Is your income as a freelancer stable? Do you have a list of fixed clients who offer you regular work and pay you on time? Have you established a small place in the industry? Then it’s time to move on to the next role from a freelancer to a founder.
It may sound daunting, but founding your own company is the next rung on the ladder. Here is a primer to know more about why to move towards entrepreneurship.
Why Go from Freelancer to Founder?
1. Have an Itch to Help People?
Do you see problems around you and think of innovative ideas to solve them? Do you often discuss SaaS products or visualize a potent idea with marketability and feasibility?
That is the innovator in you struggling to grow. Take time out and start working on the product to solve a problem or ease people’s lives.
2. Hit a Plateau?
You don’t like doing the same work daily. But your work seems stuck at the same junction of repetitive work. Besides, you crave versatile projects. That’s when you should decide to use your expertise to train a few fresh minds.
Having a team—small or big—shows you are professional. Your network would grow, and you would gain more clients. Since your team would manage the work, you can focus on getting new projects.
3. Turning Down Clients?
You can’t relate to the ‘feast or famine’ of freelancing because of the surplus work. If you turned down a client yesterday, you could delegate work to another freelancer in your industry. But what if you have to refuse work almost every next day? Hiring instead of the delegation would be better.
When you start spending more time on prospecting and with leads than your actual work, it’s time to move on to your career’s next rung.
You have been spending all your free time serving your clients. You steal the share of your friends and family’s time. You have not picked any new book recently or haven’t socialized virtually for a long time in your favourite forum.
What would you do to make time beyond work? Hire people to share the burden. And to squeeze time regularly, you would need to keep hiring people.
5. Planning to Grow?
As a freelancer, your time is proportional to money. And you have only so much time. Isn’t it?
You’re keen to grow your work and income. But time is fixed and would not increase. So, if you want to grow without compromising with time, you have to either overwork or charge more. Or hire people to get the work done, pay them for their time, and earn more income.
If this makes sense, as Guy Kawasaki says, jump to the next curve.
6. Like Managing and Mentoring People?
Quite possible that you already have a team of 2 fresh minds under your wings. Or maybe a skilled freelancer is working daily for you. And you enjoy mentoring them, solving problems with them, reviewing their work, and giving feedback. You eventually love to be praised as a great leader.
More than working on the project, you like to manage people, tools, clients, and deals. This is an evident trait that should compel to switch to a founder’s role.
7. Already Showing Traits of Entrepreneurship?
Instead of working on the core tasks like the previous year, you already enjoy reading about start-ups, unicorns, funding, 30-under-30 lists, and the likes. Besides, you enjoy being the face of your team and gather the limelight.
If you have observed these signs in yourself, you are already on the road to entrepreneurship. Now is the time to make it formal.
8. Ready to Expand Skills?
Have your clients approached for extra services, which are beyond your work area? Say graphic designing apart from social media posts? You are interested in grabbing the deals, but your skills restrict you.
You can hire a resource to offer extra services and expand your vision.
9. Recognize Yourself as a Founder?
You take pride in calling yourself a small business or a solopreneur when people ask about your work. Self-employed is not a term you associate with anymore and treat your career as a big start. You call your work your baby and dream about growing it into a business.
A clear sign to take the next leap.
Ready to Jump to the Next Ledge?
If most of the above signs fit right with your current career graph, you are ready to bag the next role and promote yourself to a founder’s position.
Hoping that you would analyse your current position, do keep an eye on the Welance blog. We will share more insightful posts about transitioning from a freelancer to a founder.