“I’d love to hear your thoughts on how one may start an excel freelance gig as a part time job to leverage the skills used on full-time job.” [Solution Saturday #1]

Hello Good Friends,

Welcome to our first #SolutionsSaturday’s where I do my best to give you some in depth answers & solutions on some of your most burning questions.
This week’s Solution Saturday question come from Alex Oliveira, who asks “I’d love to hear your thoughts on how one may start an excel freelance gig as a part time job to leverage the skills used on full-time job.”

That is a great question Alex and thank you for asking it. In fact it is probably a question on millions of people’s mind who would love to do freelance work on a part time basis to increase their skills, income and create real solutions to real problems. Based on 15 Years work as a freelancer and 10 as a business owner, I will give you my best answers (Before that I was fired from every job, so it’s best not to go that far in my past)
The first place we start is with problems. Just as we discussed in our last Thursday Thoughts, problems are where it should always begin. If you are not solving problems, you can’t offer value to the marketplace. A great place to find those problems is your full time job. In fact, I myself had quite a change of attitude many years ago from trying to avoid and ignore problems to embracing problems, understanding their true value, and how I could work to find solutions to them. 
Although your job responsibilities may not be to actually solve these problems, it is in THESE problems that lay the opportunity for your new part time freelancing job. Not only are these pains and problems you may face daily they are most likely not unique problems and potentially hundreds of thousands of people are facing those same problems every day.
When I was a General Contractor from 1995 to 2004 I ran into hundreds of problems and while I could not solve every one, I took what time I could after my daily responsibilities to create solutions to some of these real-world problems. In fact is from these problems that I created one of my most successful applications to date (The Labor Burden Calculator, which automatically calculates an employee’s Actual Hourly Cos). Without these problems I could have never dreamed of such a solution.
You can also do the same in your part time endeavors as a freelancer. Learn what you need to learn. Study what you need to study. Real world problems are not solved overnight. Start small and simple, no matter how basic or ugly the solution is, starting is often the hardest part.

The next step is to document everything. That means create some short videos describing the problem and how you solved it. Create a blog post, describing what issues you faced and how your solution was able to fix this. Take screenshots, create free (or paid if you can) downloads so people can see and try your solution.
It is this documentation that is going to be the foundation for your freelancing profile in which you post to sites like Upwork, Freelancer, LinkedIn and all of the other sites (and soon Excel For Freelancers) out there that have a marketplace for jobs. It won’t be great, but it does not matter, it is the act of moving forward that is most important.
I was terrible at it (just search for my first YouTube channel under “Randy Austin” and you will see some very low quality videos with some very basic solutions) The point is we all suck when we start, but starting is the key.

While this is about starting out as a Freelancer, we cannot talk about starting your freelancing without addressing fear. I faced tons of fears myself. In fact I wanted to create Excel For Freelancers 2 years before I actually started it, simply because I worried so much about what others might thing. Just Start, no matter what.

Once you do start, and you create these small solutions, it is not only going to be highly beneficial for your freelancing career but there is a good chance you can implement those solutions in your current job, which is a win-win for everyone. It does not matter how small the steps are, what matters is that you are taking the steps toward your future.

Thanks for the great question and thanks so much for giving me the opportunity to share my perspective.
If you have comments, questions or you would like your question featured on Saturday Solutions then please share them in the comments section below and I will do my best to get them answered for you with a detailed post or perhaps Thursday Thoughts video.

Thanks so much for your valuable time.
Randy Austin

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