I quit my job to work for myself 7 years ago – here are 5 key lessons I’ve learned

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The exciting and challenging part of working for yourself is that you’re in total control of what you get paid. It’s exciting because you don’t have to wait for your boss to give you a raise. But it’s challenging because you have to know your financial value as a freelance or contract worker and update your pricing on a regular basis.

The first challenge, quantifying your value, can be simple or tricky, depending on your industry. In most cases, you can find data on what others in your industry are charging with a simple Google search.

For example, you can see the average per word and per hour rates for freelance writers in this Clearvoice study. You can also scan Upwork to see what typical hourly rates are for people in your industry or ask others doing similar work as you.

What’s even harder, however, is increasing your rates. In the past, I’ve worried about about losing current clients (if you pass the rate hike on to them) and future clients for fear that my new pricing is too high. Yet, in the last seven years, I’ve raised my rates dozens of times, going from $6 an article to $500+ depending on the client.

While I’ve had some clients push back on new rates, we almost always come to an agreement somewhere in the middle. In many cases, however, I raise my rates when working with a new client — as opposed to doing so with current clients— so I simply state my rate and if it isn’t within their budget, I can come down or walk away.

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I’ve learned that if you want to grow in this economy, and build a business out of it, you have to scale your prices so you can continue to earn more and keep a manageable workload.

Source: Business Insider

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