By Stephanie Licata, M.A., A.C.C., Director of Coaching
Of the many ways the global economy shifted as a result of the ongoing pandemic was an entirely new view of what work looks like. As teams became remote and entire companies gave up a physical workspace entirely, professionals in every corner of the world got a taste of remote work…and they liked it. Faced with the opportunity to strike out on their own, many took it.
Whether people were laid off or just decided the 9-5 grind wasn’t for them, the Freelancing Revolution is an actual thing. Over 2 million people entered the freelancing workforce in 2020 alone and the trend has continued to infuse global workforce with skilled subject matter experts willing and able to contribute to businesses of all shapes and sizes.
In January of 2021 alone, over 500,000 new businesses were started. According to Salesforce, 57% of those new entrepreneurs surveyed citing wanting to “flex their creativity muscles” as one of their top reasons for striking out on their own.
This means the landscape is now infused with specialized skills and a DRIVE to be creative, flexible and break away from the traditional work. This is not only a numbers game, it’s an entire MINDSET SHIFT. Starting a business means being ok with the unpredictability and giving up the neat structure of a large matrix organization that has been around for 50 years. This increase in flexible thinking has helped scores of smart and effective professionals to rethink their contribution to the world.
What does this all mean for the OTHER entrepreneurs…the ones who’ve been here bootstrapping trying to scale and grow?
It means a mindset shift for everyone.
We’ve made bootstrapping mean “DIY” and it simply doesn’t. Bootstrapping actually means “get (oneself or something) into or out of a situation using existing resources.” This means you can use resources to actually hire PEOPLE to help you grow faster. Remember, this is an investment in the promise of the future you created. It doesn’t however mean you need to hire a gaggle of full time employees. Start to reframe what bootstrapping means for yourself, and you can take advantage of the freelancer revolution!
It means it’s time to leverage The Fractional Freelance Expert.
While it may be tempting to go to a low cost VA who is a generalist to get certain things accomplished in your business, this increase in availability of highly skilled professionals means entrepreneurs can leverage focused expertise to help scale their businesses. This means thinking BIG rather than just “what do I need right now?”
The Fractional Freelance Expert may just be exactly what takes your business to the next level this year.
Fractional freelance experts may cost a bit more than a VA, but you are just taking a FRACTION of their time. You are also getting specialized skills that hone in on your exact needs. Many will be opening to working on a project basis or a small amount of hours per month.
If you dread writing and managing your facebook ads, finding a marketing specialist who is smaller than an agency but who will give you focused and personal attention can take a big headache off of your plate. While this may seem like a bigger expense than just a copywriter or a VA to set up ads, it’s a wiser investment in the long run. Optimizing your ads with a digital marketing specialist can help drive the RIGHT people into your world who not only want your product or service but are willing to buy it!
It means it’s time to start envisioning a TEAM
If you are a solopreneur, that “solo” part can get frustrating and even lonely. You may think you are a long way off from hiring or managing a team of people, but it might very well be closer in your future than you think! Often we think of a team as needing to hire part or full time employees. However, two fractional hires giving you specialized highly skilled service in areas where you need it most is a TEAM! This enables you to not only collaborate but infuse creativity by inviting in differing viewpoints, backgrounds and perspectives. What would a Fractional team look like for you and what could it make possible?
What’s next? Think BIG. Think beyond what your self-limiting beliefs have kept you from in the past. Start to envision your first or next fractional hire and take this year by storm!
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