I’m a freelancer.
You may know me as a self-employed designer, and that I exchange my services for money as a way of living.
And while that’s true, being a freelance designer means so much more than that to me.
As a freelancer, you are choosing to learn a lot of different disciplines to make a good living.
It’s not enough to be good at your craft, be it writing, design or any other. That’s just the beginning. It’s also carrying on your shoulders all the responsibilities of a leader.
You will need to tackle tasks with very different skillsets, from accounting to marketing, and from your craft to high-level business decisions. All of those are on you.
It’s not all fun and games as most people think.
On this road, you will face your own limiting beliefs. You will have to brace yourself and keep working to meet deadlines. You will be face to face with those parts that you don’t like about yourself.
Because when you are your own boss, you can’t rely on someone else to make decisions for you. You can’t blame others. You need to be responsible for your faults.
You need to remain focused on your work even when you are surrounded by things that want to distract you. Your phone, favorite shows, games, and hobbies are just a few steps away from you. It’s easy to be tempted.
And since there is no one to check on you, procrastination strikes when you least expect it.
It’s easy to believe you will do it tomorrow. It takes a lot of willpower and personal development to be able to sit and do the work. It’s a test of your resolve.
You will have to deal with the uncertainty of work. Especially in the beginning, when there is no guarantee that you will get a new project the next month.
You will handle the stress of managing your finances with more questions than answers. There may be days that you will wonder how you will keep up.
All these challenges and so many more await on the road for the self-employed.
So, why would anyone choose to be a freelancer?
I can only give you my opinion, and I hope it helps you understand my choice.
For me, being a freelancer is to choose your own path in life. It’s about being aligned with your values. It’s to be true to your heart.
It’s a long road of self-discovery. One that consistently shows you that there is so much to learn.
It’s to love what you do above all the challenges and hardships. It’s about learning skills that you never thought you would use. From productivity to high-level business concepts.
It’s about reaching for the stars and turning your dreams into goals and achieving them one by one. And even when you fall, you learn and discover a new gold nugget deep within yourself.
I have been on this road for many years, and not once I have regretted my decision. Yes, there are challenges, but all the benefits have outweighed them.
I have been able to meet and work with amazing people who love to help others and who are continually growing. I’m proud to call them my friends.
I learned about different cultures and ways of thinking. Every person I have worked with has opened my eyes a little bit more and has become a part of my journey.
I have proved to myself that it’s entirely possible to achieve your goals and dreams even when people thought I crazy for leaving a “good job.”
Let me share a little bit of wisdom I have picked up along the way.
First and foremost. Self-care is critical to your success.
When things turn hard, and stress runs rampant, it will be tempting to resort to quick comfort and bad habits. Those moments, my friend, are a test of your resolve; you need to stick to your good habits even if it feels impossible.
You are the heart and soul of your business. If you need to rest, take some time off, even one hour can do wonders. Be kind to yourself and think of those relaxing moments as part of the work.
Remember that personal development is a part of the road. I can’t stress how important it is to invest in yourself; and this extends to every area of your life, not just career-related skills.
As I said before, jumping into personal development is not about being broken, it’s about creating happiness for yourself. Finding a way to balance your responsibilities with your well-being.
And finally never be afraid of asking for help.
Yes, it may be hard to accept it, especially if you are an introvert like me; but all good leaders know when they need to ask for help. It’s not defeat. It’s smart thinking.
Freelancing can feel like a lonely road, but I assure you, it’s not.
There is no need to make things harder for yourself. If you feel things are getting out of control, speak with someone. Sometimes just talking is enough to give you a fresh view.
Why am I telling you this?
Just a few years ago, I had to deal with depression and anxiety. Life felt impossible at the time. It was a constant struggle, but little by little I overcame those obstacles.
Now I’m ready to share the lessons I have learned.
If you are on this path, stay strong. You are not alone.