Work & Career
14 Best Jobs Where You Can Be Your Own Boss
You’d be surprised what skills you can use to become self-employed today—you may not even need a college degree.
Turning passion into profit is the hot new trend with more people dropping their traditional 9-to-5 desk jobs for the freedom of working for themselves. Websites like Etsy have made it even easier for crafty creators to build their own businesses online. Francesca Fidanzi, the owner of Via Francesca, began her unique accessory-making business by selling her jewelry and unique gifts—many made out of vintage silverware—on Etsy. Eventually, her virtual success allowed her to open a brick-and-mortar Via Francesca store in Central Florida. Check out how to turn your hobby into a career.
Gone are the days when blogging was just a hobby. Today, some bloggers earn six-figure and even seven-figure incomes from their sites. Melyssa Griffin teaches online entrepreneurs and bloggers how to make their passions profitable at her site, which began earning $1 million a year within three years of its launch. Self-employed content creators like Melyssa make money through methods like affiliate marketing and advertising, or selling courses, products, and services.
Critical care nurse Teri Dreher worked in a hospital for 30 years before founding NShore Patient Advocates in 2011. Families are hiring private professional health advocates to guide them through the confusing healthcare process. An advocate can educate patients about their condition and treatment, work with a patients’ doctors to facilitate care, and pursue insurance companies to help claims get paid. This job is perfect for those with a medical background who want to work independently.
During Uli Nasibova’s eight years chasing a career in finance, she spent her spare time on her true passion—developing new gelato recipes. In 2014 she decided to quit her full-time career to pursue gelato-making. After creating an extensive business plan, she opened Gelateria Uli in Downtown Los Angeles. She opened her second successful business location in 2017.
Check out these 10 tips for quitting your day job and pursuing your dreams.
Real Estate Agent
After securing a proper license, many real estate agents start their own business selling homes, land, and commercial buildings. The more you sell, the more you make in this commission-based career—your income reflects the work you put into your sales. The median salary for agents is about $44,000, though some earn six-figure incomes. Get a head start by learning these must-know real estate terms today!
Kemari Ihlenfeldt used her filmmaking skills to start Kemari Lyn Films—she does wedding videography. “Being my own boss gives me a lot of freedom to work with clients who I adore,” Kemari said. “It does take a lot of discipline since you have to set your own schedule and do all your marketing, finances, etc., but if you can do that and you have a background in filmmaking, videography is a really fun and rewarding option.” The median annual salary for a standard videographer in the U.S. is $62,605, according to Salary.com.
You don’t need to hold a teaching certificate to help others learn: Whether it’s math, music, or French—if you’re knowledgeable in a subject that students struggle with, you can make money offering tutoring services. Gaye Weintraub worked for years in public education before becoming a tutor to help students with their coursework or to help them excel beyond what they could learn in the classroom. She also assists adults with resume writing, computer skills, and public speaking. She charges $45 to $75 per hour, depending on the service.
Paul Naoum, co-founder of Alexander Paul Institute of Hair Design, believes a career in beauty is one of the best ways to be your own boss. “Most people in the beauty industry (hair stylists, estheticians, and nail techs) are self-employed and work as independent contractors,” he says. “A practitioner can rent a booth in a salon or spa, choose their own hours, set their own prices, and manage their own clientele.” There are also freelance opportunities for beauticians in film, theater, advertising, and even mortuaries; the salary varies depending on your specialization. Don’t miss these tips for quitting your job and starting your own business.
Smart public relations experts will always be in demand, and you can earn a competitive salary freelancing. Rhonda Rees spent 10 years at a PR agency before deciding to start her own company where she enjoys the flexibility of setting her own hours and choosing her clients. “There have certainly been ups and downs along the way, and I find that it’s important for a freelancer to never rest on your laurels. It’s always a good idea to continue to look for work, even when you have plenty to do.”
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From spiritual guidance to nutritional advice, people are hungry for good information and counseling. Becoming an online coach allows you to assist or mentor others. Life and business coach Calvin Rosser, of CalvinRosser.com, ditched his comfortable full-time financial job in New York and now uses his career and experience to help entrepreneurs, professionals, and creative people achieve their goals, improve performance and increase their self-fulfillment. According to ZipRecuiter, self-employed online coaches make an average of $50,000 per year.
Do you have IT skills? Social media management experience? Financial accounting knowledge? You can take any solid skill set or reliable career experience and turn it into your own business simply by offering consulting services. As long as you can offer a deeper level of expertise, you can be successful. Management, business, and tech consultants can make close to six-figures annually. Find out 10 CEO secrets to starting a million-dollar startup.
Writer or Author
You know E.L. James as the author of the world-renowned book and movie series Fifty Shades of Grey. What you may not know is that she was a television executive who wrote and published erotic Twilight fan-fiction for fun before writing the series that made her famous and wealthy.
Skills and a desire to write are all you need to start your own business as a writer, whether that’s freelance writing, copywriting, screenwriting, or penning a novel. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates the average writer and author makes roughly $61,240 annually.
You may need licenses or certificates to become a fitness instructor or trainer, but this career path is great for exercise lovers who want to be self-employed. With the onset of social media, it’s easier than ever for strength, fitness, or wellness experts to connect with clients and build an online personal training business. Kayla Itsines, an Australian personal trainer who built a multimillion-dollar online business selling workout guides with routines and nutrition advice. On average, personal trainers make $28 per hour.
Social Media Manager
Everyone knows how to use Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, right? Not necessarily, and definitely not in a business sense. According to a Clutch small businesses survey, nearly 25 percent don’t use social media. People don’t need a degree in communications to use these platforms to grow their business, but there’s no question the effort it takes is time-consuming! Use your social media savvy to be your own boss: Approach local businesses about tapping their social potential.
Check out this advice to improve your business in just one day.