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June 21, 2024 11 mins
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(00:00):
Michael Fleischner coming on. He ishe's kind of a big deal in the

(00:03):
SEO and marketing world. He isthe CEO of Big Finn SEO, the
founder as well, and the authorof a new book that I find fascinating.
And we were just talking about thisoff the air in that, you
know, I'm fifty four, aboutto be fifty five years old, and
the way business is done now iscompletely foreign to the way business was done

(00:24):
when I first got you know,became an adult. And his new book,
The Seven Figure Freelancer, How toStart, Grow, and scale your
full freelance business, is what we'retalking about. Michael, Welcome to the
show. Thank you so much.Mandy, great to see you. Well,
let's start with what I was justtalking about, because I mean,
back in the you know, theeighties and nineties, even your goal was

(00:47):
to get out. You have adegree in something, you go to work
for a corporation, you work yourway up, you're in the C suite,
and then life is good. Right, Well, that was really kind
of destroyed by the crash of twothousand. A lot of people lost their
jobs in the corporate world. Thecorporate world shrank considerably in many middle management
areas, and a lot of peoplefind themselves kind of out in the cold.

(01:08):
And then we go to COVID,right, and so COVID is a
huge disruptor. Everybody's working from home. Everybody's working remote and absolutely loves it
because they're working in their jennies.And now we've got corporation saying we want
you back in the office, andyou're saying there's a better way, absolutely,
and you're right. So many peoplehave been working from home. There's

(01:32):
been a shift. Companies are sayingcome back to the office. And I
speak to a lot of people everyday who say, I don't want to
go back to the office, Sowhat can they do? What options are
available? And they're freelancing. Youknow, It's something I've been doing for
over ten years, and I cantell you that companies are looking for talent,

(01:53):
and in many cases they're willing tosay, I don't care where the
talent is really anywhere in the world. If I can are the best talent,
that's what I want. And that'swhat has really opened the doors to
freelancing. And for people who haveexperience, who have skills, who are
able to create value for companies arein demand. And it's just a matter

(02:15):
of getting over the I guess historyor comfort of traditionally going into an office
to say, you know what,I can deliver my services online. I
can do it via phone, viazoom, and I don't have to physically
be in a particular location to createvalue. And you know, one of

(02:35):
the things I teach in my booksthat figure freelancer is really what are the
steps that you need to go throughto prepare yourself to think that way,
to operate that way, and ultimatelyto work in a way that's very different
for a lot of people. Ihave always sort of thought, and the
older I get, the more Ithink this is true. There are people

(02:55):
who have a personality that allows themto be entrepreneurial, because this really is
you're creating a business that is you, right, I mean, that's what
we're talking about here when you're freelancing. And then there are people who are
much more comfortable offloading some of thatto someone they work for. Right,
So you have that employer mindset versusemployee mindset. How do you help someone

(03:20):
adopt that employer mindset, that abilityto make that jump out of a comfortable,
if annoying job where they have afour oh one k, and they
have a salary, and they havevacation, and they know what to expect
into a world where they're going tohave to fend for themselves. Yeah.
Well, let me begin by sayingthat freelancing certainly isn't for everyone. However,

(03:42):
there are a lot of people whohave thought about freelancing and they've talked
themselves out of it because of theunknown, because of the fear. Well,
I get to say, paycheck everytwo weeks, what if I can't
find a client? And as someonewho went through that transition, Mandy,
I can tell you that the fearof doing it is much worse than the
reality. There are so many peoplewho enjoy doing other things, like even

(04:06):
dog walking. You know, youcould start a dog walking business and be
incredibly successful, and that would Iwould consider that a freelance business. Right,
You're on your own, you're settingyour own hours, you're choosing the
location, you're doing it, you'recharging what you want, you're finding clients
who you want to work with.That's freelancing. So you know, oftentimes

(04:27):
we just make it seem so impossibleand so difficult, when in reality we
can get there both mentally and physicallyby taking on a strategy that I talk
about in the book, which iscrawl, walk, run. You don't
have to quit your day job tostart freelancing. Do something on the side,
take on a project, help afriend. There are a lot of
different ways to get started, andit doesn't have to be all or nothing.

(04:51):
So how do you even begin tofind clients? That seems like that
that's the most overwhelming hurdle for youknow, someone to say, what am
I just going to pick up thephone book which we don't even have anymore
and just start calling people? Howdo you do that? Yeah? I
like to start with friends and family. And the reason I say that is

(05:12):
because there are a lot of peopleI work with who say, well,
I don't want my employer to knowthat I'm freelancing, that I'm doing work
on the side. And I cantell you, having been in corporations for
decades as well as freelancing for quitesome time, corporations are actually a lot
more open to it than you think, especially and particularly if it's non competitive.

