I was introduced to freelance in 2006, and have been doing it ever since. Freelance gives us the freedom to work for ourselves, explore new paths, and diversify our income. Freelance equals freedom, not because you can do whatever you want whenever you want, as many people think. Freelance is a lot of work, but it’s freedom in that it allows us to have full control of our career.
Working for ourselves
There is nothing more freeing in our career than to be in charge of high level decision making. Being involved in these conversations early on allows us to make better decisions in our own jobs. I am a designer, and my best work comes from understanding all business practices, goals, and visions. This allows me to design the best solution for the problem at hand. The problem is, when working for other people, you have to work for years building up trust so that you can get included. In freelance, you are on your own from day 1.
The freedom to control the conversation and truly help guide someone in the direction you know will solve their problem is truly fulfilling.
Exploring new paths
Even the great Michael Jordan, while he was at his prime, stepped away from basketball and explored a career in baseball. Not all of us have the financial stability of the great Air Jordan. However with freelance, we can venture out and explore new paths. At 16 I worked for a deli, this was my first job. While here I used freelance to explore web design. Soon enough I was making more money doing that than at the deli, and I went off to work for myself.
The freedom to try something new is a beautiful thing. There are times when we feel stagnant, and by trying something new we may rekindle our passion for our current situations or even find a new path to go down.
I’m no financial advisor, but I do know the importance of diversification. In 2013 I made the biggest change in my life. I got married and moved to New York City. If it wasn’t for the side income I was receiving from freelance, I would have never been able to pay off the wedding, and even less, move to a place with such a high cost of living. Freelance income gave me a safety net in between jobs and allowed my wife and I to move forward.
The freedom of building up a savings from a source of income that isn’t meant to pay bills or expenses is liberating. When I made that big change in my life, money wasn’t as big of a worry. I was free to focus on all the other problems that come with marriage and moving.
Being established and still doing freelance
Even when we are ‘established’ at a good job, it’s never a bad idea to take on a few side projects every now and again. I personally don’t take on as much as I once did, but I still do freelance work. This income gives me freedom because I know I have a backup if anything was to happen. It also allows me to try new ventures. All my computer, photography, and audio equipment has been funded by freelance money. Even the startup I work for is a great example of this. They are 100% self funded. They used freelance work to build their product and never once took outside loans.
Freelance equals freedom. As creative people we have an advantage. The thing that we love to do, can be used to take on projects with other people to make money.
- What has been keeping you from doing freelance?
- Could you use a little freedom?
- What venture have you been wanting to take on?