We’re in the age of the female entrepreneur.
Even the United Nations has recognized, and honored, the growing community of women entrepreneurs by supporting Women Entrepreneurship Day. Founded in 2014 by social entrepreneur, best-selling author and animal advocate, Wendy Diamond, Women’s Entrepreneurship Day (WED) was founded with the mission to commemorate one day annually to celebrate, support, and empower women entrepreneurs worldwide. From tech CEOs to product engineers, clothing designers to non-profit founders, WED celebrates women who have stepped out on their own to achieve the American dream – in their own way.
How can #PRGirls get a bite of the pie, you ask?
It’s simple: some call it freelancing, I prefer consulting or strategizing! You get the gist.
Not every woman has the gusto (or desire) to create a multi-million dollar company, and that’s ok! Get your foot in the door of entrepreneurship by positioning yourself to one day create your own agency or firm, starting with being an independent communications consultant.
During the summer of 2014, I quit my job and set out as an independent consultant titling myself an Integrated Marketing & Event Management consultant. Over the course of a year, I’ve juggled a total of 12 clients. Although it has its ups and downs, my work as a consultant has been a dream.
I find myself learning more, growing more, and going the extra mile – far more. Being your own boss doesn’t just mean you get to sleep in or work in your pajamas though. It means you have almost no one to answer to and you also don’t have anyone to go to for help. You search harder for answers, sweat a bit more when submitting a project, and go outside the box – far more.
In case you’re not already sold on it, we’ve put together a list of the top 5 reasons every #PRGirl should step out on her own and be her own #GirlBoss.
Earn more money and be your own girl boss
On average, freelancers earn 45% more than those who are traditionally employed. They’re also allowed to deduct certain business expenses that employees are not – allowing to actually keep more of what they earn. Anyone that has ever seen billing for a PR firm (or any firm, really), knows that a company will bill a client over three to four times what the employee actually earns. It makes sense in the grand scheme of things- gotta keep the lights on! But, how unfair.
Forget climbing the corporate ladder, break your own glass ceiling in your free time
I’ve been independently consulting for nearly a year following my graduation from Howard University in 2014. There is no corporate ladder for me. I break my own glass ceilings. People are amazed that at 22 I’ve “figured it all out” and achieved, what some would call, the “American Dream.” But, it doesn’t stop here. Independently consulting has allowed me to further pursue additional goals of mine – attaining a Master’s degree from an Ivy League institute, lay groundwork for a non-profit organization, sit on a Board of Directors, grow an herb garden and travel for months at a time.
Freelancing can actually expand your already existing skill-set
Last fall I picked up a few textbooks. One was a book on branding and design and another was on contract writing. Within a few months of beginning consulting, these are two skills that I felt were imperative to have. Not every consultant will initially have the funds to hire a lawyer to draft their consulting contracts for client work, so we turn to alternative resources. It has helped tremendously as I am currently in a position to draft a client contract in under 20 minutes using a template that I created myself. Imagine picking up a new skill that will help you in your day-to-day client interaction: graphic design, layout design, photography, contract writing, SEO, coding, website building. You could be unstoppable!
Go global – from your living room
Imagine sitting in your apartment in North Carolina, working on client work for a client based in California. You’re quite literally growing your network across the country without having to shell out the dough to be there often. What’s more #GirlBoss than that? Hunting for a traditional position means limiting yourself to local opportunities, unless you’re ready to uproot your life and move to a new location. With freelancing moving is not always necessary, which means you can work with someone around the corner or around the globe.
Truth is: self-employment is a fantastic lifestyle choice, but isn’t all glory – freelancing isn’t always an easy road to travel. However, it can provide great rewards for PR gals willing to step off the beaten path. Bear in mind that you need to have self-discipline to pull through, the kind of discipline imposed on you in the traditional workplace but even more so. You can always be more more lenient with yourself, but by having proper time management, motivation, dedication, and knowing where to set your boundaries – there’s no stopping you.
Guest post by Jenelle Coy.