “resource of resources”, so there’s that. Time to step up to the challenge!