Apply Within: More Americans Becoming Their Own Bosses


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Attention, Smart Girls: Good news! You don’t have to work for someone else.

Current United States economic data is showing that self-employment is on the rise. Many people went freelance when they lost their jobs during the recession. However, even though the economy has improved, it seems that many workers are not in a rush to get back to traditional work.

Many companies are hiring more freelancers and consultants to take on projects so that they can continue to reach their business objectives while also cutting costs by slimming down their full-time staffs. Meanwhile, individuals in tech, business, the arts, and a plethora of other industries are favoring the flexibility of working independently. Being your own boss can be incredibly liberating, but don’t be fooled; it’s not easy.

If you’re thinking about freelancing, be aware that it takes a lot of preparation and very thick skin to succeed. You may not have a formal title that others understand or respect. Your income will probably be quite variable, and you’ll have to cover your own costs. You will have fantastic ups and devastating downs—and you have to keep yourself consistently motivated through it all.

Fear not, though, Smart Girls. If you’re driven, passionate, persistent, and talented, freelancing may be a great path for you! You get to choose your own projects, work your own hours, and take full responsibility for your own destiny. It is very difficult to make money on your own, but when you’re working for yourself there is no cap on your income, so the possibilities are limitless. The key is to make sure that you choose a path that will make you happy—clients love to see that you are passionate! If you don’t love your job, you will find it very hard to succeed in any employment situation, so if you want the freedom of freelancing, make sure you know what you’re getting yourself into.

I’m an independent contractor, working as a licensed real estate salesperson in Manhattan, and I’ll be filing a Form 1099 this tax season. Will you?

S. Kyle

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