Quit your job in 6 months (or less)?

Buck Flogging (not his given name) has put together a course that covers the central theme of this website, which is how to make the leap from the treadmill of the modern 8 to 5 rat race, and step into the rewards of entrepreneurship.

Buck has a masters degree from the School of Hard Knocks.  If you’ve ever taken any of their courses, you know that’s a tough program.  But he’s willing to share what he’s learned about the strange and wonderful world of online entrepreneurship.

He’s learned at least as much from his failures as he has from his successes, which should be true of all of us. Buck has had his share of both, so he’s a wealth of information.

I don’t recommend many courses, but this is one you can’t afford to miss if you’re interested in making the transition to freedom.  Buck will teach you all you need to know to quit your job in six months.   Not because you’re sick of it, but because you’ve developed income streams to replace what your earning there.   You can find the Quit in 6 course  at http://quitn6.com.   You won’t want to pass this one up if you’ve ever wondered whether you could earn money online.

A few words about freelancing

Freelance for fun and profit
Freelance for fun and profit

At Transitions to Freedom, we monitor and evaluate technological, social, and economic trends.  Our goal is to spot opportunities for greater personal and financial freedom, and to tell anyone that will listen what we’re seeing.

The rate of change in nearly every sector we monitor is increasing. That makes is hard to peer very far into the future, because rapid changes leave an element of chaos in their wake.

Nonetheless, some trends are emerging so distinctly that their trajectories appear to be clear.  The new reliance on outsourced labor is one of those trends.

According to Score.org, freelancers now make up a whopping 34% of the US work force, which accounts for some 54 million people.  There are many reasons for this, some of them are good.

The good reasons are that flexible work schedules and work-from-anywhere lifestyles are giving people more freedom than ever to choose how and where they work.  The ability to compete and set prices also appeals to many freelancers.

The bulk of freelancers are millennials.  They credit social media and internet connectedness for the rise in freelance opportunities.

According to MBO Partners, the number of young freelancers has grown 1.9 million in 2011 to about 5.4 million in 2015, an increase of nearly 300%.   That’s a steep trend.

Other demographics are rapidly joining the ranks of freelancers as well.  The growth of this industry suggests a few underlying trends:

  1. The days of a “golden handcuffs,” pension and benefit plans that become more valuable the longer your tenure with an employer, are over.  Thanks to changes in regulations, including the cynically named “Affordable Care Act”, employers are reducing their costs by outsourcing.
  2. Loyalty between employers and employees, if it ever existed, is gone.  Disney’s recent decision to layoff a few hundred employees who were expected to train their cheaper immigrant replacements is but one example that many employers place their bottom line far above their human resources.  The message to employees is clear:  if you don’t place your own bottom line above loyalty to your employer, you may find yourself with no line at all.
  3. The skills and educational requirements that are in demand are in flux.  Your ability to stay current and development new skills as the market demands them is an important part of maintaining and expanding your earning potential.  This means investing time in yourself, which can include taking courses, reading, and networking.   Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) like Udemy and iTunesU are trending.  These sites may well be the future of higher education.

Successful freelancers have some pressures that employees don’t, including the burden of a much more complicated income tax reporting requirements.  It can also be challenging to keep a steady work load, especially as you’re starting out.

But the overall level of satisfaction that freelancers have in their work and lifestyles is considerably higher than it is for employees.  Couple this with the fact that your income is not fixed, but can be increased when you have specific needs by accepting more jobs or adding skill sets, and it’s easy to see why freelancers tend to be very satisfied with their work.

If you haven’t considered freelancing, give it a hard look this week.   It’s not a passive income, which should be your highest goal, but freelancing does offer much more flexibility than a 9 to 5 routine.


 

 

Skills that will earn you $1000 next weekend

freedom cut the strings puppet
No Strings Attached

The information age has blasted open the doors to remarkable new opportunities and lifestyles.  If you’ve never heard the term “portable income”, it’s a concept that should get your attention.  A lot of your attention.  The idea that you can earn more from anywhere adds a dimension of freedom that our ancestors only dreamed of.

Thanks to computers and high-speed internet, pretty much anyone can earn money anywhere by offering their services as a freelancer from any where that you can plug in a laptop and connect it to the world wide web.  That covers a lot of territory.

