Are you wondering, “Should I become a freelancer?”
Becoming your own boss and having more freedom is tempting but is giving up status as a regular employee right for you?
In this episode of the finding career zen podcast, Pete Newsome and HR expert Ricky Baez discuss the pros and cons of freelance work. Together they offer advice for individuals who are considering the switch to this alternate career path. While some people consider freelancing a huge risk, Pete thinks just the opposite and says this a great way to buy your own security.
For further research and to get started freelancing, check out Toptal, Upwork and Fiverr. If you aren’t quite there and want to stick with the traditional route for now, check out zengig’s live job feed for open positions in your area!
Advice for those considering becoming freelancers
- It takes time to earn a reputation and the kind of knowledge and skill that will allow you to become a freelancer. Patience will be necessary as you gain that expertise. It has to be built over time.
- Social media brings unrealistic expectations of what it means to become a freelancer. Success doesn’t happen overnight. You need to have a really strong work ethic. There are no managers or supervisors when it comes to freelance.
- The freelance market isn’t a great fit for every type of role. Know yourself and what your role will be. Have a plan and do your research. Check out sites like Upwork, Fivver, and Toptal to find out what roles are in demand.
- Ask yourself the hard, but necessary questions. What kind of network do you have? What’s the strength of it, from a referral and reputation standpoint? What value do you bring to the table that others would be willing to pay for? What’s unique about what you do? You need to be able to answer these questions in a very positive way before making this decision.
- Be willing to do whatever it takes, but don’t rush things. Go out on your own when the time is right for you. Don’t make a decision when you have no options, make it when you have many. It’s all about priorities.
- Is freelancing worth it?
- Chasing your passion: tips for switching career paths
- Finding a job that is right for you
- Advice on how to find your best career path
About Pete Newsome
Pete Newsome is the President and founder of zengig, which he created after spending two decades in staffing and recruiting. He’s also the founder of 4 Corner Resources, the nationally acclaimed and award-winning staffing and recruiting firm he started out of a home office in 2005. Pete’s primary mission back then was the same as it is today: to do business in a personal way; with a commitment to zengig becoming the most comprehensive source of expert advice, tools, and resources for career growth and happiness. When he’s not in the office or spending time with his family of six, you can find Pete sharing his career knowledge and expertise through public speaking, writing, and as the host of the Finding Career Zen & Hire Calling podcasts.
Pete Newsome 00:15
You’re listening to the Finding Career Zen Podcast. I’m your host Pete Newsome. And I’m joined again this week by Ricky Baez. Ricky, welcome back. How are you?
Ricky Baez 00:24
I’m doing great. I’m feeling great. ask me why?
Pete Newsome 00:29
Why Ricky, why are you feeling and doing great?
Ricky Baez 00:33
The bills won last night. Did you see that game?
Pete Newsome 00:36
Convincingly they won one big time.
Pete Newsome 00:39
They did such an amazing job. But I gotta tell you the wide receiver over for the LA cup, man, that dude, it’s Yeah, he is going to have a great year.
Ricky Baez 00:39
I’m just happy that football is finally back in. Yeah, so that mean the other day that now between now and February now a team whether they win or lose gets to dictate my personality for the week, so that’s awesome.
Pete Newsome 01:04
Well, I’m glad I caught you at the right time. But I think as a Bills fan, you’re gonna be in a good mood for most of the next few months. I’m guessing until the playoffs Yeah, absolutely. I don’t know. Two different feelings this year. But Cooper cups crazy. Good. I had him on my fantasy team last year. I’m not this year. Unfortunately. It’s gonna be hard to play against that guy. He’s, he’s amazing.
Pete Newsome 01:25
Yeah, so it’s I’m just happy that Thursday nights are back and Saturdays, Sundays, and Mondays. So yeah, get ready chicken wing recipes are going to be on my, my Instagram feed.
Pete Newsome 01:36
So perfect. Love it. Well, you’re also back for a second week for finding career zen. And because we promised that you would come back to talk about freelancing because in particular, I think you wanted to ask me a question about that. Right?
Ricky Baez 01:51
I did. So you know, I’m not gonna lie. I was a bit confused, right? Because I saw I saw the article that you put out on August 15. It’s freelancing worth it the pros and cons and I read it, and it made perfect sense. But I started thinking about your staffing company.
Ricky Baez 02:10
So what is the owner of a staffing company? Or how is the owner of a staffing company? Such a big fan of freelancing? Because is it something like that? Now please forgive me. But is it something like that goes against what you do every day?
Pete Newsome 02:26
For now? It does. It can help me out here. Well, so I’m a consumer of freelance talent. So number one, I’m a believer in it. And I think above all, it makes sense. This shouldn’t be necessary to say but of course, I’ll say it anyway. To be honest and open about all things. It was as a staffing company owner, right from the start, with four corner resources, and my staffing business is now in its 18th year.
Pete Newsome 03:02
I didn’t want to be everything to everyone and knew that wasn’t realistic, but I wanted to develop genuine lasting relationships with those organizations that I supported. And kind of one of the things that led me to start my own company was that I didn’t have that luxury, working for large employers, which I had up until starting for 4 Corner, I was told who to support whether it was a good client or not, whether we were a partner, and not in not just a vendor.
Pete Newsome 03:33
And I didn’t want to do business that way, once I had the ability to make my own choices. So with that in mind, I always wanted to just be genuine in how I approach things and know that when someone looks at hiring and who they need to hire and how and when, most of the time, they’re not going to use us. So if all the hiring that’s going to happen in America or across the globe, in the next week, the vast vast majority of it is not going to happen through 4 Corner Resources.
Pete Newsome 04:05
I know that right? So I want to be consistent in my message and always have whatever I think is the right answer at any given time. And in a lot of cases it’s not going to be using us it’s not going to be to partner with us or any other staffing company. And I believe that the freelance market has hit. You know, it’s at a point where we have to consider it in all the benefits that it can do for both the companies who need to hire talent as well as the people out there who are working and have the talent to offer because it’s time is very much common my opinion and has been here for a while.
Pete Newsome 04:50
Well, yes in looking at the article because you have your own personal take on freelancing, the pros and cons it If I could just jump real quick because the pros, I mean, it’s like freelancing has always been out there. But I think the pandemic has really pushed the envelope, whoever was on the edge wondering if this is something I want to do and go on my own. For the people that were there, right, right on the edge, you know, the pandemic kind of pushed him over and not having a choice. Right.
