If you end up with a boring miserable life because you listened to your mom, your dad, your teacher, your priest, or some guy on television telling you how to do your shit, then you deserve it. ― Frank Zappa

Freelance: A Key to FreedomOne of the real struggles college students face after graduation is finding a reliable source of income in a position where they are able to grow.

In traditional terms, climbing the ladder of success meant (and still means to some) joining a corporate company, paying dues, and working your way to the top.

If that happens to be your chosen path, there is nothing wrong with it. With the passing of each generation, new leadership is required to pilot the creative and innovative corporations, small businesses and startups of tomorrow.

Everyone does not have the same path to success or even the same life focus. Your road may be different than the traditional road, and if you’re inspired to go your own route you may want to consider ways to build your income by freelancing.

My Story

Throughout college I always had more than one source of income. Passionate about sports, I worked in the athletic department as a student worker. I do have to admit that going to games and getting paid for it almost wasn’t a job because I enjoyed it so much. During the weekends I worked at a local spa and on weeknights I sat at the front desk of a gym. Both jobs ended up becoming my crash course in customer service and how to deal with differing personalities.

Even after graduating I still had two jobs until my full time job asked me to change my time commitment. It was a huge deal for me because I’d always had multiple streams of income, plus I’d been listening to Natalie Sisson’s Suitcase Entrepreneur podcast and learned that most millionaires have at least 6 streams of revenue. Read more for yourself: Seven Secrets of Self-Made Millionaires

After agreeing to work from 8-5pm for one company, I started looking into a revenue stream I could build on the side with the flexibility of working from anywhere. My main problem was finding a way to become visible to people who needed the services I provide. That’s when I discovered platforms for freelancers.

Start with Why

Before you get started I recommending taking some time to self-evaluate your reasons. Spend 10 minutes writing out why you’re interested in building a revenue stream through freelancing. My top three reasons were:

  1. Ability to have another stream of income
  2. Ability to continue to learn and stretch my knowledge by working for others
  3. Ability to build credibility online with different companies

How to Begin

Begin by choosing your platform. In my case I signed up on two different sites in order to have a broader reach.

Make sure you give yourself time to setup your profile. Unlike Facebook or Twitter it isn’t a 5 second process. However, both Elance and oDesk have several resources available for new freelancers. You’ll want to make sure you complete the following:

  • Upload a professional picture (not a selfie)
  • Write a compelling overview
  • Get your account verified

Take a look at my oDesk account to give you an idea of what should be included: Angela Ford on oDesk

Why are you interested in freelancing?

Ready to start freelancing but not sure what services you should provide? Contact me, I’ll help you get started.

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