As you might imagine, some skills are in greater demand than others.  Matt Barrie, the CEO and founder of freelancer.com, an Australia-based site, recently shared some insights with James Altucher.   James is an author, entrepreneur, investor, trend analyst, and student of human nature.  If you haven’t read his “Choose Yourself” books, you should:

Choose Yourself by James Altucher

Meanwhile, Freelancer.com has seen amazing global growth in freelance transactions.  According to Mr. Barrie, some of the most sought after skills and services include:

  1. Video production.  There is a large and growing demand for online video content to facilitate product launches, educate customers, and increase web traffic through engaging, sharable content.  Animation is popular, and surprisingly easy to create with the plethora of cheap tools that can be learned quickly.
  2. Website development and design.  Many publishers don’t want to take time to learn or implement web publishing skills.  With tools like WordPress, and the nearly limitless templates that can be used to create professional websites in short order, this is an easy skill set to learn quickly.
  3. Illustration.  One hot niche is in children’s books.  With the explosion in self-publishing, many new authors are flooding cyberspace with hopeful new works that need art work.
  4. Photoshop photo editing and other design work.  Advertisers need well-designed layouts and powerpoint presentations.  These again are fairly easy skills to develop, if you don’t already have them.
  5. Writing.  With a growing number of online publications and the increasing prevalence of email marketing, there is a big demand for well-written articles, sales copy, and entertaining content. This is a skill you can hone with practice and online coursework.

Earning money anywhere is a worth goal if you like to travel or would like to live in an area that doesn’t have many job or business opportunities.  With the skills I’ve listed above, you can at least supplement your income.  Many freelancers are earning full-time incomes, so it’s a very realistic goal.

If you don’t have the skills I’ve listed, or you’re not confident in them, you can and absolutely should develop these and others.   Udemy.com, iTunesU, and many other MOOC sites offer online courses.  Invest some time and money in yourself, and you’ll find that the dividends are far greater than just about any other investment you can make.

 

Tracking Trends – How emerging technologies may shape our future

Knowledge, innovation, and technology are increasing at an accelerating rate.  It’s impossible to predict exactly where this will take us in the next decades, but based on recent trends, human society is on the cusp of radical changes.

The following articles offer some surprising glimpses into the technologies that are poised to change the human race in ways we can’t predict, but that promise to be profound.

21 technology tipping points we will reach by 2030

If you think our reliance on smartphones and web-connected devices has reached it’s peak, you’re in for a surprise.  From web-connected clothing and glasses, to self-driving cars and trucks, to 3D printed consumer products, and even synthetic replacement organs, the world will be a different place in 14 short years.  If we survive the next 2.  Techinsider has the article here.

 

8 Tech Trends to Watch in 2016

DECEMBER 08, 2015

Loss of privacy may be an inevitable consequence of our increasing immersion in cyberspace, but did you know that governments are far from the only ones that are interested in invading yours?  The emergence of algorithms that profile your personality and buying habits are becoming remarkably sophisticated.  And ‘bots are now crawling through cyberspace at lightning speed to collect data, while quantum computing may make todays best processors seem like dinosaurs.  Harvard Business Review reflects on these and 5 more jaw-dropping technologies that are shaping a brave new world here.

 

6 technology mega-trends shaping the future of society

The digitization of matter, the emerging prevalence of the internet of things, and AI and it’s ability to analyze “big data” are among the mega trees that morphing our future into a science fiction scene that may seem stranger than any sci-fy conceived to date.  Read where the World Economic Forum thinks we’re heading in the next decades here.

Gartner Identifies the Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends for 2016

robot world

Deep neural nets will facilitate advanced machine learning that will allow computer networks to learn on their own, without human inputs.  This in turn will spawn some incredible new machine abilities, including autonomous devices like…well, pretty much anything you can imagine along with a lot of things you probably can’t.  Which is probably ok since, since you may sleep better remembering the world as it was rather than envisioning what it may become.  Gartner’s analysis should not be missed.  Read their projections for the short term future here.  

 

These are but a small sampling of some of the more immediately important changes that we’re likely facing.  How they will affect our day to day lives is anyone’s guess.  I don’t know of anyone that predicted the impact that smartphones and social media and texting apps would have on society.  Mark Zuckerberg is a visionary, but he couldn’t have known for sure how Facebook would alter human interaction.

The road ahead is looking very interesting indeed.  Don’t think for a moment that it won’t be bumpy.  My advice is that you buckle up, and stay informed. Start by subscribing to our newsletter.