Ricky Baez 05:21
And, um, I haven’t done any of the studies, Pete, but I’m willing to bet that, you know, the people who really take that plunge into freelancing, pandemic aside, are people who are taking a humungous risk, and they’re okay with it. And B, they have no other option. Right? So for the people who, who was thinking about it, before the pandemic, right, obviously, they got pushed, but they had a lot to lose. So there are a lot of risks involved. But then now, these days and 2022 are easier than before.
Ricky Baez 05:54
I think you and I talked about this, a few months ago that if anybody was to lose their job today, today’s a Friday, right? They can easily make a couple of 100 bucks this weekend, they just sign up an Uber sign up for Uber or Lyft, or anything like that, or find a new one. It’s called Rabbit, rabbit. TaskRabbit on TaskRabbit. Have you, okay, so you heard of it? One of my clients told me about it. I’m like, was a TaskRabbit. I thought it literally had a rabbit in the off of the train to do different tasks, right? Because the way he was talking about it, but he told me is that somebody runs errands for you.
Pete Newsome 06:27
So hold on before, before you go too far. What tasks? Do you envision that a rabbit would be capable of pulling?
Pete Newsome 06:38
I was so intrigued. I was like, I don’t know, hey, go give me a carrot. Because I’m going to die. I don’t know.
Pete Newsome 06:45
That’s right, I’m sure the rabbit would be happy to not eat the carrot and save it for you.
Ricky Baez 06:50
That way, if I could train a rabbit to go fetch me a beer, see that phrase right there. If I could train a rabbit to go get a beer out of that fridge, it’ll be amazing.
Pete Newsome 06:58
Okay, so So let’s separate that a little bit where when I think of freelancing, a couple of things you mentioned. I don’t see it as an act, of desperation. Far from it, I see it as the polar opposite. I see it as an act of choosing freedom. And I’ll tell you why that’s very personal to me, is one of the things that led me to start my own business effectively become a freelancer, because any entrepreneur is in a sense, when one I wanted to do business at a personal way, as I’m kind of alluded to a few minutes ago, I wanted to do business the way I thought it should be done.
Pete Newsome 07:39
But the real catalyst that made me just stop talking in take action and put draw a line in the sand and say I’m doing this was when my VP who was loved and adored and respected. I mean, he was just such a great manager, leader, and producer. I mean, he did everything right. As far as I could tell, as someone who reported up through him, he was reordered out of his job, and this guy was in his 50s and counted on the income that this large company, provided he had moved his family across the country for this role. And he was just reorg, you know, with the stroke of a pen out of his job.
Pete Newsome 08:24
And that was terrifying to me as an employee, because I thought here I am working for this organization with 16,000 employees that the CEO doesn’t even know who I am. And I thought, man, what, what’s the risk really, you know, I was in my mid-30s. And I thought, well, I sell for a living. So I know I can do that, since that’s how I’ve you know, already, and getting by and doing well at it.
Pete Newsome 08:53
But at any given moment, someone could make my job go away. And that to me was terrifying. I didn’t sleep after that happened, because it really just hit me that the real risk was not taking ownership of my professional and financial success on my own, the real risk was leaving it in someone’s hands who I don’t even know. Once that thought got in my head, I couldn’t get away from it. So when I think of freelancing, I think of the opposite of risk, I think of it is by your own security, by putting that burden on yourself.
Pete Newsome 09:30
And I’ll tell you, I, as time goes on, and we’ve seen things like the affordable care act as an example where the federal government who I’d prefer, as I say often to stay completely out of the relationship between employees and employers or the workforce at all.
Pete Newsome 09:49
Okay, most things almost everything I get, but you know, have they there are so many mandates that have been put in place and at the state level as you know, being, you know, being an HR professional, that they continue to want to tie the employer to taking care of an employee and maybe, more importantly, to create a mindset where an employee expects to be taken care of by their employer to provide health care, to look at the list of perks and benefits that are being offered now and 2020, to buy companies, and it just ties these folks together.
Pete Newsome 10:29
And I think it is outside of the nature of how that relationship should be, I think, yeah, I think those expectations shouldn’t go beyond the working relationship, right? I have a job that needs to be done. I need someone with that talent, and someone with that talent sets a value on their time and skill, and expertise. And if we can mesh those things together, then we should work together, provided we you know, like the conditions we like each other. You know, it leads down a path that we both want to go down.
Pete Newsome 11:07
And that’s it. Anything beyond that, boy, we’re just complicating things, and no offense is I wrote in the, in the blog. Ask yourself why HR departments are so big. It’s not because things are going so well between employees and employers, right? Well, why I’m in business. By the way, you, the demand is not going away anytime soon.
Pete Newsome 11:30
No, it’s not I tell people all the time that as long as you have one human being working with another, you’re going to need someone like me, you’re always going to need someone like me and Pete, I agree with you 100% I am on the camp of letting the market speak for itself. Let the market decide how the relationship should be. And what I mean by that is let the person a the side with a person be together how that employee-employer or contract T relationship is going to look like.
Ricky Baez 12:04
And one of the things that I noticed on your blog that I’m like, Okay, I agree with this is, you know, yes, there is a risk, and you say, I think it’s I’m trying to put it in words right now, I don’t want to put words in your mouth. You said about five minutes ago, it’s not that people have pushed is that sometimes the risk is you look at the risk as what if I don’t do it? To me, that’s the bigger issue, whether disrupting what I currently have right now. But I gotta tell you, it’s it took me a while to pull the trigger for what I’m doing, Pete and for me, what, what stands out in my mind, Robin Williams, he said an awesome quote.
Ricky Baez 12:46
Before he passed away, he said, A, I think he said, an empty stomach and an empty wallet will teach you the best lessons. And that motivates people the best? Yeah, I mean, but it’s true. It’s true, it does teach you the best lesson. So if you have a full stomach, if you have a Full Wallet, it’s hard to be motivated to do a lot more right? Especially if you’re content with where you are in your career.
Ricky Baez 13:15
So for somebody who’s got things nice and stable, the risk there is, why should I disrupt what I currently have right now versus where you looked at it is? I don’t want anybody else in charge of my destiny. But me which I agree with. But it’s hard. I gotta tell you, well, at least when you have things stable.
