Everyone who’s been stuck working for an ungrateful boss for a while has had fantasies of leaving it all behind. Just imagine being able to quit and become your own boss, setting your own work hours, and keeping all the fruits of your hard work. Such fantasies are often accompanied by dreams of becoming an entrepreneur, and that is a viable way forward. However, there are also ways to become your own boss that don’t involve going through the hardship of starting a company from scratch, and that’s what we’ll be discussing in this list.
The methods in this list offer varying degrees of success rates and independence, but they are all feasible pathways to no longer having a boss within a year.
1. Get into the freelance market
The freelance market is brimming with opportunities, especially for those who have the skills needed to deliver digital goods or services. You can create websites for a company in Hong Kong or write articles for a South African start-up all from the comfort of your home and get paid well to do it. And there are a ton of other prospects in the freelance market, allowing you to make money writing, painting, editing video, mixing songs, dancing, writing code, and much more.
The downside of the freelance market is that competition is steep, and how much money you can make comes down to how good you are at marketing your skills and landing high-end clients. Freelance platforms are a good place to get started, but unless you live in a region of the world that has low costs of living, you’ll likely have a hard time making ends meet with work from those platforms alone. You will need to build a portfolio and an online presence to land more profitable work opportunities.
Another downside of the freelance market is uncertainty. Work for a freelancer can dry up overnight as customer demands change, and since freelancers are not employees, it can be hard to secure reliable long-term sources of income. This path is better suited for those who are willing to always be marketing themselves and looking for more work.
2. Start an online store
Whether you want to get into drop shipping or run a more traditional store, online stores are an excellent way to make money. And while starting one used to be difficult, today there are plenty of third-party tools and platforms that take care of the technical side of things. For example, eCommerce platforms can help you set up a store and start accepting payments. And shipping comparison tools like fastcourier.com.au can help you find a courier in Sydney or any other part of the world to handle your delivery needs.
Leveraging these tools allows you to take care of the technical side of setting up an online store in as little as a week. You can then focus the rest of your time and energy focusing on product selection, acquisition, marketing, and providing an excellent customer experience.
A lot of running a modern online store comes down to finding out how to make the most out of the tools available in the market. And while it is easy to look around and think you have no chance because hundreds of new online stores pop up every day, it’s important to remember how easy it is to launch an online store today. This ease of access leads many to launch a store without a real plan in mind.
Do your research, prepare a business plan, set aside a marketing budget, and then do everything you can to treat your online store as seriously as you would treat a startup. If you follow those steps, then running an online store can be a viable way to become your own boss.
3. Buy a business
Starting a business is difficult, but like many things in life, this is a problem you can solve with money. If you have some cash saved up, one way to become your own boss is simply by buying a business already in operation.
That may sound like a massive investment but remember: online-only businesses are a thing. And there are plenty of platforms where you can buy already popular websites and online stores. You can also buy an already functional brick-and-mortar business as well, assuming you have the cash for it.
4. Work for a platform
Freelance platforms are a difficult place to make a living for most people, but those aren’t the only platforms out there where you can find work. There are platforms and apps where you can make money performing a variety of specialized tasks. The best example of this is ridesharing apps, but you can also find apps and platforms that focus on data entry, translation services, private tutoring, and more.
How viable it is to make a living on any of these platforms depends on what skills you have or how valued they are. But if you happen to speak a language that has few native speakers or you are currently very well-regarded in your field, you may be able to get some good earnings from these platforms. The best example of this would be a seasoned and accredited teacher who decides to join a private tutoring platform. Those will often have tools and procedures to help them spot people with rare talent and give them preferential treatment.
5. Get a certificate for something
There are all sorts of professional certificates you can obtain in less than one year and that can lead to high-paying and relatively independent careers. For example, you can become a personal trainer in less than a year. You can also become a real estate broker, a dog groomer, a web developer, a commercial driver, and more in that timeframe. These are all jobs where you can set up a sole proprietorship business and be your own boss as long as you can line up clients.
The best way to go about this is to choose a field that will allow you to turn your current professional network into a list of potential clients. That will help you get those critical first clients you’ll need to gain experience and establish a reputation in your new profession.