Hero Images / Getty Images
Megan DeMatteo always wanted to freelance, but she was afraid to negotiate her rates, afraid to pitch for ambitious work, and afraid of being rejected.
She took a full-time job to pay the bills while she built up freelance work on the side, but one day, driving to work, she realized that she already knew how to negotiate for herself, she was already paying for benefits like healthcare, and she was already hustling like a freelancer would.
Essentially, she had been “secretly self-employed” for quite some time.
Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
In 2015 I wanted to be a writer, but professionally, I was not there yet. The problem was not that I didn’t have any editor contacts, or that I had never taken an internship at a magazine, or that I hadn’t accumulated enough bylines. The problem was this: I still thought of myself as an employee.
Dreaming of the day I could freelance full-time, I started teaching elementary school so I could have my summers off to build my side hustle. On the surface, this made pretty good financial sense. We all need to pay our bills, and teaching seemed like a good way to work a job that was fulfilling while working towards my creative dreams on the side.
However, after three years in the classroom, I began to wonder why I wasn’t building the kind of freelance income I desired. It wasn’t until I negotiated my highest salary at my last teaching job when I had my lightbulb moment.
I’d been afraid of…