Pete Newsome 13:33
Well, it’s hard because the world tells us not to do that. Right? Parents, you know, tell you to study in school, so you can go to college, so you could get a job. Right? teachers tell you that your guidance counselor is telling you that go to college, and get a degree so you can get a job, right, I hate that phrase is worse, like getting a job is just as I just said in an interview yesterday, it’s just the most demoralizing thing that a young person could hear, in my opinion. And so let’s just I’ll put you on the spot a little bit here.
Pete Newsome 14:08
For anyone who doesn’t know who’s listening, probably most people don’t know that the way we met is because we had an internal opening for someone to lead our HR organization to establish it to lead it internally. You interviewed for that job. I like you, you’d like me, and you agreed to come work for four corner resources in that capacity. That’s right. You let us know, you were open.
Pete Newsome 14:38
You know, we had this kind of relationship, fortunately, where you said, Hey, I have a desire to ultimately be a consultant, not an employee. And, and so can we go in that direction and we planned at it? I think, you know, six months in advance we made that happen.
Pete Newsome 14:57
It was right for you. It was right for us. And it is a really good fit. So my question to you then because keep in mind, we’re really looking at this from the employee’s perspective, and why it’s good. I’ll tell you my perspective on the higher calling podcast when we talk about this, this topic as the employer. What changed in our relationship? Be honest about this in the relationship and the relationship from when I was your employer, so when I’m now your client, from a consulting standpoint, what changed?
Pete Newsome 15:32
Good or mapping change in that relationship? It didn’t change because this is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time. And what I was saying earlier, it’s, it’s true to me, whereas we’ve lived below our means, right? Which is the right thing to do. I mean, I guess I put this out that we weren’t living paycheck to paycheck. So I said, eventually, this is where I want to end up. Yep. Right.
Ricky Baez 15:55
Because I got my 10-15 year plan. As soon as my son is out of high school, you go to Marine Corps, go to college, start a trade, do something, but Mommy and Daddy gonna buy a fifth, a fifth wheel and travel the country on an RV.
Pete Newsome 16:08
You’re gonna say, Mom and I are going to buy a fifth, and we’re gonna drink.
Ricky Baez 16:12
Anyways, a bunch of those in the fifth wheel. For those of you who don’t know, a fifth wheel is one of those RV trailers that you hook up to the bed of a pickup truck, and they call it a fifth wheel. I’ve been looking into this for a while because I’m thinking about retirement. So I’ve been saving up and said, You know what, I have to draw a line, right? And if I’m going to do this, I’m going to do this right now. And if it doesn’t work, I have a net. So I realized that everybody’s lucky to do that, right?
Ricky Baez 16:45
And I was lucky enough that it worked beautifully. I had a great relationship with you guys, and other clients that have done stuff in the past on a part-time basis, and now turn full-time. So to me, it wasn’t the environment. To me, this was a goal that I’m like, if I don’t do this, right now, I’m never going to be able to do this. Or I made a decision in my head to say, You know what, here’s what, here’s what we have going on Plus, with four corner resources. You know, I’ve turned some keys already that I’m like, Okay, I turned some keys.
Ricky Baez 17:15
This is working. You guys don’t need somebody of my caliber. Now. Could I have been that one guy that could just make stuff up? Right? I make it look like I’m busy. I guess I could have done that you would have caught up to it.
Pete Newsome 17:29
Let me cut you off. If you don’t mind, we did need someone of your caliber. We didn’t need someone of your caliber full time, which was a realization that you came to and presented to us as hey, what if you know, I’m really you’re, I think the kind of the way it went down was it you know, as your highly compensated guy because of your level of knowledge and expertise. But you were only getting to apply that level of knowledge and expertise to the business maybe 20% of the time.
Pete Newsome 18:02
And so that was effectively what you suggested, which is highly unusual, right for an employee to come and say, Hey, I think I think you need less of me, right? Which is effectively what you did. And you made a great case and said, Look, I’m the strategic stuff that I bring to the table. You only need part-time. And you’re kind of overpaying for the rest of it. And it made perfect sense. And so what I was setting you up to answer I thought was that didn’t work? I think it made the relationship healthier.
Pete Newsome 18:37
Right from the start, because now you don’t have to worry about it. Maybe you didn’t have to worry about this. Anyway, I hope I hope you didn’t. But now I’m an employee, and I’m subject to things like layoffs, and you know, and terminations and all of these things that are just awful to have to think about as an individual who is just trying to do the best at what they’re doing and trying to, you know, go through their day being healthy and happy and productive and successful, to add on these complexities that come with a traditional employee-employer relationship. And now it all goes away. Right?
Pete Newsome 19:21
It immediately goes away. And now we’re just hey, here’s the work that we need. Here’s the skill and knowledge you offer, do these things match up to what value to how many hours a week or a month or a year, whatever it might be? And if and if we have an accord there, right? If it makes sense to you and it makes sense to us then we work together and we don’t have any drama associated with that make some claim.
Pete Newsome 19:46
So I gotta tell you, I am not going to lie. I was not worried about that. And I’m about to make some people upset here. Because again, I put a pad down, right I put a net if I was a trapeze artist gotta help me. I have a net beneath me, right? So to me, I was really worried about that. To me, I was worried about being off of authentic, right, because I this started to, to notice I’m like, I, I could do this part-time, and it coincides with what I want to do. And that’s what to me is really important.
Ricky Baez 20:21
And, you know, there’s anybody that’s worked with me know this, um, I like to be 100% transparent, because I care more about the relationship than anything else. Right? And I’ll give you a great example. A couple of months ago, a client overpaid me by a fifth of $1,800, then what we initially agreed upon, and I’m looking at this, why, why did he give me this? Right? So I reached out some, hey, you overpaid me, I’m gonna send this back to you. He was really upset at his payroll, people really upset at the CFO, but was really baffled that I actually spoke up. And I was surprised why he was surprised because I’m like, nobody ever does it.
Ricky Baez 20:59
Like no, people would just see whatever, because it’s a pretty big client. Right? It’s to them. That’s, that’s chump change. But to me, what’s important is the relationship. So that’s why you and I had a good relationship. And I’m like, Hey, here’s what I’m seeing. Right. And here’s what I want to do. This is a perfect puzzle piece. Once we put this together, we have the picture. Here we go. And it’s working beautifully. But the constraints you had early on in your career weren’t necessarily the same concerns I have later in my career, I would venture to guess that if actually, no, I’m not going to venture I’m going to tell you exactly.
