On Business: Freelancer Suggestions

By | Monday, November 21, 2016 Leave a Comment
A lot of people have become credibly concerned about the prospect of living under President Trump. His rhetoric during the campaign was not only divisive, but pointed to a lot of policies and ideas that would make things dangerous for a lot of people, primarily minorities. In light of that, a number of articles like this one have begun popping up talking about various things you can do to help make your online life at least a little more secure.

But what I haven't seen much of -- at least not yet -- are pieces that discuss helping to make your financial life a little more secure. In regards to a Trump presidency at any rate. There are always pieces out there regarding financial stability more generally -- heck, people like Suze Orman have made a living off providing that type of advice!

So beyond the typical get-out-of-debt-as-quickly-as-you-can, get-a-6-to-12-month-buffer-of-savings, put-away-as-much-as-you-can-for-retirement mantras that you often hear, I'd like to reiterate a piece of advice I put out there a few years ago. Namely: follow the webcomics example.

My argument at the time was many large corporations were still seeing record profits during the recession. They'd figured out that by switching full-time employees to freelance contractors, they could save some money by not having to pay for benefits and such. ("Your job may not be outsourced overseas, but it will be outsourced, even if it's being outsourced to you.") Because of that, it would behoove us as individuals to follow the basic webcomics model of getting several revenue streams going at once. In most cases, none of those would, by themselves, be enough to sustain a living for us, but collectively they would.
Why I think that's increasingly important going into 2017 is that, while Trump's proposals thus far have been primarily (and rightly) criticized for potential human rights violations, I think a secondary concern is that things will get more difficult for both freelancers and true entrepreneurs. The people who are trying to build their own businesses from talent and an idea. Regressive tax policies like the ones being proposed are going to make it harder for someone like a Spike Trotman to become a publisher. It will become harder for independent press folks to make enough to actually pay their creators, and when they will be able to, it won't be as much as they deserve. I think more full-time employees are going to get relegated to contractor status, meaning they'll have to shell out more of their own money for things like insurance and office supplies.

Make no mistake: the human rights issues are more significant and more important, but unless you have a cushy job pulling in six figures or more, I think you have a right to be concerned. And I think you should look into diversifying your income streams as they likely will start shrinking or drying up entirely.
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