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June 6, 2021

5 Best Self-Employed Jobs to Start in 2021

Finding the best self-employed jobs isn’t difficult. In fact, the internet’s made it easy for just about anyone to start a business. Imagine choosing your own hours, projects and income. It’s a life 70% of Americans can only dream of. At least until they decide to jump aboard the self-employed bandwagon.

And it’s a fast-growing one. The rate of sole proprietors grew by 722% between 2000 and 2017. Today, nearly 30% of Americans are self-employed. That equates to roughly 44 million people in America alone. 

If you’re thinking of becoming your own boss, then you’re likely wondering what choices you have. So we put together this quick guide to help you figure out your next step. 

Let’s take a look at the best self-employed jobs you can start in 2021.

And if you want to jump ahead in your self-employed career, make sure to catch our next webinar on our brand new “silver lining method”.

What Are the Benefits Of Self-Employed Jobs?

The most obvious benefit of being self-employed is just that — being your own employer. The idea of having control over your career sounds great. And for those who manage their time and work properly will agree.

But that’s not the only reason it’s worth becoming a self-employed worker. Here’s a look at some of the advantages self-employment offers:

  • High-income potential (the more you work/sell, the more you earn)
  • Save money on gas (your home is your office — or Starbucks)
  • Save on clothes and laundry (wear what you want, no one can see you anyway)
  • Tax deductions (reduce your taxes by claiming business expenses)
  • Retirement savings (Big Brother programs include SIMPLE IRA and Solo 401(k))
  • Set your own hours and days (balance your life however you want)

This isn’t an all-conclusive list. But it should give you an idea of the financial and time freedom it grants you. Next, let’s review the difference between product- and service-based self-employment. 

The Difference Between Service and Product Self-Employment

Now, there are two ways you can approach self-employment:

By selling your time. Or selling a product. 

If you decide to go with the former, then you’re trading your time for money. You do this by offering a service to your customers. Examples of service-based self-employment include:

  • Professional services (lawyers, marketers and accountants)
  • Home remodeling and repair (carpenters, roofers, electricians and plumbers)
  • Creative services (web designers, writers and photographers)
  • Personal care (massage therapists and hair stylists/barbers)
  • Health care (physical therapists and home health aides)

As a service provider, you still control how and when you work. However, you don’t have power over scalability. You’re limited by time and capacity, which caps your income. You can try increasing your pay and working longer hours. But this will quickly burn you out (and your clients’ wallets). 

The only way around this is to offer a product. In this scenario, you’re selling goods to your customers. This can be either a physical or digital product. Here are several examples:

  • Consumer goods (apparel, accessories, appliances and hygiene products)
  • Food and beverage (people and animals)
  • Technology (smartphones, computers and TVs)
  • Raw materials (metals, wood and minerals)
  • Digital goods (e-books, online courses and software)

The beauty of product-based businesses is the scalability potential. You put in the work once and continue earning over time. When you want to boost revenue, you can run a sale or create additional products. 

Next, let’s review five of the best jobs for self-employed people. 

5 Examples of the Best Self-Employed Jobs

There are many routes you can take to become self-employed. But the key is finding the ones with quick entry and great earning potential. So we put together this list of the best jobs for self-employed workers. 

Let’s dive right in. 

1.  Become a Freelancer 

Freelancing is big — in America, there are roughly 59 million freelancers. And altogether, they earned an astounding $1.2 trillion. In other words, there’s plenty of earning potential in this market. 

Now, there are various types of freelance services you can offer. For instance, you can become a:

  • Virtual Assistant: Set appointments and manage calendars for businesses and busy professionals. 
  • Photographer: Snap pictures of weddings, birthdays, families and holiday portraits.
  • Video Editor: Turn rough video content into polished productions for YouTubers and business professionals. 
  • Event Manager: Help plan for online and offline events for businesses, influencers and professionals. 

Research what businesses need help with, and odds are, you can turn it into a freelance business. 

2. Become a Consultant

Everyone needs advice, guidance and inspiration at some time or another. So much so that some people are willing to pay big bucks for it. This is what made consulting a booming industry. 

In America, consulting boasts a $64.4 billion market. But why limit your earning potential by focusing on one country? The global market for consulting is $160 billion. People across the world are looking for assistance with things like:

  • Starting and growing business
  • Improving their health and lifestyle
  • Saving money
  • Creating business/marketing strategies
  • Building credit and financial security

The internet is a great resource for learning. But there’s nothing like getting first-hand advice from an expert. This makes consultants a hot commodity among entrepreneurs, professionals and everyday people.