(05:32):
So if someone wants to start awriting business or a publishing business,
but there let's say a mechanic,the company's not going to have an issue
with that, So that's number one. Number two is whether you want people
to know that you're freelancing or not. You can start from where you are,
and oftentimes that's just telling the peopleyou're closest to that you're taking on

(05:55):
freelance work, that you're you're lookingat a new path. And I belie
even six degrees of separation. It'sprobably closer to three, as we've all
discovered at some point in our lives. And as you start to get the
word out and as you start tofocus more on this business, things start
to happen, doors start to open, and that's different for everyone. Some
people are not comfortable walking into aroom of strangers and talking about their business.

(06:20):
That's fine, But you might bemuch more comfortable inviting an old colleague
out for a cup of coffee totell them that you're freelancing. So how
do you deal with or manage thefear that if you're ready to lead,
maybe you've been freelancing for a littlewhile and you feel like you're ready to
make this a full time gig,but then you've got health insurance too.

(06:41):
Many people are attached with health insuranceand benefits and things of that nature.
Do you cover how to manage thatas well? Yeah, a little bit.
The reality is that today we justhave so many more options available to
us as opposed to like when Iwas working for a corporation, either the
corporate provided health insurance or you didn'thave any. But there's an open market

(07:03):
today, there are many other options. There are even some groups where you
could go and get access to healthinsurance. So a lot of those things
just require a little research or alittle time on chat GPT to see what
your options are. But there aremany more options today, and some of
those obstacles that people had to dealwith in the past just aren't there anymore.

(07:24):
Do you coach people through this process? Is that one of the things
that you do. Yeah, SoI don't take individual coaching clients anymore.
I have something called the Freelance TrainingAcademy. It's basically a platform that brings
together freelancers from all over the worldto collaborate. There are courses and live

(07:46):
sessions where we talk about these veryissues. And I think what I have
found doing that through Freelance Training Academy, through the book, through my own
experience ultimately is that there are onlya small hand full of issues that prevent
people from really doing what they loveand what they're passionate about. You touched
on one just around benefits. Theother is a belief, a belief that

(08:09):
they can actually do it. AndI'm here living proof to say, as
secure as you may feel in yourfull time job, it's not as secure
as you think it is. Andyou're better than you think you are.
So a lot of it is juststepping out again. Crawl, walk,
run, do a little project onthe side, start to experiment, start

(08:31):
to get in that mindset of beingable to do it, build some momentum,
and really take that as far asyou can. Well, I was
talking to Michael before we came onthe air, and one of the reasons
that I find this so fascinating,this conversation is that for my children,
who are in their thirties and myfifteen year old, these are the things
that I talk to them about becauseyou know, the ultimate freedom is to

(08:52):
not have to come to an office, to be able to do your job
from anywhere in the world. AndI think a lot of people got the
taste for that during COVID. Butis is there a downside in this?
In terms of the balance between corporatestructure and the individual freelancer, because over
the last fifteen twenty years we've seena lot of lawsuits about contractors in tech

(09:16):
and things of that nature. Howdo you make sure that doesn't get out
of balance? I mean, howdo you value yourself? I think whether
you're working for a corporation or you'reworking for yourself as a freelancer, you
need to have structure. And thatstructure looks different for everyone. But I
think one of the appeals of workingfor a corporation is rules, regulations,

(09:39):
procedures. You have a clear delineationas to where you can play and what's
out of balance. And I thinkwhen you're working for yourself as a freelancer,
or even if you have your ownbusiness, you still need structure and
you still need guidelines. And thepeople who I see succeed in this line
of work when they're freelancing, they'revery clear out the hours they work,

(10:01):
the type of work they will perform, and they create that structure and framework
to be successful. If you thinkyou're going to become a freelancer and lay
around the house all day in yourpajamas eating a bag of chips and make
millions of dollars, you're probably infor a surprise. So that level of

(10:22):
discipline that you would have working fora corporation, you need to deploy a
similar type of discipline. But obviouslyas a freelancer you have a lot more
freedom, and for me, Ifound that to be more fulfilling than abiding
by someone else's guidelines instead creating myown. But that does give me pause.
If you're a terrible boss, youmight not want to do this because

(10:43):
you won't have anyone else to blameit. That way of just throwing that
out there. Michael Fleischman's book Fleischner'sbook is the seven Figure Freelancer, How
to Start, Grow, and Scaleyour freelance Business. I put a link
on the blog today to Amazon sopeople can pick this book up. Michael.
I really appreciate your time today.This is a super interesting topic and

(11:03):
I think that a lot of peopleshould pay attention to this for two reasons.
Like one, you hit a certainage and it gets really hard to
get another job, if you know, if anything happens, and I'm being
deadly serious about that, but also, if you have kids like I do,
like they may come to you andsay this is what I'm gonna do.

(11:24):
It helps to understand what they're doingand that the world is different now
and you're not gonna go work fora corporation for forty years and retire with
a pension. It's just not gonnahappen. So it's just a it's a
whole new world out there, andI think you've done a great job encapsulating
at Michael. Thanks so much.Mandy all right by Michael's book, and
we will talk to Michael again,hopefully in their future things. Mike

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