Over the past three months, I lived in Tulum, Mexico, quit my job, worked on side projects, and of course, ate a f*ck ton of tacos. Most importantly, I took time to reflect on what I want to do with this next chapter of my life.

I quit my job because I wanted more freedom. Freedom to work from where I want. Freedom to work when I want. Freedom to work with who I want. Freedom to work on what I want.

After a couple months researching and talking to people, I noticed there was a new type of job emerging. I call it “super freelancing”.

Over the next decade, I think some of the most ambitious and talented people in the world will become super freelancers.

So, what is it?

Super freelancers do three things:

  • Consult (e.g., a client pays an hourly or project rate for specific skills)
  • Educate (e.g., online courses, newsletters, e-books, podcasts, social media)
  • Build products (e.g., niche software tools and e-commerce products)

Why three different activites instead of one? Because each activity has different risk / return trade offs.

Source

For example, consulting is great for earning cash, building a network, and developing skills. However, consulting limits your financial upside and freedom because you only get paid when you work.

Alternatively, building educational assets like an online course or e-book allows you to make money while you sleep. Yet, the income from educational assets is unpredictable. You may get a spike in income for the first few weeks after launch but most times it will quickly taper off.

Therefore, it’s important to also build products. By building a niche software tool (e.g., a job board for your university’s alumni), you can charge a monthly subscription and have predictable recurring revenue.

Most people will probably start off consulting to build up their savings, network, and skillset. They could then start a newsletter to share their learnings and build an audience. Eventually, they could create an online course that packages together their best content on a specific topic. Then they could build a software tool that solves a pain point for their clients and sell it to their audience or previous clients.

The beauty of this model is that each of these activities reinforce each other.

Source

Once you start making money while you sleep through online courses and software products you’ll have more freedom over how you work. You can start your work day at 11am. You can work four hours a day. You can work twelve hours a day. You can take a year off for parental leave. You could even spend a month being a degenerate in Ibiza.

Regardless of your goals, super freelancing optimizes for freedom and creativity. Of course, it won’t be easy. Consulting, educating, and building products are all difficult activities by themselves. However, there are tools that make each of these activities a bit easier.

Fiverr and Upwork make it easier to find consulting gigs. Teachable makes it easier to create an online course. Webflow makes it easier to build software products.

Eventually, you can hire people to do the work you don’t enjoy.

Super freelancing is a type of entrepreneurship that’s native to the internet. It takes advantage of internet-only properties like zero marginal cost, never-ending niches, SaaS, and more.

Although super freelancing sounds great in theory, it takes time, focus, and resilience. Over the next few months I’ll share my journey trying to become a super freelancer.

I’ll explore:

  • How to get consulting clients
  • How to build an audience
  • How to use no-code tools to quickly build products
  • How to decide on a niche
  • Examples of successful super freelancers
  • Ideas for niche software products and how to build them
  • How an accelerator program for super freelancers could work (e.g., “YC for super freelancers)
  • How super freelancers can come together to build product / media studios (e.g., “Disney for the internet)

And much, much more.

Super freelancing isn’t just a shift in how people work, it’s a shift in how people live. How people spend time with their family. How people find purpose. How people create wealth for future generations.

But maybe I’m wrong. In twenty years, maybe we’ll be working for the Corporation of China. Or maybe we’ll be working for our AI robot overlords. Or maybe we’ll be working for aliens from the Galactic Federation. Or maybe we’ll just go back to our 9 to 5 jobs counting down the days until we can retire and sip margaritas on the beach in Mexico.

Who knows.

Until then, my mission is to become a super freelancer and help others do the same.

———

Shoutout to Ben Issenmann for writing an excellent essay that inspired this.

Posted 
Dec 9, 2020
 in 
Career
 category

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