Scott is one of our incredible affiliates who recently wrote a book called The Free Agent Mindset: Thriving in the Gig Economy about the mindset of independent workers and their increasingly important place in the U.S. economy. We sat down with Scott to learn more about his work and what went into writing his book.
What do you currently do for work?
I'm currently an MBA student taking classes in the evenings and I'm also a Marketing Strategist and Author. Thankfully I graduate next year, so I'll have a little more time to focus on the rest of my career. I want to continue building a career for myself because it allows me some control over my life. The plan is to keep that mindset and carry through will every step I take a long the way.
How did you end up where you are right now?
Last August I quit my job as a stockbroker and made the move (sort of a leap of faith) to become an independent contractor with a small business in Colorado, where I'm from. I realized that in order to advance in my career I needed the space to participate in many different projects, so it's really been a great opportunity. For one of the projects I ended up doing a lot of research on the gig economy and contract work. Then, while in graduate school, I took a book writing course with a professor. I had just done all of that research and realized how important the gig economy and independent works are becoming and I knew I wanted to explore that more.
What was it like writing the book?
It was really interesting. Parts of it were hard. For example, there would be a chapter that I knew I needed to write, but had no idea where to start. When I first started writing the book, I just put out a bunch of feelers on different DC freelance pages, asking if anyone was willing to talk to me. I just started interviewing as many people as I could get ahold of that had this type of life. And the cool thing is those people would just start introducing me to their networks of freelancers all over the country- suddenly I was talking to people out in Minnesota, Arizona, all over the place.
From there, and as I started learning more from the people I spoke to, I started to form more of a direction for the book. And eventually I started putting pieces together about how changes in technology and worker behaviors have allowed for more and more people to choose the self-employed path.
What are some of the common themes you heard from independent workers?
Often times, no matter what industry people are in, and especially if they are young, people who start out freelancing have such a hard time figuring out their finances, especially things like taxes. That's why it's awesome that Catch does that for us. There were so many people I spoke to who would bring up their taxes and then tell me they ended up hiring a super expensive accountant when they knew they wanted to be able to figure this out for themselves.
So, how are you using Catch?
I was super excited to find Catch while doing research for that first project about gig workers. I looked at a bunch of other products, but when I finally found Catch I was like "Oh my gosh, this is it." It just has everything I need in one place and it's so simple. I immediately signed up and started using Catch for tax withholding and will be using it for time off and retirement plans shortly.
With everything I have going on, it is tough to make sure I’m taking money out for taxes or saving every time I get paid. Catch makes it so I don’t have any tax surprises and I am keeping up with my savings goals.