Want to travel with friend, but needtoo learn freelance skill for funds
April 10, 2020 5:59 PM   Subscribe

I have a bachelors in Psych, 3mths of a UX bootcamp course (GA), 8mths of UX for a small company before being laid off an unable to find a new job because of my lack of design skills, 9 mths of working with my Dad to start his business. I want to join my friend who wants to try out the freelance nomad lifestyle. How can I afford this?

My motivation: I was dumped by my first (and I thought only) girlfriend 3 weeks ago. I had plans to marry her and be a parent with her. But she abruptly dumped me.

I'm currently unemployed, but I'm working with my Dad to start a Painting and Roofing business. We are planning to launch the website by the end of April. I've been helping in the area of finding my more friends to build the website and carring along the flow of input by my parents.

My dad is pretty skilled. His father built a very well known remodeling company in Fort Worth from scratch, and my Dad worked for his dad for most of his life. In 2006, due to differences, my Dad left the company and started his own remodleing company, selling everything my Mom and him owned to start the company. He was super succcesful and even won Remodeler of the Year for Texas in 2010. Because of the impact of the Recession, he had to fold the company and move to Austin in 2013.

So, he has a track record of sucess minus a recession. And this business is only going to be a quick in-and-out paiting and roofing business that focuses on things that NEED to be done rather than extravagent purcheses... so that's how we are planning it to be recesion proof.

Anyway, I still am working with my dad. But after my breakup, I'm completly rethinking life. My best friend is in the same position and we talked seriously at length about working freelance and traveling the country and then world. At least for a couple of years.

I'm planning to ask my Dad if I can do the bidding and secretary work, on my computer virtually. That way he can focus more on going on appointments and selling. If I could do this, I could do it remotly.

But what if this doesn't pan out? What other things should I look at to learn from the scratch up to do freelance work? I want to learn and go traveling by the end of the year.
posted by ggp88 to Education (5 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
How much money do you need?
posted by mskyle at 6:18 PM on April 10, 2020

There likely won't be a Covid-19 vaccine by the end of 2020 so random travel for its own sake might still be discouraged / limited. You might want to extend your timeline to something more like 18 months from now- hopefully by then global life will be closer to back to normal.

That aside, I would focus on learning:

Marketing: Look up successful small businesses in your sector, check out their websites, and follow their social media. Note the strategies you think are appealing or annoying. Maybe take some marketing courses.

Basic accounting: Strategies for small businesses to manage invoices, balance cash flow, etc.

Basic design: If you can make your own flyers, business cards, social media banners, etc, you can save some money and still present a professional appearance. This one isn't as important as the others in my opinion.
posted by nouvelle-personne at 8:00 PM on April 10, 2020 [5 favorites]

Maybe learn some practical road skills- engine trouble shooting, first aid, foraging, camping, busking?
posted by vrakatar at 8:59 PM on April 10, 2020

I know several people who have done this by teaching English online to students in China. One of the companies that hires for this is VIPKids and I know there are others. You don’t need to have a teaching degree, just a BA. You do need to have high speed internet access wherever you go to make it work.

My one friend has been doing this for three years and has lived all over the world and reports that he is very happy!
posted by nancynickerson at 10:20 PM on April 10, 2020 [4 favorites]

This is really not a good time to be making plans like this. It's fairly unlikely that travel will be some level of restricted and not safe for the rest of the year at the very least and the freelance market is going to be flooded with people with more experience than you. And your dad may need quite a bit of help to keep from going under.

I would focus on the family business and do freelance UX on the side to build your skills and portfolio while you see if the income you can bring in with it is enough to cover a nomad lifestyle.
posted by Candleman at 11:59 AM on April 16, 2020 [1 favorite]

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