Ricky Baez 21:35
Back in my mid-30s. Yeah, I will be worried if I got let go. Because I have no other income, right? I’ve got nothing else to fall back on. Now. I’m a little you know, I’m more, I’m wiser. I planned better. So if it happens, it happens a while. But these days Pete it is so easy. It really isn’t. Nobody has an excuse not to be able to make money.
Pete Newsome 21:57
So I want to jump on that a little bit. Because it’s, it’s not always been easy. You said back early in your career, he would have looked at it differently. Right. I think that’s what you’re saying. And of course, because you didn’t have the transferable knowledge and skill set and reputation and all those things. And it’s one of the things that I believe in very strongly and try to always mention in any podcast.
Pete Newsome 22:27
That is, it takes time, it takes time to earn a reputation, it takes time to earn the kind of knowledge and skill that will allow you to go out in the world and say, Hey, you should hire me potentially at a premium, you should hire me as a freelancer. Because I bring this expertise to the table. And I don’t need to be trained, I don’t need to be managed closely. I just need the opportunity to work and show what I can do and deliver. And, again, when I don’t, I can’t come up with a better word than healthy when I think of that type of relationship where every day. Effectively, I always look and say, everyone starts new every day, right?
Pete Newsome 23:18
Every employee has the opportunity to when they wake up in the morning, the only two requirements in the day, right? You get up and you go to bed, everything you do in between is a matter of priority. So when you wake up in the morning, is your priority to go to the beach for the day, or is it to go go to work and so I look at every employee-employer relationship, whether it’s freelance or traditional, as a daily agreement, right, because I could there’s there’s something every single day that I could do, to have my employees choose to never want to work for me again. And that is something that every employee that I’ve ever had could do in a day, sometimes I have and sometimes I have I’m sure that would make me choose to never want them to work another day for me again.
Pete Newsome 24:06
So I really do believe these relationships are day-to-day. So the perceived risk of being a freelancer as an employee is really just that it’s a perception and it’s not reality, because reality is you are one day away from being unemployed anyway, you might not feel that way and hopefully, you don’t. But I think the freelance relationship sort of strips away all the things that that aren’t, we shouldn’t rely on anyway, and aren’t necessarily real. Again, the employer is responsible for the health of the employee, the health of the employee.
Pete Newsome 24:52
That’s, that’s deep and but, but on the other hand, the Freelancer All right, well not relying on their that that company to pay them health care gets paid a lot more as a result and that’s what the Affordable Care Act didn’t take into consideration when it came to the staffing industry, the contract staffing industry in particular, because while the contract employee who now staffing companies are even for a contract employee, Matt is required to provide health care options, right?
Pete Newsome 25:31
Historically, no one was looking for that option in the contract staffing business, the contractors weren’t because they were making significantly more per hour than the salaried employee sitting next to them, who receives health care and time off and sick, sick pay.
Pete Newsome 25:48
And all these things that come with being a direct employee, what the hourly contractor next to them usually was making 25 to 50% more per hour as a trade-off and no one was complaining. No one was complaining. So to me, if the freelance market sort of brings that back around now, I mean, we’re it’s the same thing, we’re just calling it something different and cutting out, by the way, the staffing company in between, in many cases.
Pete Newsome 26:15
So for the employee, it’s a very attractive offer, if you have the right talent, and skills to bring to the table. And now that that, but that has to be built over time that that’s a huge X factor in this, I would not recommend, you know, a 22-year-old, who has a year of professional experience to announce to the world that they’re ready for hire, you know, and deliver expertise, because it does have to be built over time.
Pete Newsome 26:45
And there are some exceptions to everything. It’s not about the age, it’s really about the time, and how I think of it, use a sports analogy, how many reps you’ve gotten, right? I want to hire someone that shot, you know, 100,000, free throws, not 100, right, if I’m putting if I need someone to make the basket.
Pete Newsome 27:04
So that makes sense. It makes perfect sense. And just going back real quick to what you just said, because you said something that in my mind, I never put together how, as an employer, now we’re responsible for people’s health. But we’re in trouble if we ask what the health issue is. Right? That just hit me right now when you said that, right? But you know what, Pete, it’s, I’m looking at your I’m looking at the article right now in I’m gonna start with, with, with the pros, because you talk about the pros, and you talk about the cons.
Ricky Baez 27:38
And what I really enjoy about the pros, is to create freedom and man is that true? It is true because you know, I’ve, I’m in a position right now that I can be creative with what I have and sell it because I bring a different flair to HR. Whereas you’re right, that takes time to build.
Ricky Baez 27:57
The thing that’s missing these days, especially with how relevant social media is and how people are becoming millionaires with Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube, the patience isn’t there anymore. Because how technology has evolved in a way that it almost makes people millionaires in a matter of months. And people don’t understand that those are rare cases. That’s not the norm. That really is not the norm. My son’s watches are used to watching this one YouTube channel called Ryan’s toys review.
Ricky Baez 28:28
I don’t know if you’ve ever heard of it.
Pete Newsome 28:30
I’ve heard of some young I don’t know if this is a young kid who was making more than any other YouTuber for a time for opening packages.
Ricky Baez 28:38
This kid is I think he was nine or 10. Right? And the fathers involved everybody’s, they do these various my son dies laughing. And I’m like, wow, it’s a beautiful house. Are they sponsored by anybody? So I look them up. Know on YouTube videos alone revenues $90 million a year $90 million a year, Pete. Just doing YouTube videos. And I guess I’m bringing that up that people see that.
Ricky Baez 29:05
And people see all this failure on social media. And I think that gives unrealistic expectations of what it means to be a freelancer, and what it means to be an entrepreneur. But dang it, that creative freedom is there. And that’s something I really do appreciate. Now, if I could jump to the cons real quick because something hit me really hard with the cons. If you go to the cons, you got obviously risks.
Ricky Baez 29:28
We talked about that lack of structure, but the one that got me was loneliness. Let me tell you a little story, brother. When I first used to work for Darden Restaurants, they laid me off right, but they really took care of me because I did some good work for them in New York City for union stuff. So anyway, I got laid off. So I’m like, You know what, let me consult for a little bit more because I’ve had my consultants for about 10 years, but I’m gonna I’m just gonna consult part-time.
