What is a gig? Simply put, it’s a side job. But many enterprising men and women have turned their part-time passions into full-time incomes. And surprisingly, money isn’t the only benefit of working at home, especially if you have issues with stress, social anxiety or other mental health conditions.
When you participate in the gig economy, there is a good chance that you’ll be working from home. This is an ideal situation if you want the flexibility to create a relaxing workspace that fits your needs. Working for yourself also means less blatant competition, although you will still need to provide a quality service to remain valuable to your clients. For many, the most important benefit of working from home is dropping a stressful daily commute.
Pitch your passions
There’s strong evidence to suggest that having a hobby is great for your mental health. It’s even better when you can turn your passion into a lucrative income. If you’re an artist, you can sell your original works online or commission your talents to individuals seeking portrait of their pets and children or to architecture firms looking for concept art of proposed projects. Those of you with social media savvy can even earn a respectable income marketing on Facebook or, as Entrepreneur points out, Instagram, where you can earn up to $31 an hour. And while money alone may not improve your mental health, not having to stress about how you’re going to pay your rent certainly will.
Your own schedule
If working in a group setting stresses you out or you have trouble with face-to-face communication, going solo can help you be more effective in your preferred profession. And it has the added benefits of helping you stay removed from nasty office politics. Forbes explains that you have the freedom to manage your own schedule, which means you can work at the hours you’re most productive. You will no longer have to feel guilty about missing your daughter’s piano recital or missing skipping out on morale-boosting events and activities.
Focusing on your future
By 2020, approximately half of all US working-age adults are expected to be contractors, freelancers, or self-employed individuals. In fact, working for yourself has been dubbed the “new job security.” You’ll benefit emotionally from not having to rely on somebody else’s business acumen in order to hold your position. You control your wages, working hours and the products and services that you want to offer. This can be a huge stress reliever as long as you are willing to put in the work.
Eliminate pitfalls before they happen
Despite all of its benefits, working for yourself does have a downside, but one that you can easily overcome with planning and preparation. Most importantly, start small. Don’t try to take on multiple gigs all at once. You’ll not only risk stressing yourself out but also providing a subpar product, which is the quickest way to end your entrepreneurial endeavors. You also need to learn how to put your proverbial ducks in a row and maintain proper accounting practices, such as collecting payments and keeping tabs on your taxable wages.
As an employee, your boss paid a chunk of your taxes for you. As an independent contractor, you are 100 percent responsible for your federal income taxes. One of the best things you can do for your business is to keep your financial transactions organized, in one location and completely separate from your personal spending. One of the easiest ways to do this is by using a business credit card fit for your needs. It can be tricky to choose which card, since there are hundreds available to business owners. Use a guide like this one from Fundera, which breaks down cards by categories and offers reviews of each.
No commute, the ability to pick your own hours, and an opportunity to share your passions with the world are all valid reasons that working for yourself is one of the best things you can do for your mental health. But remember, don’t overdo it, provide a good product and keep your finances in order or you may risk causing yourself more stress than you anticipate.