One of the great things about my job is that I get to travel around the world while doing it. Along the way, I speak with many Baby Boomers looking to supplement their retirement with an income that can help them maintain a satisfying and enjoyable lifestyle, while giving them the freedom to travel. But often, what I discover is that they fail to see the opportunities for a portable income that are right there in front of them.
The problem is that many people don’t understand how the world of online freelancing works, and they struggle to see how their skill-sets, knowledge, and wisdom can translate into enjoyable work and a lucrative income. They are stuck in a mindset that thinks in terms of occupation, rather than breaking the occupation down and seeing it as its various components.
Once they understand that their specific occupation is made up of many transferable skills, they can then see that the world of online freelancing presents many more opportunities than they first considered possible.
I spoke to one man who worked as an engineer for an oil company and who had spent much of his career in the exploration end the business. Though he wanted to have the freedom that came with a portable income, he just couldn’t see how that very specialized experience could translate into online freelancing.
After a 15-minute conversation with him he realized that he had accumulated valuable skills that he wasn’t even aware of. He was able to make presentations using Microsoft PowerPoint, he could build simple spreadsheets using Microsoft Excel, and with Microsoft Word he had experience writing up reports, as well as analyzing and interpreting all kinds of data.
He also helped his company participate in industry trade shows and had considerable experience planning and organizing those kinds of events. He had received training as part of his job that taught him how to understand quality control concepts. A skill like this has great general applicability as many businesses look to build greater quality into their products and services.
As a prospective freelancer he went from not really seeing how he could be useful as a freelancer, to having at least a dozen directions to that his skill could take him in.
And skills don’t just come from career. They can come from hobbies, interests, or volunteer activities that could include organizing events, helping with fundraising, or building membership.
I remember an attorney I met who was an aviation enthusiast. She had a private pilot’s license and for over 25 years she had kept up with the latest safety information, rules, regulations, and generally had a deep knowledge of aviation. By combining her passion for flying with the writing skills she picked up as an attorney she was able to find a freelancing niche.
I also recall a woman who was the family genealogist. She spent the better part of 30 years building her family tree, tracking down information, and presenting it in a way that other family members could understand. She also kept abreast of many new developments in genealogy. When new genealogy databases became available, she knew how to tap them for useful information, and she also had kept up with developments in DNA tracking. Through her “hobby” she had learned how to dramatically reduce the time it takes to put together a comprehensive and interesting family history, and through freelancing she was able to turn this into an income helping other families to do the same.
Do you have an occupation, volunteer activity or passionate interest that could be your ticket to a freelancing career? Then come to my 48-Hour Portable Income Intensive in Atlanta and you’ll learn the secrets of tapping into your own hidden skills and learning which ones have the greatest value in the freelancing market.
Something you already know how to do is your ticket to having a portable income…you just need to unlock it.
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