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Most of us spend a big percentage of our time working. With work being such a major part of your life, your level of satisfaction with your work will have a huge impact on your quality of life.

We would all love to be able to work on our own terms, but not very many people are able to make it happen. This article will cover three different approaches that you can take to get more freedom over when and where you work.

1. Freelance

A 2017 study by Upwork and Freelancers Union found that the majority of U.S. workers will be freelancers by 2027 (source).

There are countless different services that you can offer on a freelance basis, like:

  • Web design
  • Graphic design
  • Writing
  • Consulting
  • Marketing
  • Search engine optimization

As a freelancer, you’ll have control over the clients that you choose to work with, as well as the hours that you work, and where you work. While you will have to work with clients and adhere to deadlines, there is still a great deal of flexibility.

Another enticing benefit of freelancing is the fact that you can work part-time or full-time. It’s an ideal opportunity for someone who currently has a full-time job and wants to work on building a business in their spare time.

Not only does freelancing offer flexibility, but you’ll also have the potential to make an excellent income, as many freelancers earn more than others in their profession who are employed by one company.

The biggest challenge with freelancing can be finding clients early on. A few of the best methods for growing a freelance business include:

  • Leveraging your personal network of family and friends
  • Starting a blog and/or writing for other blogs in the industry
  • Networking on LinkedIn
  • Offering some sort of free analysis or consultation for lead generation
  • Paid advertising

With these strategies, most freelancers are able to find enough paying clients in order to stay busy and generate enough income. If you’ve got more clients than time, you can increase your rates in order to weed out some of the clients and increase your income at the same time.

Pros of Freelancing:

  • Work a schedule that suits your life.
  • Full-time or part-time.
  • Plenty of different services to offer.
  • Potential for high income.
  • Low barrier to entry.

Cons of Freelancing:

  • You’ll still need to answer to clients.
  • Your income is dependent on finding clients.
  • Competition can be stiff.

2. Gig Economy Jobs

According to Forbes, 40% of companies anticipate that gig workers will become an increasing part of their workforce (source).

The gig economy presents plenty of work opportunities, and in most cases, you don’t need specific skills or work experience in order to start making money. They won’t always be the highest-paying jobs, but you’ll be able to find work and make money.

Many gig economy jobs are related to apps and websites like Uber, Lyft, Airbnb, Grubhub, Rover, Bird, and many others. You could be driving people around, delivering food, delivering packages, charging scooters, walking dogs, cleaning, renting things, or performing other services.

The popularity of gig apps means that there are plenty of opportunities. In many cases, you can sign up and start making money within a couple of days, and sometimes less.

Most gig economy jobs will involve working as a contractor, so you’ll be responsible for your own taxes, just like a freelancer. Also, these jobs are usually best as part-time jobs, although some do give you the potential to work full-time. Even if a job only provides a part-time opportunity, you can work multiple gig economy jobs to add up to a full-time income.

Pros of Gig Economy Jobs:

  • Extremely flexible. You control your hours.
  • Most jobs require no experience, so anyone can do them.
  • Lots of opportunities (especially in urban areas).
  • You can start working and making money very quickly.

Cons of Gig Economy Jobs:

  • Not the highest-paying jobs (usually).
  • Best for part-time work, although some do offer enough work to be full-time.
  • Some opportunities are limited because there are more workers than jobs.

3. Start a Business

The third and final option that we’ll look at is starting your own business. While freelancing is technically a business, in this section I’m referring to the type of business that would likely require you to have employees.

Of course, there are all different types of businesses that you could start. It could be a local business like a restaurant, bakery, construction company, a franchise of some kind, or any other type of business. It could also be an online business that you can run from home.

Starting a business is certainly a lot of work, but once the business grows, you can hire other people to do the majority of the work and have more flexibility over your own schedule and responsibilities. Starting a business involves more risk, but also offers great rewards.

Pros of Starting a Business:

  • Unlimited possibilities.
  • High-income potential.
  • Hire other people to run the business.
  • A business is an asset that can be sold in the future.

Cons of Starting a Business:

  • Startup costs.
  • Higher risk than freelancing or working in the gig economy.
  • May take a long time before your business gets to the point that it doesn’t rely on you.
  • High failure rate in some industries (like restaurants).

If you’re looking to get more freedom and flexibility in your life, consider these three options as ways that you can earn a living while working on your own terms. Evaluate the pros and cons of each to see what might be a good fit for you.