Freelancing is an amazing way to balance work and family, but I don’t believe in shortcuts. I believe in working hard to build strong foundations that will gradually grow your business.
I also believe there’s no proven structure to success; but there are plenty of tools, methods, and mindsets that can help you grow your freelance business the right way.
Freelancing is a lot of things; it's a way of life, it's working from home, it's freedom to work on anything you like – from anywhere you like, it's setting your own hours, it's taking vacation without asking your boss – because you are the boss, it's becoming a brand, it's setting your prices, it's spending more time with your family… the list goes on…
But even with the advantage of increased control over your work and personal life, it's important to understand and address the misconceptions about freelancing.
Freelancing is hard.
Freelancing is not easy, it's not for everyone, it's not ‘set and forget,' it's not a one-time gig, and yes – it has disadvantages too.
Having no set hours makes it harder to differentiate between work and family time, working from home can be challenging, there are no guarantees, no monthly paycheck (we'll talk about that later in the series), no sick pay. It's you and yourself.
Success doesn't come easy. It requires strong willpower, excellent communication skills, consistency, flexibility, multitasking, time management, patience, a proven skillset, marketing, clear strategy, goals, vision and one more thing… one that I consider the most important.
Having passion for what you are doing is key to your success. I believe this is true not only in regards to freelancing but in anything you do in life.
Without passion, it will be very hard to get through the tough times, the struggles, the long (yes, long) work hours, and keep your long-term vision in mind.
If your skillset represents your wheels and your business acts as your engine, then your passion is the fuel that keeps your engine running and your wheels moving forward no matter the circumstances.
What's your passion?
Being passionate about something means you have an intense desire or strong enthusiasm for what you’re doing. It means every time you do that thing you’re happy you’re doing it. Every time you get to work you’re happy to be at work. Every time you meet a new client you’re thrilled to get started with his project.
You get excited by the thought of knowing more about and being better at what you’re doing.
Do what you love.
When I hear stories about people who go to work every day but don’t enjoy any minute of their time at work – I feel sad for them. It shouldn’t be that way. We probably spend over 50% of our lives at work, so shouldn’t we enjoy, or at least try to enjoy that time?
Confucius said: “Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life”. That’s how I feel at work. I enjoy every minute of my time, and (most of the time) don’t feel like I’m working. It’s just me, getting paid for doing what I love.
But your passion in life and your passion at work don’t necessarily have to correlate. Not everything you’re passionate about in life is something that should transition from being a hobby to being your business. You can be passionate about cooking, but that doesn’t necessarily mean opening a restaurant is right for you.
I’m passionate about creating, and doing what I love keeps the smile on my face.
And then there’s motivation, which is similar to passion, but different.
Motivation is the cause. The inspiration. It’s the why you’re doing what you’re doing. It’s the reason you get out of bed in the morning. It’s the efforts you keep making to achieve your goals. With no motivation and enthusiasm to do whatever it is you do – your gas tank will run empty and your wheels will stop turning.
What motivates you?
My motivation is my family, and being the man God wants me to be.
I believe the principles of passion and motivation are true for both freelancers and employees. No matter where you work and what it is you do, your passion and motivation are what move you forward.
- If you’re not sure what your passion or motivation is, ask yourself these guiding questions:
- What are the three things you absolutely love doing?
- If you have to choose one, what would it be?
- Name one thing you’re really good at doing?
- What are you excited to talk about with your friends?
- What gets you excited to jump out of bed in the morning?
Keep those questions in mind. In future posts we’ll talk more about getting started, and these questions will act as our guide.
- Freelancing is amazing. It gives you the control and freedom to set the terms and balance between life and work the way you choose.
- Freelancing isn’t easy. It’s hard work, and requires several qualities and skills.
- Freelancing isn’t right for everyone, and not everyone is right for freelancing.
- Passion and motivation are key to success. Without them, you’ll eventually run out of gas and stop moving forward.