Some of the growing consulting industries include:

  • Social Media: Guide businesses on how to engage with their audience online. 
  • Interior Design: Offer tips for improving the home or office (big now that people are working and schooling at home)
  • Taxes: More people are doing their own taxes and need help getting max savings.  
  • Marketing: Assist companies and entrepreneurs with strategically branding and marketing products/services. 
  • Business: Whether it’s starting or growing a company — you can help make it happen. 

The beauty of these industries is you don’t need to have a 4-year degree. You can take online courses or self-educate using the web. There’s also a large market that spans across legal, health, government and academic fields. 

3. Become a Coach

No, not a sports coach — a life or business coach. What’s the difference?

A life coach is a consultant that helps you manage…well, your life. Maybe you’re struggling to balance work and home. Or want to create a better, healthier lifestyle but don’t know how. Even those looking for their forever mate can find themselves working with a life coach. 

And it’s a great business to be in. As of 2020, life coaching is the second-fastest-growing industry. It has a 6.7% YoY (year-over-year) growth and it’s expected to continue increasing. But what’s more impressive is the value — its global market is worth $15 billion

You can niche-down focusing only on health, lifestyle, dating or fashion. 

Now, what is a business coach?

A business coach helps professionals with the business side of things. For example, they may assist with things like: 

  • Improving productivity
  • Growing revenue
  • Establishing a positive work culture
  • Readjusting branding 
  • Managing PR  
  • Developing business plans
  • Evaluating business needs, strengths and weaknesses

The U.S. business coaching market sits at $11.6 billion, making it an enticing field to break into. 

4. Become a Real Estate Agent

Believe it or not, the real estate market is still booming (even amid a pandemic). It’s expected that millions of people will enter the housing market in 2021. It also helps that interest rates are at an all-time low. 

The housing market is a great industry because people will always need a home. So whether you’re selling homes or managing rentals, you’ll always have clients. The income is also rather nice — self-employed realtors earn the most at $106,280

If you’re interested in becoming a real estate agent, then you’ll need to get licensed. It only takes four to six months to complete the courses and exams. Online classes are available, but you’ll have to meet the requirements of your state

5. Sell Digital Products

There’s a rise in digital usage — but you already know this. In fact, you’re likely a digital native (or a digital convert) who uses technology daily. More people are consuming digital content than ever before. And e-commerce is growing exponentially. In 2018, a survey found that 70% of Americans purchased items online. 

This is why e-commerce is on the rise. It’s easy to find suppliers and manufacturers to source products to sell. Amazon also makes it possible to manage large inventory without renting a storage space. Another option is to dropship. By partnering with a dropshipper, you can sell goods without managing inventory. The products are shipped directly from the drop shipper to the customer. All you have to do is build a website, promote it and get visitors to buy. 

But it’s not just physical items they’re buying. Digital products are growing in popularity. For example, the global market for online courses is projected to be worth $325 billion by 2025. This will be a $12.81 billion growth between 2020 and 2024. Just a slither of this pie could spell great profits for course creation. 

This is why you’ll find more online courses popping up across the web. There are courses for everything from how to start a business to how to make candy apples. 

Other digital products you can create and sell include audiobooks, e-books, digital art, videos and software. 

But what if you don’t want to create or source products? There’s another option. Affiliate marketing is an alternative that allows you to promote others’ products. Your role is to promote it and get folks to buy. The most popular way to achieve this is through a blog. 

Affiliate marketers will create blog posts on topics related to products. For example, “How to Manage Your Freelance Finances.” Then they’ll include an affiliate link to an accounting tool. When people click it and buy it, they receive a cut of the sale. 

Find the Best Paying Self-Employed Jobs

Becoming self-employed gives you an opportunity to find financial freedom. It also grants you more control over how you live (and work). But what if you’re looking for the best self-employed jobs with the highest income? Then product selling should be your thing. 

Selling goods online (especially digital products) allows you to maximize your income. It comes with low startup and maintenance costs. Plus, there’s unlimited earning potential. Those who sell online goods can earn six or even seven figures a year.

If this resonates with you, then check out our free webinar.

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Mike Vestil

About the Author

Mike Vestil is an author, investor, and speaker known for building a business from zero to $1.5 million in 12 months while traveling the world.

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