I want to ask you a question about some conversations you’ve had.
I’m talking about conversations you’ve had with other Black people about work…I mean those talks about job searches, failures, raises, degrees, promotions…how often do you hear anybody talk about freedom?
I know when I would talk to friends and relatives about my career choices, I’d hear talk about finding a “good job”, climbing ladders, even dealing with racist coworkers, but never about finding work that made my life better.
That’s why I started BlackFreelance and it’s exactly what this site is about — helping you find what freedom looks like for you in your professional work and doing that through Strategic Freelancing.
Sure, BlackFreelance is going to help you launch a freelance career and navigate the gig economy (which isn’t “on it’s way”; it’s already here.) — but freelancing is way more than a fad. It’s bigger than a secondary income stream and more life-changing than a side-hustle.
Freelancing is a mental shift that can turn into a better life and freedom from the gamble (and I do mean GAMBLE) of risking it all on employment.
Think of freelancing as insurance against the inevitable ups and downs that a lifetime of employment brings with it.
You can say a hundred things about freelancing, but it’s actually really simple.
It’s a shift in your relationship with work and it’s one that can change your life. That means whether you’re just graduating and starting your job search, considering retirement, or mid-career and rethinking everything, the small, simple step to consider freelancing can be the best decision you’ll ever make.
That’s because even the simple thought of “maybe I’ll freelance” triggers an important realization, and that’s — You have options.
See…careers can play tricks on you.
They can get you caught up thinking you have to endure a job you hate without complaining (because that’s what Black people do right? We endure.)…thinking that you can’t try something different…thinking that your work life is linear and that’s how things are supposed to be.
I want you to understand that none of that is true and that even if you don’t want to be a full-time freelancer like me, that you have options…options in the way you think, react, and get paid for your work.
Alright…so right now I want to tell you about all the great things freelancing can do for your life. (I know, because it’s done them for mine.) Things like…
- Giving you more freedom
- Reducing stress (if you prioritize peace)
- Opening the door to growing careers (like copywriting, remote work, and content marketing)
- Earning more (if you focus on providing value)
- Inspiring other people in your journey
- …even being excited about Mondays!
…but first, I’m gonna let you in on one of the most important, and honestly scariest lessons freelancing has taught me over the years…
Employment has left us all unprepared.
We step into the work world with twisted, wrong-headed perspectives on the value we provide…and that’s great for employers.
It makes it easier for them to take advantage and buy our labor for the least money possible and keep us jumping to make them happy…all in exchange for false hope in a long-term employment model that’s been dying off for years.
This means that too many of us are left confused and burnt out, investing in careers and employers who don’t deserve our effort…unsure of where to make our next career moves, and underpaid at all levels (yes, white collar Black folk are underpaid too) compared to the people around us.
…but what if I told you that understanding freelancing for the legitimate career opportunity it is could benefit your life, community, and family, even if you decided to remain employed?
…what if I told you that freelancing can be much more than internships and low-paid work and that plenty of freelancers out-earn their employed counterparts (even after those infamous taxes)?
…what if I told you that shifting the way you relate to employers could open up a world of life-long flexibility, career confidence, and higher earning?
It can, and that’s because freelancing (that small but critical shift in the relationship with the same people who employ you) forces you to refine the very same skills, perspectives, and techniques that even employed people should be using.
If you take the time to rethink your perspective on independent work and employment, an entirely new world of income (not to mention being the owner of your own career) can open up in front of you.
BlackFreelance is here to support you through that process.
I’m Megan, and I’m a full-time Black freelancer who’s happier, healthier, and better paid now than I ever was in 15 years being employed.
I started this community because it’s something I wish existed when I got my first freelance assignment back in 2012. It’s also something I believe Black communities around the world need.
This platform is set up to support you in your own journey toward shaping your freelance career. (Don’t let anybody tell you different…whether you’re a writer, graphic designer, voiceover artist, engineer, accountant…freelancing is a legitimate and growing career option.)
It doesn’t matter if you’re looking at full-time work, a side-gig, staying afloat between jobs, or just to build up some extra retirement savings, staying connected to this community of Black freelancers can help you build a flourishing, sustainable, employer-independent career and leverage the skill of freelancing to improve your life overall.
First though, let me tell you how it works.
Things around here are set up in stages — from the resources here on the site, to the free newsletter, to the Academy, BlackFreelance is designed to walk you through a process of warming you up for the wide world of freelancing, laying down your fundamentals, and then developing the sustainable habits that will keep your career growing in the direction you want it to.
So go ahead and explore! A quick tip though…you’ll get the most out of BlackFreelance if you take things in this general order…
- An introductory quiz to find out how well you really know freelancing (a lot of people are surprised at their score…Take it now!)
- The Free Resources here on the site that help you find your starting point (as well as our Slack team!)
- Start Strong and hammer out your basics with weekly motivational emails. (They’re free and the fastest way to get a feel for the site)
- The BlackFreelance Academy, which, once you’re ready, helps you kick off and maintain the habits and connect with the community that will help keep your career growing and profitable (for less than you pay for Netflix each month.)
Your First, Most Important Step
Shaping a freelance career is a process that’s a lot like losing weight or getting in shape…it doesn’t happen overnight (so don’t go quitting your job tomorrow).
That’s why I put together this free, Freelance Profile Workbook for you to keep. You’re going to be using it long-term to provide a visible framework for your freelance life and it’s yours to hold on to whether you decide to hang around here or not. (Read what another Black freelancer thought of her workbook and how it helped her save time in developing her solo career.)
It’s going to walk you through…
- Understanding why you freelance (a critical first step in building your best freelance life and not just imitating somebody else’s
- Helping you discover a skillset and a niche (the foundation of maximizing your earning and finding a reliable stream of work and quality buyers)
- Kicking off those foundational, sustainable habits that will keep your freelance career growing and working for you
You can get things rolling there, but if you want to learn more about BlackFreelance, keep reading!
Freelancing is a big world and people do it for different reasons, so I want to let you know that this site is geared toward finding the balance between two things…
- Finding peace in your work life (so you have the emotional space to invest more in the people, projects, and causes that matter most to you)
- Earning the best income possible for your effort (so you have more room and financial flexibility to meet your goals)
I personally started freelancing to reduce stress, so I don’t believe in working non-stop, tolerating low-payment for extended periods, or not using your freelance skills to improve your life as much as possible.
That’s why I also recommend that no one take any blind leaps of faith or passion.
I believe that whenever possible, freelancers should focus on building sustainable income as well as knowledge of both themselves and their business before making any huge life decisions. Just like employment, nothing is guaranteed in the freelance game, so we’ve all got to work smart.
Here at BlackFreelance, you’ll find all the standards including a blog, tips (on finding freelance work, improving your skills, specializing as a freelancer,) and an explanation of why this site exists in the first place.
Ready to get moving and dive into some of the resources here? Choose which of these fit you best…
Side note…if you want to get a feel for how you can expect your freelance career to progress, check out the 7 stages you’ll work through in your business.
Welcome to the BlackFreelance community and I hope to see you around soon!
P.S. If you EVER have any questions, shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I love hearing about your challenges, questions, and successes because it helps me make the site a better place for us all.