Ricky Baez 29:54
I started doing that and I started to notice that as an extrovert I cannot work from home and not talk to anybody. I cannot. I was dealing with one client who didn’t like to sign things and email them. He likes actual paper, right? So the FedEx guy was here all the time. And I got to know the FedEx guy. My wife was at work FedEx guy comes in, and I saw the near thing on his first truck. I’m like, Hey, man, how about them Yankees? So we started talking about it. He got freaked out next to you know, that’s a new FedEx guy coming.
Pete Newsome 30:25
Creeped out the FedEx guy?
Pete Newsome 30:28
Yeah, because I’m like, I’m talking to him. And it hit me. I’m lonely. I’m not talking to anybody. And my wife would come home from work. She was a nurse, a full-time nurse. All she wanted to do was just lay in her bathtub, right, and relax, because she had a rough 13 hours. And I’m like, I need to go out and talk to people. I’m having a conversation with my dog. Right? I mean, I’m kidding, obviously.
Ricky Baez 30:51
But, you know, it really got lonely. So this is one of the things that people don’t realize about being a freelancer. If you’re used to having a team and you have energy by being around other people, that is something you have to figure out how to work out. I mean, I don’t know was that the same for you, when you first started 4 Corner Resources?
Pete Newsome 31:10
It was and I wasn’t lonely as much as I missed. Surprisingly, I was just telling this story to someone the other day that even though it’s been a long time, I remember the feeling I missed having someone to report to not because I needed the direction. I needed, you know, the motivation or someone to look over my shoulder, you know, nobody should go out on their own, I’ll just make this point unless you already have a really strong work ethic.
Pete Newsome 31:44
So you’re right, if you’re someone who needs a manager or supervisor, whatever you want to call it, in order to do what you’re supposed to do each day and put forth your best effort, then going out on your own is probably not for you. It’s probably not the right move. So that wasn’t the issue at all. For me. I mean, I was more motivated than ever.
Pete Newsome 32:07
Right from the time I did this, as you know, there’s a lot of pressure, and the clock’s ticking, because there’s no paycheck coming in other than what you generate. So if that’s not motivation to your, the point you made with Robin Williams quote, I don’t know what it is right that no one was eating my house unless I figured this out. But I missed having someone to bounce ideas off of I missed having someone to tell me or guide me in cases where I had a tough decision to make, I’d look over my shoulder, you know, so to speak, and no one there.
Pete Newsome 32:43
That was a weird thing to get used to. And it took me years to get used to that. years now, ya know, years, years. And because knowing that the buck stops with you is fine. But you still want someone to say, look, you know, should I choose red or blue here? And it was years for me because until I got to the point where, you know, I’m just gonna, you have to get really comfortable making decisions constantly when you don’t have that person to report to. But again, that’s an entrepreneurial challenge for anyone who goes that route.
Pete Newsome 33:19
I think the risk of loneliness is also inherent with every job that’s virtual today, as we’ve probably talked about, many times in the past whereas a freelancer, by the way, it doesn’t mean you’re isolated, it doesn’t mean you have to work at home, you can go on-site, in many cases, you depending on your job. And it’s worth making the point that the freelance market really doesn’t Is it a great fit for every type of role? There are some that just really won’t, won’t, won’t fit into it. But you have to know yourself, you have to know what your role will be, you shouldn’t just jump off this cliff without having a plan and good research.
Pete Newsome 34:07
I would recommend anyone considering becoming a freelancer to get on Upwork and Fiverr and Toptal, the three sites that I would recommend for freelance work and to make sure that the roles that you’re seeing are out there and in demand. And you’ll see pretty quickly if you visit any of those sites, which roles or not. Ask yourself what kind of network you have.
Pete Newsome 34:33
What’s the strength of your network, from a referral standpoint, from a reputation standpoint, ask yourself what value you bring to the table that others would be willing to pay for? Right? What’s unique about what you do? And if you can’t answer those questions in a very positive way leading towards the freelance outcome, you probably shouldn’t do it.
Pete Newsome 34:56
Or you shouldn’t do it soon. I think making a plan for I mean, in the numbers are enormous, Rick. I mean, there’s a study that McKinsey did. Recently they just released where they estimate that 58 million Americans currently identify themselves as an independent worker. That’s a really big number, isn’t it?
Ricky Baez 35:17
That’s a huge number for that. What are the criteria for seeing what the criteria were? I mean, I think I can be a freelancer at night doing an Uber Eats while I worked my corporate job during the day.
Pete Newsome 35:28
I think that would be part of it. Right. So that yeah, the side hustle I, you mentioned that earlier, I consider those side hustle jobs in a bit of a different category. But it’s it was a freelancer because you’re working independently. But you’re working independently for the same organization indefinitely, right?
Pete Newsome 35:51
Where I think of freelance is more you work for a variety of organizations over time. But those are independent workers, for sure. Now, there’s a lot of court cases, I guess, going on right now, to challenge that. Because if you only drive for Uber, are you What’s it in between you as in? Are you really not an employee at that point? All right. I think I think the difference is you get to choose your own schedule, generally speaking, right?
Pete Newsome 36:21
Yes, it’s being challenged in a lot of places. Right. So now we’re getting into the contract versus employee thing, right? So because if you’re a freelancer or a contract or in legitimate freelancer, whoever you’re doing the work for, should not be able to dictate how you do the job. They should only be able to dictate what job needs to be done.
Pete Newsome 36:43
Okay. Makes sense. Right? You start you’d like, by the way, now, now we’re back to government involvement. And in the decision between someone who has a job that needs to be done and someone willing to do that job, I mean, I think it’s any way that that’s, that’s a soapbox for a different day.
Pete Newsome 37:02
But it is interesting. When you see the complexity of that government involvement, when and no one’s asking for it, right? Like, if you don’t like what Uber is offering, don’t go work for Uber. That’s it. I don’t need to go work for him and then complain about it. Don’t go work for them. It’s back to our quiet quitting discussion from last week.
Pete Newsome 37:26
So okay, it’s so I’ve got to bite down on something that you said that I think is really, really crucial. Pete is the work ethic. A lot of people think that it’s a lot of people are wrong in their thinking about how easy entrepreneur, being an entrepreneur is, or they think is hard, but they just completely underestimate how hard it is. Going back to when you said about missing having a boss.
