Freelancers often make a point to not promote themselves as entrepreneurs, in the same way the founder of a start-up would. As the landscape changes for businesses and employees alike and a nomadic breed of workers are adapting to the lack of full-time work, there is an advantageous crossover of start up culture and freelancer life we must explore. It will of course always depend on what field you are in but there is overwhelmingly evidence of the correlation between startup growth and freelance models of business, so it’s safe to assume you could be applicable or amenable for any of the suggestions here. What is supposedly more valuable is the VALUE startup culture has for its own… culture. No one loves startup events, networking, meetings and discussing potential opportunities than those who are wrapped up and loving start up culture. Not such an absurd idea when you think about it like that… but this is the point.
The life of a freelancer can often be isolating: you must divide your time between earning bread and butter to survive, increasing your motivation, finding projects of personal interest and passion to keep your work interesting and of course - always finding and booking new work and clients. As the landscape has changed in modern business, so has the culture around it. And thankfully for freelancers, it has never been easier or smarter to grow and benefit from startup culture.
A New Working Order
And it’s not hard to see how dynamically and rapidly the working culture for everyone has changed in the last two decades. As we have evolved in our shift from industrialisation to the age of technology, our working practices have in many ways become as agile as the competitive market industries most freelancers find themselves in. It’s exciting, and if you are reading this you are probably apart of the wave of independent workers that have established themselves most especially in the last five years. Similarly with the startup model, it’s an easy buy in logically and the model is now essential the only model for innovative or tech based ideas.
The startup industry in turn has developed a reliance on freelancers. In nearly every occupational application of talent, a freelancer can fill the role, even on a temporary basis. What this does is help the startup avoid the substantial overheads of employing a large workforce - especially in pre-seed or pre-fundraising quarters. It is also the nature of a startup to be experimental, and management can avoid filling positions that ultimately are not required long term or only required for an activation. Vast resources are required when it comes to hiring on a full time basis and it is increasingly lucrative and sensible for startups to employ freelancers.
For freelancers this has made for a dynamic and broad workmarket. In fact, the more people who are freelancing it seems, the more work there is for freelancers. While the burdens of a freelance role are obvious, this style of working allows for more diversity in the project portfolio or in fact, more specific and specialised knowledge - both of which are leverage for securing the right opportunities for you and your business.