Working patterns and perspectives have almost revolutionized over the last decade in the fashion industry. With freelancing and the gig economy emerging and gaining more and more momentum along with digitalization and the pandemic, today the fashion world looks a lot different. Traditional jobs are not the only path for design aspirants and students. Desk jobs are getting replaced with home offices and 9-5 jobs are getting replaced with a flexible schedule and autonomy.
Over the years, freelancing has been popularized largely, especially among millennials. This work arrangement is said to give them more flexibility, a better possibility of monetary growth, creative freedom, and the will to explore work-life balance. At the same time, this work pattern brings with it, financial uncertainty, instability in terms of gigs and projects, and not to mention, biased perspectives by the world.
Although the gig economy is taking its own tremendous shape in the country, there is still a long way to go. But meanwhile, the consequences of the pandemic and the changing work cultures have led to the emergence of this new concept–the passion economy. Let’s take this as that much-needed icing on top of the cake for the freelance industry. Yes, this could easily be the missing gap for freelancers and the gig economy, where stability can be restored and more growth can be propelled.
What is Passion Economy?
Passion economy is exactly what it sounds like–an economy, a stream of money that is fuelled by a passionate motive. Now, this economy is ideally one of the many perks of the growing scope of digital platforms and content creation or service provision. This is a part of the work industry, where individuals create sellable content/services of different forms and nature, through different digital mediums–all to attain a consistent stream of money and growing clientele.
Here, an individual/brand uses the digital platforms and their global reach to sell their knowledge/expertise/learnings to educate, inspire, or entertain the audience. In simple words, the passion economy is basically monetizing the passion of an entrepreneur/solopreneur, where they create a digital product/service that can consistently serve a set of audiences. The key here is consistency and that’s exactly what guarantees stability here, as opposed to freelancing. And, that is probably the only difference between the gig economy and the passion economy.
Freelancers can use this to fill that missing gap in their careers and entrepreneurs can resort to it to gain another stream of income and better traction in terms of work. The growth of this economy can largely be attributed to the pandemic, which compelled professionals to work out of home. Here, the digital world became the king and pushed many people to change the dynamics of their work to adapt to this. This led them to find different and digital-friendly ways to make money and what better than passion economy here?
Here, all you need is the right digital platform where you can create, grow and sell your product/service, the right content/product and creator, and of course, the set target audience who are most likely to consume your services. But, what exactly are these services? Well, as spoken about, this runs in the digital world, which means these are online services that are completely driven by an individual’s passion. Say, podcasts, e-books, online courses, workshops, newsletters, visual art, design, etc. The list can go on and on. After all, there is absolutely no end to the scope of the digital world.
Why Do Freelancers Need to Adopt the Passion Economy?
Since freelancing and the passion economy are largely inter-connected with some differences, we need to know how one can transition from being a freelancer to minting money fuelled with passion since in many ways this is the future of fashion. Before that, let’s understand the many benefits of freelancing. Did you know that based on recent statistics, Indians come second when it comes to housing the largest number of freelancers after the USA? In fact, the numbers go up to about 15 million freelancers who work across many industries ranging from marketing, content, videography, IT, and programming to even finance, sales, and design. Based on these reports, about 1 out of every 4 freelancers in the world is an Indian. This number is only expected to grow by 2025!
Benefits of Freelancing
1. Creative freedom and control over your work
In simple words, the demerits of full-time employment become the merits of a freelance career. So here, you not only hold full autonomy in choosing your own kind of work but also in how you want to pursue it. Right from the nature of the work to defining it, you have full control over it all.
Under employment, you may enjoy your work, sure. But there, you work under someone else with their set of principles and values revolving around your work. On the other hand, as a freelancer, you sketch out your own principles and way of working. You choose every single aspect of your career here, from the kind of people you want to work with to how you want to do so. Here, your creativity has no bounds.
2. You make all the profits
Unlike a business, where there are many expenditures, teams, their development, and other resources to spend on, as a freelancer, all your profits are solely yours. There are no stakes and only growth. So, whatever income you make goes directly to you. Of course, freelancers do have their teams and expenses like the computer, WIFI, anti-virus, and other minimal expenditures, but those aren’t as monumental as that of a business.
3. Flexibility in all regards
This has to be the top-most perk of working as a freelancer. Flexibility is prime as a professional who is an independent individual working for oneself on one’s own terms. Because you are your own boss here, you can take your work from a desk to the bed and straight to the beach or the mountains. The point? You can work out of anywhere, at any time, and in any way that you wish. Of course, that liberty certainly doesn’t eliminate the need for discipline here.
How Can You Transition towards Passion Economy?
And, here is the gem! So, now that you know what passion economy and freelancing are, along with the perks and downsides of both, let’s dive deeper. Passion economy has what you lack as a freelancer, so the way forward for you would be to take it a notch higher and use the power of digital platforms and your expertise. Turn your skills and knowledge into a service/product. As a fashion freelancer, the current world is an oyster for you. Why? Well, fashion is evergreen, and the passion economy is trending and definitely here to stay. Both of these together are exactly what the world needs right now. People are home and ready to learn, reskill, or upskill. So, there is no better time to enter the market and open up a steady flow of income besides your freelance career. If this isn’t the future of fashion, then what is?