Freelance Your Way to Freedom

0657Source: by @shanesnow

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The Graphic Designer’s Journey:

Freelance to Freedom Flowchart

Some people are driven to entrepreneurship by an insatiable craving to build and conquer. Many graphic designers become web entrepreneurs, on the other hand, through a sheer desire to not go crazy. Here’s the process that many of us go through on the path to e-work independence.


You are a graphic designer

You get to do art for a living and it’s wonderful

You work at a firm or studio for $25-50/hour.

You eventually realize your form charges $100 per hour for your services and your boss treats you like crap.

So you start taking freelance clients on the side.

After a while, freelance clients start making you enough money for you to give the boss the finger! You go freelance full time and bask in your independence!

You slave away 60 hours a week until… clients dry up!

You consider begging for your old job back. So you…

1) …Wuss out and actually get your old job back

2) …Advertise desperately on Elance, Craigslist, and local bulletin boards.

3) …Whore yourself out on crowdsourcing sites.

2) & 3) lead to: After doing anything to get a client, including lowering prices to nearly 0, you get roped into lots of extraneous work, helping clingy clients with everything, including tech support on their printer.

Finally you start building a decent client base, getting referrals and eating food that’s more expensive than ramen.

But you’ve really started hating clients at this point.

You realize you’re making clients lots of money and doing all the work for it when you could be building the same things for yourself.

The thought festers like an un-popped zit.

You work feverishly on your own “side project” websites, topping out at 90 hours a week.

Your side projects make you about $3.06 a month in AdSense revenue.

At this point your spouse or significant other has threatened to leave and/or has already left for an uglier, yet more stable person who showers regularly.

Income from side projects finally approaches the point where it could support minimum standards of living.

You officially stop working with clients, take down the contact form on your website and gleefully reply to price quote requests with “I don’t do that anymore.”

You bask in the beauty of working for yourself, getting to use your creative pursuits unhindered, and get paid above the poverty level!

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