When Sara Horowitz was hired as a lawyer, she was made an independent contractor and wasn’t given any benefits. Since then, she’s created Working Today, a nonprofit for uniting freelancers, Freelancers Union, an organization that promotes the needs of independent workers, and Freelancers Insurance Company, which provides health insurance. She also authored the recently released Freelancer’s Bible, a practical guide for the self-employed.
In the latest installment of Mediabistro’s So What Do You Do?, Horowitz talks about the best and worst parts of freelancing, and gives advice on networking, budgeting and getting ahead. Here’s an excerpt:
What advice would you give to someone who wants to take the dive into working for themselves?
Really pay attention to your network. By network, I mean the people you care about. So when you go to a networking event, don’t just take your card out and shove it in somebody’s face. Look to find the one or two people you like and can relate to and nurture those relationships. Your network is going to be everything. The second thing is look at your consumption and stop overspending. It’s bad for America, but you’ve also got to keep your expenses down. People become very anxiety-ridden because they try to maintain a standard of living, but when you’re starting out, you don’t know what your standard of living is going to be. So be frugal.