Ricky Baez 37:51
So I started thinking about I’m like, You know what, you have a point. Because I miss having a structure where I needed to get something done. me having a boss meant that I had a goal that I didn’t have to set, and my boss did, right? And I would get up and I’m like, Okay, I need to do this, I don’t have to worry about setting that goal up, right? And it was one of those things that I enjoy what I did when I had a boss, what I didn’t enjoy is me starting it.
Ricky Baez 38:20
Pete, I’m one of those that I love what I get to do, I really, really enjoy it. But to start to do it, it’s the hard part, right? If I spent the first five minutes just grinding away, something I don’t want to do, that’s where the discipline comes in. And then everything else falls in place for me, where people would have an issue if they have a hard time doing it the entire time, right from beginning all the way to end.
Ricky Baez 38:43
So that work ethic has to be there because you have to set those goals. And if you don’t hit those goals, you don’t have to worry about your boss writing you up or firing you or having that uncomfortable discussion. You got to worry about just not having a client anymore, which maybe could be a bigger issue than just your boss being upset at you.
Pete Newsome 39:02
Yeah, you could look at it two ways. And I wouldn’t recommend one of these ways to you which is, well, when I’m doing it for myself, then I’ll have a good work ethic. Right, even though evidence indicates I don’t have a good work ethic based on my performance to date. But when I’m doing it for myself, I will, on the other hand, I believe that that could happen. Right.
Pete Newsome 39:28
But I would but I wouldn’t want to risk my livelihood on that, right? I mean, you need to be someone who is willing to do whatever it takes. And that’s a big statement. That’s a big commitment. Me, personally, before I took that step to be on my own, I remember the day like it was yesterday.
Pete Newsome 39:53
My wife made me a plaque that I have on my desk on the other side of my camera here that says December 5 2005 You know, four quarter resources was established. And I remember that first day, sitting at my desk on what the hell? Like here, I just consciously walked away from a really good paycheck.
Pete Newsome 40:16
That’s the risk I was talking about earlier and a job walking away from that stability.
Pete Newsome 40:20
I mean, it was going really well. But that’s the time right? Just like you hear athletes. Barry Sanders quit when he was healthy and on the top right. And everyone’s like, why are you quitting now? What am I supposed to quit when I’m banged up? And no one wants me anymore, right? So get you to know that you’ve been terminated. And you don’t have because you mentioned earlier, and I don’t think of the freelance market as, as a thing to do.
Pete Newsome 40:44
When you don’t have other options. I think it’s a thing to pursue when you have many options, and you choose this one anyway. Because the point being when you’re marketable when you have that value to bring, that’s when you should be freelance or not, hey, no one wants to hire me, let me go try it on my own, because it is infinitely harder right to I mean, my life was much easier as an employee, than it was when I went on my own. But the point that I started to make and I want to be sure to make it is, I already knew I had a great work ethic I was, but my employer, my employer got the benefit of that.
Pete Newsome 41:24
So did I so I’m also someone who doesn’t ever think, well, gosh, you’re doing all this for the benefit of this organization, we shouldn’t be in that job in the first place unless it’s a mutual benefit. So yeah, I’m not anti-employee, employer, I’m anti what the system has done to, to those relationships.
Pete Newsome 41:48
Because when I was an employee, I already worked as hard as I could, I already knew that I was, I’d work crazy hours, I would be up at 2 am Responding to proposals, because that’s what I was incented to do, based on my compensation plan, as a salesperson, the more I worked, the more I was gonna get paid.
Pete Newsome 42:06
Pretty straightforward for me. But there were a lot of people who I worked with, who didn’t, who didn’t operate that way. They, we there was a lot of freedom. I was a, I was an outside salesperson, my boss lived in another city, I could spend my day however I chose, but I spent it working my butt off because that’s how I was gonna be rewarded. So I had already done that.
Pete Newsome 42:29
So it wasn’t a matter of work ethic. It was it again, the risk, the bigger risk to me was not taking the step, and relying on someone else to decide whether I was worthy of employment from day to day, and I went well, that’s a crazy way to to do things for in my situation. I thought there was a better way.
Pete Newsome 42:52
So are you saying it’s actually what I mean? Sure. I get this correctly, are you? I think I hear you saying that work ethic is important. But that’s my main determining factor.
Pete Newsome 43:01
It should be determined. No, I’m saying it should be but I like you have to know yourself. well enough to know that that work ethic can be in place, I think, okay. Evidence of your past should be what you rely on. But it’s not necessary, I guess. But it’s just a risk. I wouldn’t want to take as I said, for someone to go, Well, what I’m doing is for myself, then I’ll start working hard. No, no, no, no, you can work hard already. And you shouldn’t be in a job. Maybe that’s the bigger point here. You shouldn’t do anything. When you wake up in a day.
Pete Newsome 43:38
As I mentioned earlier, it’s all about priorities. And if that priority, and how you’re going to spend your day is to do the best you can and whatever situation you’re in, change your situation. It doesn’t have to be freelance it doesn’t have to be maybe it’s even within your same organization. But don’t let that linger. You know, this quiet quitting thing? Don’t get sucked into that.
Pete Newsome 43:57
Because let me tell you, I would recommend everyone have it’s easier to have a good work ethic, a really strong work ethic and maintain it than did have a bad one and then try to do and then try to turn that into a good one. Good luck with that. Right? Yeah, that’s not gonna happen.
Pete Newsome 44:16
No, I agree. And in people in people underestimate that. And I don’t know if that’s a good thing or not, right? Because I want I think, from my perspective, Pete, I want people to at least try whatever the passion is, and try to do it on their own. But the reason I say people underestimate an A like that is the fact that people try it and fail because that’s how you learn with it. Right?
Ricky Baez 44:40
You really do learn from that. But I want people to know if you decide to go out on your own. There are some things that you are not thinking about that now you’re responsible for when that work ethic is gonna help out. You’re not only the president, but you’re also not only the CEO, but you are also payroll, you are HR, you are marketing, you know, who’s going to take out The garbage that’s going to be you, right? You’re gonna do all of these things. And then oh my god, it’s time for dinner. All right, it’s 9:30 pm is a certainty.
Ricky Baez 45:10
There’s a lot of like, you know what I’m gonna call you out of here, man, and, and put you on blast. So by 15 years later, you have this company a successful company still runs great. And you still build a bird that the the the is it the midnight oil? It is on both ends? Is that what it is? I don’t know. If that’s what it comes from, okay, anyway. No, because I remember you and me talking when zinc egg was about to go live and what texting got like at 11 at night. And I’m like, What are you doing, and you’re like, I’m still working at this website, I’m like Friday night at 11 pm.
