The SFGate website has reported just last night, April 26, 2014, that the self-employment rates are dropping nationwide, but the earning potential is still very much alive. Just ask the members of freelancing communities like Fiverr, who has seen a surge in membership in the past 12 months. This “gig” site currently estimates that over 15% of all of its freelancers consider Fiverr their primary source of income.
So why are the national self-employment rates dropping so drastically? One reason may be that novice freelancing professionals are finding the challenges of owning a business much more difficult than they originally realized. According to the SFGate article, the median self-employment income in Indiana is $13.78 while the median income for traditionally employed workers is much higher at $17.37. And those who are employed by “brick and mortars” are finally expecting to receive a pay raise in 2014 for the first time in years.
Perhaps the rise in freelancing was only a temporary solution to a lengthy economic recovery process. However, for those who are choosing to stay in the self-employment game, this appears to be good news. From 2001 to 2006, the numbers of self-employed rose to an all-time high of nearly 6.2% of all American workers. From 2006 to 20013, that number has dropped sharply to 5.5%. Less freelancers means less competition.
However, many areas of the United States are still experiencing continuously rising unemployment rates. So, the US economic recovery is far from over, and “The American Dream” is still just a dream for millions. It may be too soon to throw in the proverbial towel when it comes to building a freelancing business. Many Fiverr sellers already know this. And the Fiverr blog is filled with hundreds of success stories of members who are making a rather nice living from running their own business.
Paul Wyche from the Journal Gazette interviewed Brian Hench from Indiana who is one of those freelancing entrepreneurs who is choosing to stick it out.
"You don't start your own business to get rich quick," say Hench. "We'll have to watch our budget for the next few years because it takes a while for a business to get going…The sacrifice is temporary, and the reward potential great.”
And freelancing communities like Fiverr provide the time, support and encouragement to allow sellers to grow in their freelancing business gradually. This is not a “get rich quick” website. One of the reasons why sites like Fiverr are so popular among the self-employed is because it takes a bit of time to develop a strong following of buyers in this community. But once Fiverr freelancers hit their stride, the possibilities are nearly unlimited.