Author Topic: Go freelance or stay for the money?  (Read 2266 times)

spider1204

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Go freelance or stay for the money?
« on: August 01, 2013, 02:44:28 PM »
I'm currently a software developer working for a large company, but I'm planning to try to get into freelance work in the future mostly for the remote / flexible work opportunities.  However, I keep debating with myself whether or not I should just go for it now or stay at my job and build up more of a stash first.

I'm currently making 70k and spending ~10k per year, but that would probably go down to ~7k per year if I left my current position (Would be staying with friends, family, campgrounds).  I've currently got ~70k in investments so there would be plenty of time to spend building a portfolio up and marketing before having to find paying clients.  However, I've still got the nagging feeling that I should be staying a little longer to build up more of a stash, but I think that's just out of fear and it would actually work out just fine.

This could be another case of the whole work hard / retire early vs take it a little easier and retire a bit later debate.  I do enjoy writing software enough that I could see myself being very happy with it for a long time as long as the flexibility of time and geography was there.  As a result of that I think I'd be ok with potentially making less money and delaying retirement by going the freelance route.

The other issue is that when taking this job I got $5k in moving reimbursement that I would have to give back if I leave within the next six months.  I'm definitely going to make the jump after that, but keep going back and forth about whether I should just go for it now instead.

Any thoughts from my friends here, since everyone I know in real life is either a full on bum or stuck in the corporate world?

Peter

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Re: Go freelance or stay for the money?
« Reply #1 on: August 01, 2013, 03:12:35 PM »
Why not wait the 6 months, then take another job somewhere else new and exciting. Pick an outrageous city in a different country and find a job there. Continue building your business, work and play in the new city for a year or two, then jump again when you're bored. Do this two or three times and the drudgery of work for the next 5 years will be diminished significantly as you'll just be changing jobs "for fun".

Ideally you'll be FI by the time you've done 2-4 jumps and your credibility as a stable long term employee goes out the window... but by then who cares!

spider1204

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Re: Go freelance or stay for the money?
« Reply #2 on: August 01, 2013, 03:39:13 PM »
Quote
Why not wait the 6 months, then take another job somewhere else new and exciting. Pick an outrageous city in a different country and find a job there. Continue building your business, work and play in the new city for a year or two, then jump again when you're bored. Do this two or three times and the drudgery of work for the next 5 years will be diminished significantly as you'll just be changing jobs "for fun".

My primary reasons for wanting to go freelance is to able to work < 40 hours week and have the ability to follow the good climbing weather around, ideally working from coffee shops / campgrounds.  Perhaps that's a bit unrealistic, but I also don't need to make much money and think I'd enjoy the lifestyle enough to delay retirement significantly.  The unfortunate thing is that most great climbing areas are not close enough to big cities to hit up after work.

I definitely like the idea though, I'll have to start looking for cities that could meet my criteria.  Boulder's the obvious choice but there must be others.

kkbmustang

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Re: Go freelance or stay for the money?
« Reply #3 on: August 01, 2013, 09:49:08 PM »
Have you considered working the six months at the day job and, during that time, taking on a few freelance clients as a side hustle? You could save extra money and have some clients already in the bag when you make the leap.

ender

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Re: Go freelance or stay for the money?
« Reply #4 on: August 02, 2013, 05:39:15 AM »
Have you considered working the six months at the day job and, during that time, taking on a few freelance clients as a side hustle? You could save extra money and have some clients already in the bag when you make the leap.

I would do this, you may find out you don't want to do freelance for reasons you currently don't see.