Hi Miss Chelsea! It took me about 7 months. The first 4 I was working full time. The last 3 I had left my full time job and I was contacted to do subcontract work. It also depends on what you do to put your name out there. I do a lot of in person networking (I am on the board of a local group) so I get a lot of business out of that. You get out of it what you put into it. Its a lot of work on the front end to make a name for yourself, but once you do you will see the rewards.
I began researching in September and was up and running by December of the same year with a pt regular monthly retainer client base. I continue to look for new possibilities and will do so even when I have a full client base. I think it will depend on how much effort you are able to put forth to market yourself and answer RFP's. An individual journey for each of us! Best of luck to you - it is well worth the effort!
I've been in business full-time since Dec. 2008. I did an immediate switch from employed to self-employed. I grossed about $22K my first year and was up approx. $62K by year two. I do work crazy long hours though which is what works for me based on what else I have going on in my life.
One of many things I would have done differently when I started was not start with my rates at $25/hr. Had I started with a higher rate my first year income would have been considerably higher.
I didn't spend much time on job bid boards (elance, guru, odesk, etc) and I've never done any RFP's - nearly all of my clients came to me through relationships I built on Twitter.
We just wrapped up the last session in the six week class this Tuesday night. This past Saturday I chatted with one of the students on the phone. The day before she got her first client at $40/hr with 40 hours a month.
What makes me so darn proud of her is that just a few weeks ago she had posted in our private Facebook group asking others what they thought about a prospective client that approached her but was only offering her $15/hr. I suggested she pass on the opportunity and instead spend her time learning new things (which for her has been Wordpress). She did pass on that person.
During our call she said the most valuable thing she learned from my Jumpstart Class was defining and waiting for her ideal client.
These types of ah-ha moments with my student is what made teaching the class so rewarding. I can't wait for the June session to begin!