Ricky Baez 45:46
That’s where you’re doing the president owner of a successful company, that work ethic doesn’t stop. So everybody listening, the opposite is also true, right? Whether it’s not a good idea where it’s not a good idea to just do it for yourself, and then do and then find the work ethic later. You need to have a work ethic now. But it’s not going to go away. We still need that later on.
Pete Newsome 46:08
It’s actually an interesting point. So you know, in thinking about starting a new business called zengig and this website that I really believe in, in that it’s bringing something that’s necessary into the world, which is great career advice, no strings attached. And that doesn’t. As we were creating more content for staffing, we realize how great the need was. So that’s why I decided to create some gig but I want I didn’t want to do it halfway, right. I didn’t want to do it. I don’t want this to be marginally successful, I want it to ultimately become the go-to career advice site that exists for everyone.
Pete Newsome 46:57
And so I had to sit my family down and say, I’m, I’m going to be less present than I have been. Because it was, you know, I went from having one job, you know, being president of a staffing company to having to but even harder, in a way because it was it’s a startup, I mean, it is starting from scratch, where we are trying to establish a brand that doesn’t exist, that didn’t exist.
Pete Newsome 47:23
And I know what that takes. And so it was big, you know, it had to be a conscious decision to go, man, if I take this step, there’s an I know what comes with it. Because I had to start one company where I remember telling my wife, I’m gonna go, I’m going to quit my job, I’m going to start for 4 Corner. I remember where I was in the parking lot of Publix, she was pregnant with my now 16-year-old, almost 17-year-old. And I said, I’m gonna do this in a few months, I’m gonna quit, she goes, Well, don’t be stressed when the baby comes. I’m like, really, totally stressed when the baby comes? Well, that’s a given. Regardless, I’m about to have child number three.
Pete Newsome 48:04
But I, you know, I worked, you know, 7080 hours a week when I started, you know, for years when I started for corn just to get it to survive. And so there’s, I think you were you were alluding to this earlier, there’s a misconception that when people go out on their own with that freedom comes, comes less work. And I would tell you what, that freedom comes with significantly more work. Because as you said, you are I didn’t, I was naive. When I started the business. I didn’t think through things like, Well, when I hired my first employee he came with, it was about three months. And he walks into my office and says, Hey, what’s our vacation policy?
Pete Newsome 48:50
Well, damn, we need a vacation policy. We didn’t think about that. And so you really do need to think through but that’s where these sites that exist today for freelancers make it so much easier, you don’t have to go and, and start a business with employees, you can just go be an independent contractor, and you can chart your own course and it’s really cool and worth exploring.
Pete Newsome 49:14
You know, for people who are, I’d say mid-career and beyond early-career, you know, get it to get the reps working for someone else, right? You know, get that experience that will transfer once you’re ready to go on your own, but don’t rush it you’ve got to do it when the time is right.
Pete Newsome 49:33
So here’s what I heard. What I heard is if you decide to go out on your own if you decide to be a freelancer and be your own boss, it’s gonna take a lot of time your family has to be behind you right you have to let your family know that we know what to expect because they have a stake in this game as well.
Ricky Baez 49:50
But if you communicate you let them know exactly what’s because people, people freak out when they are caught off guard So if you let them know ahead of time, here’s what’s going to happen, it’s going to be a difficult few months, if not years, right? And they’re okay with it, your mind is set that you planted that seed you planted, I can’t believe I’m about to say this, you planted the seed of freedom. And when that seed of freedom becomes a tree of freedom, now you can take the freedom fruit stand up, and salute.
Ricky Baez 50:23
I felt like I know how this is gonna come across because I’m thinking in my head.
Pete Newsome 50:23
You planted the seed of freedom, Ricky, I think that needs to be a quote somewhere.
Pete Newsome 50:31
And what I’m not done yet, and then you get the tree of freedom later on, that you can pick the fruit, later on, is that you’ve worked so hard to cultivate this, this freedom that you just pick it whenever you want. Because Pete, you didn’t have to be up till 11 pm on a Friday night, this far into your venture to launch this, we got people that you can do that. But the thing is that you’re not to say you’re not comfortable in letting them do that. It’s you who want your vision to be heard if that makes sense.
Ricky Baez 51:03
You want the vision to be understood. So obviously, you want to make sure you lay that groundwork. And once it’s running on its own, then you let people manage it. Right. So that doesn’t stop. But later on in about five years or so then yeah, you’ll be able to take a step back. Both of these companies are running great. And here I am on my jet ski. I don’t know if you have a jet ski or not. That’s just a picture up here that is in my head.
Pete Newsome 51:25
I do not have a jet ski now. Yeah, maybe that’ll be the next thing to do. That’d be the next one.
Ricky Baez 51:30
Yeah, from Tesla. When you plug in, can you match? Sounds pretty cool. Yeah, that sounds pretty cool.
Pete Newsome 51:37
Electric Jetski? So I think yeah, I think that’s a good place to end. Ricky. I mean, you know, we’ve, it sounds like you agree that, you know, the freelance market is something that’s really heading in the right direction for employees, there are lots of resources for you. There are lots of there’s lots written about this. And so just know yourself. I mean, that would that’s the main thing, you have to be able to define you so many people have come to me over the years. And say, I want to start my own business.
Pete Newsome 52:11
Great. What are you going to do? What’s your idea? Well, I don’t have that yet. But I want to start my own business. No, no, no, no, don’t, don’t try to fit a square peg into a round hole or a square peg in a hole that doesn’t even exist, find that whatever that thing is, that you do that other would want to pay for. Or that you do better than someone else or deliver unique value, you have to identify that.
Pete Newsome 52:40
To do it, well, you have to want to do it and like to do it, I think, and then you have to be willing to work hard at it. And all of those things need to be in place first. And then venture out on your own.
Pete Newsome 52:54
And communicate, make sure your family is aware so that’s why I’m glad you brought that up. Because a lot of people who are thinking about making this test jump, they do have families, and I gotta give it to you, man for you to do that. When you haven’t yet. That’s a huge risk. Right? And I didn’t know that your wife was pregnant with your child when you told her that I’m gonna leave this, this. And I’m actually surprised she reacted the way she did because I was expecting her to be to say, oh, my god, are you kidding?
