Freelancer Finance with Sam Laliberte
Sam Laliberte founded the Freedom Lifestyle Podcast and community in 2017 when she started her journey of becoming a location-independent business owner. Freedom Lifestyle is an online community and podcast series that empowers the movement and entrepreneurial shift toward freedom in life and work. She now travels 6 months a year while working as a Professional Speaker / Event Host and running her Podcast Consulting / Production Agency.
Eve #WealthWednesdayHighlight 63: Sam Laliberte, Founder & Podcast Host - Freedom Lifestyle
Can you share a bit about yourself?
I consider myself a part-time digital nomad. Half of the time I'm at home on the west coast of Canada in Squamish and then the other half of the year I'm traveling. Being a digital nomad working from anywhere is how I like to live and where to be.
Right now, I'm working on my podcasting business which is thriving recently. The covid and pandemic changed what people think about creating content and reaching people and marketers. Tons of people right now want to launch, grow, and monetize their podcasts.
What was your first investment?
I played it pretty safe at the beginning. I treated my first investment as a learning opportunity since I don't know how anything works. Rather than feeling like I'm gambling, I allocated my money to learn how a certain thing works.
My first investment was with Wealthsimple, a Canadian online investment management service. They have an investing platform and one of their product is investing on autopilot. You can make automatic deposits and their platform will do the rebalancing and dividend reinstatement for you through ETFs. I paid attention to the app. I watched what was happening, looked at the notifications, and truly tried to study it before putting more money into it. That's how I got started.
How/why did you get into your space?
It's a love story. In the year 2016, I'm in a long-distance relationship with my boyfriend now my husband. He was in San Francisco while I was in Toronto working a sales job at a SaaS company and it was expensive to fly back and forth. At this time, companies are not open to the "remote work" idea. I didn't have extra days to visit him and it was getting unsustainable. I felt l had to choose between my career, which was the traditional 9 to 5 in the office where I can't see my partner versus this new and exciting relationship. I chose to bet on the latter, that worked out and we're now married.
After that, I managed to have this amazing online business that I can run from anywhere but figured I can't get a visa in the US. I searched for different alternative ways to work from anywhere and maintain my relationship which was at the time expanding over multiple countries and timezones.
What inspired you to become a digital nomad creator and a web3 investor?
As a freelancer, my primary motivation was location independence. The freedom lifestyle for me was to work anywhere. I started taking any job as long as I could do it from anywhere. I remembered getting paid 10 cents per word doing copywriting and having to work for 10 hours a day but I didn't care because I could do it from anywhere.
Later on my journey, I started to realize that there's no point if you're working in a hostel from Bali but never leaving you're laptop working. That idea pushed me to think more about financial freedom and schedule freedom. I started to explore different paths that allow me to make lucrative income for my time and passive income which is how I got into investing, web3, and crypto.
What role do you play in the wealth space and why is it important?
I was the first person in my family to go to university. Anything I did exceeded my parents' expectations. I had to go out of my way to seek different sources of inspiration and models of people who were familiar to me. Seeking more and wanting to achieve the lifestyle that I might want to have.
I see my role as helping people to think bigger. I realized that there's more than one option to making money and where a person can allocate their time. How people see the difference between work and life and a lot of that comes down to money, at least in the capitalist society that we live in today.
What do you believe is the most exciting thing you’ve learned and want others to know?
A powerful statement I always come back to is "it's not about how much money you can make. It's how much money you can save or keep". I consider it a rat race that if you don't figure out soon enough, you're going to be busy for the rest of your life and continuously feel you're not making momentum. People get scared when I talk about saving and cutting back because they immediately think that their frills are going away. They thought that I'm trying to take away their convenience of Uber, premium cocktails, or brand-new bikinis for every trip. I'm not saying you can't do those things but do you need all those things?
The most pivotal change I made in my relationship with money is doing a monthly audit of my expenses. I would have an honest conversation with myself and would ask is that meaningful for me? If I spent $200 less this month, because I realized that buying a new outfit for every single trip I take is important to me, I'm going to reward myself by investing that $200. Doing those simple things and getting yourself into that habit can be life-changing for the way I see a lot of people living their lives.
Is there a person or a company that’s really inspired you?
I sell my services on Fiverr. It's a pretty big company, they are the world's largest marketplace for freelance services. Anyone can go to the website and create their profile.
Fiverr completely changed my business and financial journey for two reasons.
One, I was very uncomfortable sharing my rates and asking for money from my clients. I knew it was an issue and it was something I had to work on. There are times I would give clients discounts when they aren't even asking for them. What's great about Fiverr is every 30 or 60 days I can give myself a raise. I can easily increase my hourly rate by $5 or $10 a year without awkwardness. You can easily see on the platform how the market responds to your price because of its transparency.
Second, not everyone is not comfortable with self-promotion. Not everybody is comfortable advertising or pitching themselves on social media for opportunities. I would wake up to clients every day and Fiverr would take 20% of your income on each transaction but I think that's completely fair and it solves a huge barrier for a lot of people.
You can find anyone on Fiverr. There are life coaches and people monetizing their voices. As for me, I'm in the podcast space and I saw a lot of people who have interesting accents, interesting voices, and people who speak multiple languages. People there would be like, hey, I'm fluent in Spanish, I can help you translate all this stuff in your website to Spanish. It's a place for information workers and there's literally anything.
If you're an aspiring freelancer but don't know what to sell, I say go to Fiverr's website and do your research. See what other people are selling. Figure out which tasks you want to do, and which ones seem to pay more, and use that as market research as well.
What advice would you give to someone getting started?
My advice would be to start figuring out where you can cut back.
People who are in a traditional job often resort to adding more sources of income but it can be a huge leap. People would think that they might need to start a side hustle, maybe they need to quit their job and change into a whole new profession to make more money. The simplest thing is figuring out how you can spend less and use those saving as your gateway to investing.
Similar to what I did, starting with something automated. For example, an ETF or something that is managed for you where you can do deposits and just have that work for you. Over time, you will find yourself in a situation where you will get excited learning about something and you will think "Hey, maybe I could make higher returns or maybe have more savings that I can allocate to something riskier." You can join communities like Eve Wealth, where you can be surrounded by people who are on that journey at various stages too.
Changing your perspective on how you spend money doesn't;t mean you have to stop enjoying life. I do a lot of fun things - I travel a lot, I invest money in sports and experiences, and I go to music festivals all the time. I have a great life but I've chosen not to spend money in restaurants because I'm not a foodie. That's the decisions I made and It's different for everyone but that's the most constant wide sweeping of advice I can give.
How can we stay in touch?
You can search for my name, Sam Laliberte on any social media platform.
My Podcast, the Freedom Lifestyle is my favorite resource to direct people to and something I'm most proud of. I started it in 2017. I haven't been updating it every week but I'll do seasons where I'll think of a theme or an important topic to focus on. One series consists of around 10 episodes and it's often interviews with people who have leveraged flexible work. People who are in the gig economy, freelancing, influencer economy, remote work, and content creation essentially create more freedom in their life. Sometimes I would also do solo episodes with myself where I share practical steps that I took over the last 4 to 5 years.
Have thoughts on this week’s topic or questions for me or Sam? Post your thoughts in the comment section. Until next week. 🙂
DISCLAIMER: The thoughts and views expressed in this video do not constitute financial or investment advice.
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