Become Your Own Boss

Have you been dreaming of taking your professional destiny into your own hands? You’re not alone. As many as 55 million people now work as contractors or freelancers for part or all of their income. That’s more than 35 percent of the U.S. workforce — and the figures are projected to rise.

If you’re really determined to make the leap from a traditional job to one in which you call the shots, what are your options? Read on for some ideas that just may spark some entrepreneurial ideas.

Sell Your Own Creations

Whether you’re a gifted quilter or a gourmet jam maker, artisanal goods have never been hotter. Online hosts such as Etsy and Amazon Marketplace make it easy to market, showcase and sell your creations. (It’s also a great idea to set up shop at local craft fairs, for additional profit and direct feedback.)

Don’t consider yourself talented? Options you may not have considered include printing and framing some of your most Instagram-worthy shots for sale, or turning found objects into funky jewelry pieces.

Explore Virtual Opportunities

Being in the technological age makes it much easier to leave your desk job while utilizing those same skills for various clients and content studios. Whether you’re a freelance writer and editor, digital photographer or corporate recruiter, there’s much you can do from home — and you can pick and choose which projects to take.

Network with peers to determine if they know anyone who could use your services — which might even include your current employer! Online resources such as Upwork are also places to find these types of gigs.

Sell Your Services

What are you great at? Organizing closets? Landscaping a yard? Whipping up a five-course meal? Turn those talents into profit by offering your services locally. Best of all, you can set up appointments for when you have childcare coverage or aren’t at your “regular job,” if you’re still transitioning out of working for someone else.

Blogging or Vlogging — or Both!

If you’re passionate about a particular topic, whether it’s creative parenting or documenting your travel experiences, blogging or vlogging may be the best fit for you. For bloggers, host sites help you set up your own website. Vloggers set up video channels on Vimeo or YouTube, or link to those hosts from their own site.

Vloggers often get paid through the famous “like, comment or subscribe” metric. Potential profits for bloggers and vloggers can come from “tip jars” or Patreon donation programs, which are ads you allow on your website, and from joining affiliate programs such as an Amazon Store.

Direct Sales

National companies such as Rodan & Fields, Beachbody and Avon rely on their direct sales force for much of their profits and can be contacted directly. Alternatively, visit the Direct Selling Association website, which is known for offering only legitimate opportunities. Even with “legit” operations, be prepared to make a small investment at the outset and to pay a fee for specified merchandise. After those investments or fees, your profits will be based on the time you can put into selling.

Whether you’re interested in one of these opportunities or want to pursue a different outlet, it’s crucial to create a solid business plan that ensures success. To determine what’s the best use of your money and energy at the outset of your entrepreneurial quest, turn to IAW for those all-important resources and connections.