Leaders, Jon Younger and Steve King are the brains behind many of our industries leading stats.
What’s unique about Steve is that he’s the perfect example of freelancing becoming the natural evolution of work. Steve wasn’t a pissed off employee that wanted to ‘ditch the 9-5 to sit on a beach’. He was a VP & GM at leading companies like Lotus Development and Macromedia. In terms of the corporate ladder, he made it, yet he chose to blaze the solopreneur path instead through his firm Emergent Research,
There are 7 massive themes that Steve and I discuss.
There’s now a middle class to the freelance economy
55% of individuals have been independent at some point in their life
60% of Americans don’t have the risk profile of a freelancer
26% growth from 2021 to 2022, with full time freelancers leading the growth
Freelancing is overwhelmingly chosen, and freelancers have the highest levels of fulfillment
Misclassification is protecting 25% of the population at the expense of the entire freelancer population
We’ll also break down MBO Partners recent State of Independence in America 2022 Report.
*Paid readers find this at the bottom.
Some of our favorite quotes:
How has the freelance economy grown in the past year?
“we've steadily seen the increase in the number of independent workers that report earning $100,000 more a year. And that that grew quite a bit over the last year in particular. But it's been growing steadily since we've been tracking this in 2008.”
Where are we heading?
“In another 10 years, it'll probably be close to two thirds of Americans will have been independent workers at some point in their careers.”
“About 55% of adult Americans have been independent workers at some point in their careers. And so you see this revolving door, we see a lot of lot of freelancers who freelance and then get a job, they leave that job go back to freelancing. A lot of full time employees will shift into freelancing for a short period of time and go back. And so it's not so much when your kids are going to say, ‘I want to be a freelancer’, more likely, what your kids are going to say is, it's, ‘Hey, I'm going to be a freelancer, whether I want to or not, at some point in my career, and maybe it's going to be my full career, maybe it's not’.”
Freelancers overwhelmingly choose freelancing:
“consistently somewhere between 70 and 80% of freelancers say they did it by choice, as opposed to having a layoff or a lost job or inability to get a job, or some other shock.
Satisfaction rates are always somewhere in the mid 70s to low 80s. And so the vast majority of freelancers are satisfied with their work.
Most every survey on ‘am I going to go back to a traditional job, do I want to go back to a traditional job, or do I prefer freelancing’, you find that only about one in 10 freelancers, on average, say they would prefer a traditional job.”
What are some major challenges?
“about 60% of Americans simply don't have the risk profiles to be successful as a full time independent worker. And part of that is many of those people don't want the responsibility, they want other people to manage, and I'm not saying this in a negative sense, it's just the way it is. They would prefer having someone else manage them. Others can't deal with unpredictable income and can't deal with what they view as the risks and the insecurities associated with it.”
What is the break down of freelancers?
“freelancers who are their households primary income earners are only about a third of the total number of three freelancers, most freelancers work part time.”
What are common characteristics of the best freelancers?
“one of the groups we studied was commercially successful artists, and it turned out they spent about half of their time on business issues, and about half of their time on art. And the artists that were successful as artists, but unsuccessful making money, did about 90% Art, 10% business.”
“that's effectively true for everybody. I mean, I don't want to do accounting, I don't want to do billing, I really don't want to do marketing. I want to do the work, the research work, I want to do the analysis, I want to get the data back and study it. So that's really a big part of it is you have to be both.
Particularly if you want to grow then you've got to become a business person more than necessarily a freelancer. That's a very common common issue. And we consistently find people who don't focus enough on the business are less successful than people who do.”
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