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Everybody dreams of becoming their own boss. We live in a world of numbers, and numbers rarely lie: Freelancers currently make up one-third of the US workforce. Freelance jobs have spread across the world, with Asia and Europe barely trailing the US. India has an independent workforce of over 15 million, which accounts for 40 percent of the world’s freelance jobs. In Europe, Italy has a freelance rate of 21% while Spain and Slovakia have about 13% each. It is estimated that half of the UK’s population will be freelancers within five years. Analytics show a 45% increase in the number of freelancers between 2012 and 2013.

Technology has made freelancing easier and more attainable than ever before. Smartphones and mobile modems make the Internet accessible at all times, which makes it easy for freelancers to manage their work. Social media and freelance websites allow employers to find the right freelancer for the job while allowing these workers to find and bid on the jobs that suit their skills. More than 70% of freelancers owe their success to technology and social media played a role in the lives of 80% of freelancers who used it to find work.

The perks of being a freelancer are universal. Freelancing is not a nine-to-five job; rather, most opportunities afford freelancers the benefit of choosing their working hours. The average freelancer works 36 hours a week, which is at least four hours less than the standard full-time employee. Freelancers have the luxury of deciding which jobs they want to work and how much time to spend on them so they still have time for friends and family. Best of all, more than half of the employees who shifted to freelance work earned more than they did in a standard full-time job. Since you are not bound by a certain employer, you can even accept multiple jobs with multiple customers. You are the master of your own time.

Can it possibly be that easy?

Freelancing may have significant upside, but there are many challenges as well. It is important to market yourself to clients, which is an area that many individuals may find difficult. Managing your cash flow through the month and flow of freelance work can become difficult, as can managing your overall business. Over 60% of freelancers think that marketing is the most important item in their expenses list.

The benefits of freelancing tend to outweigh the downsides.People usually find the freelancing lifestyle to be rewarding and worth the extra work and challenges. Freelancing is a way for anyone to achieve their dreams while enjoying freedom and independence.

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