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Recession Prep for Freelancers and Gig Workers

It’s like a buzz in the air. No, not the super early availability of pumpkin spice flavored products heralding fall…the whispers, arguments, and screams about an impending recession. Whether you believe it’s time for a correction, born out of predictable financial or political cycles, or you fear the dreaded inverted yield curve, chances are you’ve thought about the possibility of recession recently.

For professionals who rely upon contract-based work, like gig workers and freelancers, recessions can be difficult. You can be vulnerable to the financial insecurities of others as they face economic downturns and challenges. Customers and clients may try to shore up their own budget by cutting out expenditures they don’t see as necessary, and that might mean you. Before that happens, take some time now to get ready for tougher times.

Review your money reality. Ignorance is not bliss; it’s the foundation of ruin. If you haven’t done so recently, look at your accounts—all of them. Pay down debt, and build up your emergency savings. Do these two things even if it requires you cut back on luxuries (Do you need a pumpkin spice latte?) or that you change some habits. Review your systems. You need a quick, and cost effective, way to invoice for work, track expenses, and automatically handle routine financial and record keeping tasks. Yet, paying for more apps and software, or a virtual assistant, might not be the way to go right now.

Up your customer service. You’ve heard it before. It’s more cost effective to keep a customer returning than it is to gain a new customer from the open marketplace. Answer communications quickly. Provide extra value. Proactively ask customers what else you could do for them?

Invest in yourself. To face challenges you need to be at your best. Get the sleep, nutrition, and exercise you need. Put your self-care into your calendar like appointments (The Solo Workday, p.66). Spend time deepening your expertise and strengthening your mental armor. I highly recommend The 50th Law, by Robert Greene and 50 Cent as a starting place.

Maybe we won’t have a recession this coming year…but there will certainly be tough times again for most of us if we live long enough. In these last days of summer, spend some time getting ready to face whatever the fall and winter bring along with those pumpkin spice drinks.



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(c) 2019 Karen Southall Watts