Overheard at the recent NTUC e2i Freelance Fair were pleas of “I’ve always wanted to be a freelance trainer; BUT….” And it was accompanied by,“Life took me elsewhere”, or,“My parents said I wouldn’t amount to much doing this full-time” and the kicker “How can I make a decent living doing this?”
1. The Only Thing Holding Back is Yourself.
My Tueetor colleagues and I were floored by the number of passionate enquiries received at the freelance event. Some real-life quotes include: “I’ve just been laid off doing accounting for the past 40 years, do you think I can be a successful Maths tutor now?” “I’ve actually been a really good hand-made card designer. Do you think I can teach that?”
Most of the enthusiastic sign-ups we received were not only because Tueetor offers a viable economic alternative for freelancers. Not only as career you can survive on, but also one that truly allows a veteran accountant of 40 years to rely on his strength-Maths. Another sign-up had a passion which is artisanal greeting cards. She made these for her colleagues when she was gainfully employed. Now all she wanted to do was teach children or those who were interested in card creation because,“I think I’ll be so much happier doing this than being stressed everyday about when I’ll be made redundant.”
A case in point, our Special Guest Speaker at the event and the subject of our post-event Vlog (https://youtu.be/BzHHmgKIwaY) , Ms May Sim of Selfstrology, is passion personified. As STB’s new slogan is Passion Made Possible, we have to concur that May is the perfect poster girl of that campaign. She is able to not only show that with passion anything is possible; but as she’d said, hunger is also a major motivator. “If you have an adequate full-time job, and you teach say 3 students over the weekend just to keep your passion alive – that is NOT going to push you to say, I can do this; I can survive and make good money out of this.”
“You must want to do it so much that you look for ways to be the best at it. At that time, there was no local or even regional university that offered a major in astrology. There was only one, and that was in Cleveland Ohio in the US. So even after I was made a General Manager in a local construction firm at the age of 24 – I worked throughout university to achieve that – and to the horror of my parents I left all that to study, major and be certified in astrology; and I succeeded in being the only South-East Asian degree holder in Astrology.”
May further emphasised, “The only limitation is our beliefs. You can listen to different opinions and family’s and friends’ perspectives, but at the end of the day, you would have to trust yourself. You have to believe in your own ability. Once you start doing this – anything is possible.”
2. Learn the Uncomfortable Stuff Before You Start.
Gerann Ngiam, Co-Founder and Director of Infiniti Sports, was part of the men’s National softball team who brought home Singapore’s SEA Games Bronze medal in 2015. Besides being a firm believer in lifelong learning (he is currently studying full-time in NUS), he also believes that trainers and coaches must make the effort to learn how to be the best coach. He believes all coaches owe it to their students to learn rudimentary things such as child psychology, sportsmanship, or anything that’s related to teaching children for example. (Check out our Vlog interview with Gerann on this link: https://youtu.be/6to5YXPecj8)
“It took me awhile to warm up to the idea of coaching. It wasn’t my thing. And I think generally Singaporeans are very shy. We really don’t like to ask questions. But when I had the idea with my partner Ben to finally do this, I had a lot of questions. When I don’t know how to do something, I’d go out there and ask the right people.”
“I want to make sure that I know how to make this kids academy concept we have to become the platform for people to learn and love to play softball. I do not just want to teach my students, I want to connect with them. And kids these days, they’re very different from when we were kids. Nowadays, you must know which buttons to press to make the kids like and respect you. A lot of coaches may be good at what they are teaching, but they may not necessarily be good coaches or instructors.”
3. Treat Your Freelance Job Like You’re Hiring Yourself.
Part of the secret of those who have thrived and succeeded as freelancers is the fact that they have ownership of the idea. May Sim summarizes it succinctly:“I have never thought of what I do as inferior to others in the corporate world. I always knew that in order to get the respect I wanted for my chosen profession, I would need to give it some form of structure. The business I incorporated I felt, was in essence, founded ever since I started my freelancing. Because those years were formative years molding me into the type of business owner I am today.”
“Once you have decided to incorporate a business – be it a registered business or a partnership limited by shares, you would have to take into consideration all the other aspects of running a business. Besides overheads, there’s marketing, differentiating yourself, and most importantly, cultivating loyal, repeat customers. By conducting yourself professionally, you will position yourself until your customers would never say no to you. And in the process of that, increase your value of the work you do for them.”
The fear of the big unknown cannot be conquered unless you take matters into your own hands. As a freelancer, one of the biggest advantages is the freedom to try out this passion one small step at a time with Tueetor. You may not fear the hard work, but you may fear the change of routine. So it is up to you to design what your typical day, week and month would look like. Make every day the best day yet. For more, visit https://tueetor.com/
A self-confessed former helicopter mama, Cecilia’s a born-again parenting realist who loves volunteering with her 3 monkeys. When not busy being a marcom specialist at Tueetor, she loves gaming, watching anime with and pestering her kids. Her mission in life is for her kids to discover their individual passions and the joy of giving back to society.