The Financial Hurdle in Pursuit of your Passion

by "Get it Done Girl" on April 21, 2011 · 6 comments

in Free Agency,How To:,small biz

I was Unemployed in Des Moines for several months before we decided (myself and my husband) that I would become a Free Agent (independent professional). It wasn’t an easy decision to stop looking for a J.O.B. I actually kept my ears open for job opportunities for the first four months of being a Free Agent.

For us, the decision to become a Free Agent didn’t hinge so much on finances – which is a HUGE deciding factor for a lot of people. When you work for yourself, sometimes the path to stable income can be a rocky and uneven one.

My advice for the unemployed, underemployed, people needing a change, current Free Agents:

  • Determine what your monthly expenses REALLY are. This sometimes makes the leap into Free Agency a little less scary. You know how much you need to make each month to break even.
  • Have six months worth of savings at your disposal. If you’re a Free Agent and you’re just getting started or you’re having a slow quarter, this gives you a cushion.
  • Pay down your debt. Car payments, credit card payments, monthly payments on appliances/electronics…
  • It’s okay to still look for a J.O.B. There are so many flexible J.O.Bs out there – you could work a 3-month contract job while getting your consulting business organized to keep your cash flow where it needs to be. It’s okay to dabble in both worlds. The best part is that you’re in control.
  • It’s also okay to get a J.O.B. If you’ve been living in Free Agency World for sometime and the finances still aren’t right for you, find an employer. There’s nothing wrong with that; but keep your passion for Free Agency ignited by continuing to work on your business. There are several local resources available to help you determine what you need to do moving forward (ISED, SBDC).

These are just a few things to consider from a financial standpoint before becoming an independent professional. Any other Free Agents out there that have financial advice? Who is ready to take the plunge?

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Greg Hauenstein April 21, 2011 at 8:20 am

Another big thing to look into is health insurance. I know getting it isn’t as hard as you think, but make sure there won’t be any gap in covering any pre-existing conditions you may have.

I think that’s the only gap (other than getting some clients) I have left before I make the plunge.

"Get it Done Girl" April 21, 2011 at 8:44 am

Thanks for that – I’d forgotten about that piece…

Doug Pals April 22, 2011 at 6:34 am


If you have not done so already, consider an HSA when getting your health insurance. That was a great piece of advice someone gave me when I was starting. It has proved to be sound counsel.

Interestingly I am in the process of getting a different HSA now in order to reduce some costs. Is it my favorite thing to do…far from it, but it is part of the process.

Good luck to you!


Doug Pals April 22, 2011 at 6:39 am


Great thoughts…as usual. Allow me to add on to what you said.

Many view risk as being a Free Agent or being self employed. I used to be one of them. But, when the ‘working for someone else’ option ends with you not having a job…how secure can that option be?

Many ‘work for yourself options’ allow you to have many streams of income, that while initially might not cover your former salary, at least are not likely to all go away at once.

Now I view risk as having less than three income streams.

Again, great post!


Monika May 1, 2011 at 10:14 am

Yo Suzanne

After working so freaking hard for several years at building my Art by Magic empire, I assure you the easiest way to make money is to make peace with a cube. Nod, agree, do what they say and you’ll have insurance, dental, and all the frills in no time…
After you are an independent person for a while, every job will seem as underemployment.

"Get it Done Girl" May 1, 2011 at 11:48 am

Monika – I totally agree that the easiest way to make money is to be a sheepwalker (Seth Godinism) in a cube; but it’s just not enough for some people…Some people need that challenge! Thanks for your comment!!!

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