We were first enthralled with Carrie Dangenhard’s storytelling on Instagram, where her announcement of transitioning from employee to full-time freelancer caught our eye. An Austin based freelance content writer and strategist with years of experience, Carrie is no stranger to the language arts.
While the story of why she quit her competitive salary job is inspiring, she also shares the 5 Reasons You Shouldn’t Quit Your Job to Freelance. Carrie’s honesty when it comes to running your own business and openly talking about money strongly aligns with the work we do here at Lance. In this interview, Carrie eloquently shares insight into the adventures of being her own boss, growth, and her plans to expand her business and income streams.
Let’s make sure you pat your own back… What’s your biggest strength as a solopreneur?
I’d have to say my passion for my work. I really love what I do — which, in my opinion, is critical to success as a solopreneur. If you’re not excited about what you do, the quality of your work suffers, and you’ll burn out much faster. My passion sustains me through the late nights and drives me to continue growing, learning and honing my craft.
What’s the best business or money advice you ever got as a freelancer?
Pay for help and outsource the tasks outside your area of expertise. One of the best investments I’ve made is hiring a CPA — she makes things much clearer, and having someone help me manage my financial decisions and handle taxes is a huge weight off my shoulders. Trying to save money by doing everything yourself wastes time and causes massive headaches.
Now for a moment of realness, what are you struggling with right now in your business?
Balance! I’m consciously trying to break the addiction to “being busy,” but it’s tough. I’ve always been somewhat of a workaholic.
When I started freelancing full time, I said yes to every opportunity because I was terrified I’d run out of work and starve. Since then I’ve built up and diversified my client base and developed multiple revenue streams to safeguard against dry spells. But it still feels unnatural turning down requests, even when I’m drowning in work. I don’t think the fear of famine ever really goes away.
As a writer and content strategist based in Austin, what challenges and advantages do you think are unique to your city?
As far as advantages, Austin has a massive network of entrepreneurs and startups, which means there are plenty of small business resources and networking opportunities. I’ve met tons of really brilliant people. The prevailing mentality is that there’s enough opportunity to go around, so most folks are refreshingly helpful.
Also, Austin is (and always has been) highly supportive of the arts, so it’s a great place to launch a creative business.
As far as challenges, Austin is growing really fast and having a bit of an identity crisis. Sometimes the Silicon Valley-esque atmosphere threatens the “weirdness” that makes Austin special.
We know the freelancer life is all about the hustle toward incredible goals, where do you see yourself in 5 years? Financially, personally, and with your businesses?
I plan to keep growing and expanding my business. One of my passions (and content verticals) is health and wellness, and I’ve been considering getting my certification in holistic nutrition and doing more work in that industry. I’ve also chatted with a few former colleagues about starting an agency or creative hive. More recently, I’ve been looking for opportunities to give back through my work — to use my writing to help fight for causes near to my heart, like animal rights, climate change and social justice. Finally, I’d love to carve out more time for creative writing. I used to write short stories for fun, and I’d like to pick that up again.