A lot of people think that it is a good idea to start freelancing than getting a job. If you are just out of college, it is always a better idea to get started with a job because you need more experience and exposure to the business world.
When you are an employee, you are like a freelancer but with one client (your employer) and a fixed monthly retainer fee (your salary). And more often than not, you might have to work in an office, which means you do not have a problem finding a separate workspace. You will also have some colleagues to interact with and make friends with.
You will learn a lot of things when you work in a company because you will closely observe the products and services that are being sold, how the narrative is being sold to investors (if it is a funded startup), and how team management is done. Mostly, you will see that so many things are broken and they are not able to run a tight ship. You will need this learning when you are building your startup.
I worked in different startups such as Razorpay, Instamojo, and Practo before I started freelancing. It was a 5-year journey from 2013 to 2016 and I help hopping from one company to the other. I was impatient to learn and couldn’t stick to one company for a long time.
The work gave me a good insight into different B2B and B2C companies. I learned how just working hard is not gonna be enough and the company’s vision and strategy matter a lot to define its long-term success. I closely observed team dynamics, worked under good and bad managers, was myself a good and bad manager, and so on.
Having worked in a lot of companies also helped me build my expertise in the field of digital marketing because I was spending a lot of money on ads for the company from their budget and to date I have spent more than $1m in ads. I was gaining experience in my field of expertise.
At the same time, I did not lose vision of what I was going to do after working in all these companies. Since I was good at digital marketing I kept blogging about it on this blog DigitalDeepak and started building an email subscriber list. In 2016, I got my first client which was good enough to keep some income going to pay my bills. I also launched my first course – Google Ads Mastery to my audience.
Only when my income from the blog and the personal brand exceeded my job’s salary, did I put down my papers and quit my job. There was a period in which I was struggling to grow the business and I ended up making the wrong hires. But all entrepreneurs go through that phase and have to burn their fingers once trying to scale a company.
Freelancing also teaches you critical entrepreneurship skills because you have prospects, sales, and service delivery. If you are working in a company, you will be a small cog in a big machine, but when you are a freelancer, you will be a small machine.
You have to build your brand, generate leads, sell the products/services yourself, and do the support yourself. Everything is a lot of work and you will build a strong work ethic and a stoic mindset. You might not be ready for this as soon as you get out of college.
Being a solopreneur is not easy, but starting as a solopreneur is even more difficult. So work for a few years and then start your freelancing journey.