As a freelancer, is your life calm or chaotic?
If it’s chaotic, is that because you’ve chosen to live it that way? If calm, the question is the same.
To me, the beauty of freelancing is the freedom it affords: to do what you want, when you want and with whom you want. But it’s not a piece of cake, as any freelancer knows. In fact, it takes a lot of hard work to earn this freedom, as all freedom is hard-won.
But when most freelancers go out on their own, they don’t get much training in how to be an “expert freelancer” — how to do the business side, like finding the right clients or the “life” side, like figuring out what “time off” looks like for you.
That’s one of the reasons we launched the Creative Freelancer Conference 6 years ago (and why it has grown to 600 attendees in 2013) — there is clearly a need for this type of learning.
And that’s also why I am pleased to be moderating a panel for the Freelancers Union this week that addresses important questions of how work and life intersect for freelancers. It’s part of a new program called Freelance 360.
One of the goals of the Freelance 360 program is to address your whole freelance life, not just the “work” part, since it all bleeds together (which is also the case these days for many with a “real” job, except they don’t get the benefit of the freedom).
That brings me back to the myth of “work/life balance” – where the main question, as I see it, is, “Will your freelance life be calm or chaotic?”
You get to choose. If you don’t choose, then chaos usually reigns. And it may feel so out of control that you couldn’t possibly see how you could choose, how you could control the work or the life. But that is the whole point: as a freelancer, you get to decide what you want and then go get it. That’s the freedom you have.
Are you doing that? If so, let your colleagues know how. Because there are no role models out there, except those who step up and share what they’ve learned.