Ricky Baez 53:27
No. Why are we going to do, which is not an irrational response? That is what a sane person would say, right? Like, oh, my God, what are we doing, but she was supportive. And that is crucial for anybody that has a significant other, that they have a family, make sure your family is aware. Because it’s going to be a lot of long nights, it’s good, you are going to be absent, most of the time at the beginning of it. And as long as you get a family that supports it, man, that’s half the battle. That really is half the battle.
Pete Newsome 53:55
It’s huge to whatever your situation is, you’re right. If it’s going to affect others, then make sure they’re aware. And if you’re on your own, you don’t have to worry about that. But yeah, it’s what does my dog think I? I do, I do look back and think I was curious about the timing. But but but my mindset was you really there are two things one, I Well, three, one, I was confident I could do it.
Pete Newsome 54:23
And I had been thinking about and talking about it for a decade. So there was that it wasn’t like I was it was fly by night thing or I had lots of different ideas. And just as happened to be the flavor of the month, this was the same idea I talked about for thought about for 10 years. Number two is I was I didn’t see it as a risk because I thought the risk was not doing it. I thought the risk was leaving my fate and yeah, it was my mid-30s. As I mentioned, seeing it fast-forwarding 20 years, I’ll just say it that way.
Pete Newsome 54:59
Whether it could be this way or not, but not nearly as employable as I was in my mid-30s, as I would have been as my as I got older and made more money and had a bigger title, and there are fewer spots at the top right? Yeah. So I’d much rather, you know, take the risk, then, if you want to call it that, or I didn’t again, I didn’t see it as a risk. I thought the risk was not doing it and leaving my fate in someone else’s hands.
Pete Newsome 55:24
And then And then the third thing is, I knew I could go back and get a job if I needed to. She used that that awful phrase like that was my fallback. Well do this. I know it’s going to work. I don’t see it as risky. I mean, I was terrified. But it’s natural to me.
Pete Newsome 55:39
I mean, it’s natural.
Pete Newsome 55:41
But then I thought my worst-case scenario is I end up exactly where I am right now. A year from now. That was my, I gave myself a year, I had budgeted for a year, we had to cut way back, of course. And I knew I could pay my bills for a year and didn’t have to worry because I knew it wouldn’t be an overnight match. The last point I want to make on this is just because success doesn’t necessarily come quickly. And that we already know it doesn’t come easily. But doesn’t it doesn’t necessarily come quickly, either?
Pete Newsome 56:11
So I had to give myself a year to say, well, at the end of these 12 months, that I don’t have to worry about paying my bills and that time. And I knew so I could go heads down on this. And then I’ll make a decision. go or no go, I still good is this can this work? If yes, then I stay the course if not well, I still have a family to support. As I mentioned, if I’m really wrong, and it doesn’t work, then I’ll go back and work for the man. I mean, that was how that was how I thought so. But that was my journey. That was my experience. Everyone’s is a little bit different. But I think the universal things to consider as someone who’s considering taking this step to be a freelancer is those things are pretty intact, as we’ve been talking about.
Pete Newsome 56:59
So what I heard was that you have to scale back. So that’s the reason why you don’t have a jetski you have to sell it to keep up.
Pete Newsome 57:07
By I will I won’t say out loud how much money I was making in my in my technology sales job, but let’s just say you’ll probably be even more surprised that I walked away from it.
Pete Newsome 57:18
But I bet I bet I trust me, trust me. I know, I came from a sales environment. And I saw how the salesmen how much money they make.
Pete Newsome 57:28
I just come back from a reward trip in Hawaii to make about the time I was making this decision, like I’m out, I’m gonna do my thing. But But it turned out good. It turned out really good in and hopefully people would would would take this information to really take a step back and what is and what they want to do.
Ricky Baez 57:55
Pete, I’m afraid of two things in life. Two things. Number one, sharks. Okay. That’s the first one. The second one is regret. And because time is so valuable, that we don’t it passed, like, like right now we’ve been talking for, what, 45 minutes an hour, right? And it’s this time, we’re not going to get back, right. But what I don’t want to do, I don’t want to be you know, I’m done with work. I’m done with everything. And I’m just taking a look back at my life. And I just don’t want to have any regrets about not taking that shot.
Pete Newsome 58:28
Ricky Baez 58:29
So to me, the regret is big. So folks out there listening, please, please take a look at this figure out the pros and cons. This is on the zengig.com website. It was published on August 15. And the article is called is freelancing worth it? The pros and cons have never been an easier time to help people start their own freelance. And even if that’s not the case, even if, if that doesn’t work, and you want to have that second option to go back and work for the man, we got the options for you to go on zengig.com You’ll be able to find everything you need there to kind of help you in that venture.
Ricky Baez 59:09
But I gotta tell you, somebody who’s done it, I love it. I enjoy it. I love it because I’m big on relationships that have worked for me. And I love what I get to do so what does that What’s that old saying? If you love what you do you never work a day in your life. That’s what it is. Yeah, yeah. Okay. Yeah. See, I’m enjoying what I do so much that I forgot the quote. But I think yeah, it’s it’s it’s really interesting times in for employers. Now I know we’re going to talk about this on the other show.
Ricky Baez 59:42
For employers, this is an interesting time as well, because if you were trying to keep people engaged, you have to take a look at what’s attracting people to go somewhere else. So that’s a different conversation from at the time.
Pete Newsome 59:42
Yep but if you want to hear us talk about why employers should or should not consider hiring freelance freelancers and embrace that market, you got to hop on over to The Higher Calling Podcast.
Pete Newsome 1:00:03
So we’ll link it the in the show notes. And we’re gonna keep this going but from a different perspective, so from candidates or for the work any workers out there who are looking, wanting to look at other options, explore it, get on Upwork, get on Fiverr get on Toptal. See what skill sets are in demand, and see if it makes sense for you. And in cherish, share feedback, we want to hear from you here. So thank you for listening today. And please rate us. Please subscribe to the podcast and drive safely out there.
Ricky Baez 1:00:40
Let us know and yeah, give us a like, and send us some feedback. Let us know what you want to hear. Let us know what you want us to talk about PT that would get together and I think we have another q&a coming up in a few weeks. Right?
Pete Newsome 1:00:52
We do indeed. We will do alright. Well, thank you everyone for listening today and Ricky, have a great rest of your day, man.
Ricky Baez 1:01:04
You too, sir. Have a good night.