It’s funny how life works. After studying accounting and working in the field for a number of years, deep down I always knew I wanted to be my own boss. I decided to leave the accounting world to pursue a more creative path, around the same time Tyler and I met. It felt like everything was really falling into place (the saying “it was meant to be” couldn’t have been any more true). BUT it wasn’t a complete fairy tale at first. Those freelance opportunities were not exactly jumping out at me. But I kept at it and the rest is, as they say, history.
I am always sympathetic to the struggle of being your own boss because to be completely honest, being my own boss in a creative industry has given me a run for my money, literally. And now even more so because I have clients all over the world. Luckily, TransferWise has been a life saver because they help freelancers and business owners, like me, save time and money when we work internationally.
If you’re thinking about making those be-your-own-boss dreams a reality, I have a few tips on how to ease your way into your new career so you can live your best freelancer life.
1. Avoid costly bank fees. The international job market has a lot of opportunities, but working across any border can be complicated, time consuming, and costly, especially when you have to deal with banks, SWIFT codes, beneficiary names, AND foreign tax forms!
Confused yet? If your clients or collaborators are in countries where you don’t have a bank account, your bank or money transfer service may take a cut of the payment you receive. And on top of that, they can charge a foreign exchange fee when they convert currencies –or inflate the exchange rate they use to make extra money that way. For freelancers who work hard to get gigs, the losses can really add up.
I love the experience of working globally, but to really make it work, I have to find ways to save money. Enter the TransferWise Borderless account. Opening a Borderless account is like opening bank accounts in multiple countries, but it’s just one account. It lets you get paid directly in American dollars, British pounds, Euros, and Australian dollars. It will look, feel, and smell like a local account to the people you work with in those places. And you don’t pay receiving fees!!!
Once the money is in your account, you can then covert it to 60 different currencies, using the real exchange rate — not an inflated one. Not only will you save money, but it’s way more efficient. With everything in one place, you don’t have to worry about multiple accounts.
2. Only take on projects you are passionate about. Don’t be afraid to say “no”, even if you are low-key freaking out about how you will fill up your bank account every month. Not following your passion, so you can follow money, may be one of the biggest mistakes a freelancer can make. Remember why you started, what kept you going and what your goals are.
Keep in mind, more often than not, jobs you take just for money aren’t worth the emotional cost. (And they could very well turn out to be the worst clients you will ever work with, anyway). They often lead to an unhappy client, and an unhappy you, which can affect your family and friends. So do yourself a favour and only take on projects that you can get behind with your heart.
3. Disconnect. Look at saying no to a job you’re not passionate about as an opportunity to do something else with your time. Explore another project, work on personal and/or business development… or sleep. You already know –or will soon find out –about the importance of rest in a freelancers world. Sometimes you just need to turn off your phone, go for a swim, pick up a colouring book, or do something therapeutic for your mind and soul. Who knows what creative breakthrough you’ll have when you disconnect for a bit.
Being able to afford to do what I love –travelling and meeting new people—while still making money, is where TransferWise has really come through. It’s designed for people who travel or work around the globe – it was created with our nomadic, time-strapped lifestyles in mind. It helps you simplify how you manage your finances and gives you more freedom and control… so you’ll have more hours in the day to do what you want. With a life without borders, the possibilities (and growth) are endless! So get out there and make it rain…(cash that is)!