Freelancer lifestyle

Does the ‘free’ in freelancer mean true independence?

Starting a freelance business with an air of optimism and hope for the future is the best way to approach it, but how much independence do you truly have as a freelancer? Most people are looking for certain lifestyle changes when making the jump from employee to independent freelancer, including:

  • Control over how they spend their time
  • Being able to choose the type of work and projects they take on
  • Setting their own terms of work
  • Being paid professional rates that are worthy of the work produced and the value provided to clients

No more bosses?

But aren’t you just swapping one boss for a multitude of bosses who are just waiting to tell you how to operate and when to work?

As a professional freelancer you set the rules of how, when and where you work, which jobs you take on and how much you get paid. You don’t work as an employee any more, and that is the crux of being a freelancer in my opinion – the freedom to set the rules.

If you take on a client who expects you to be constantly available at a moment’s notice you might as well be an employee, even if you work from home. You need additional time and space to market your own business, deal with invoicing, networking, and the minutiae of running a successful freelancing business. This makes actually taking on and completing work only part of the big picture.

A way of life

Some freelancers prefer to adopt a strict working routine similar to that in the workplace, staying focused and motivated 9-5, which is great for some but doesn’t work for everybody. The beauty of freelancing is that if you want to, you can make it more of a way of life.

Burning the midnight oil might not be everyone’s cup of tea but if that’s the time of day when you are most productive, you are no longer restricted by someone else’s working practices.

The downside of a being a freelancer is that you never really switch off, and everyone you meet becomes a potential client. But that is a small price to pay for the extraordinary freedom and independence this lifestyle offers to those able to take the jump from employee to freelancer.

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