The Freelancer Lifestyle: Why I Love Being Self-Employed
The Priceless Lifestyle
Freelancing is not just about the money or the potential to make money. Actually, it’s mostly not about the money. It’s about the fantastic, liberating lifestyle that accompanies it. It’s the magnificent freedom to…
- Do the work that I love
- Work when I want
- Work where I want
- Work with who I want
- Be my own boss
- Have no limits
Do the Work That I Love
This is the best part; it’s what makes me love freelancing and gets me excited to get out of bed in the morning. I can do what I like to do and not do the work that I hate. If a client wants me to do something I don’t want to do, I can refer him/her to another freelancer or business (and earn a commission in the process) or I can outsource/subcontract the particular job. The best parts of my job: working with interesting, appreciative clients and being creative.
Work When I Want
I love having a flexible schedule. I can take days off (almost) whenever I want, as long as I plan accordingly. In addition to taking vacations freely, if I don’t want to work until noon on a particular day, I can do that as long as I don’t schedule anything for the morning. Or, if I do have something scheduled and I really just don’t want to work, I can cancel or reschedule my appointments for the day without penalty. Of course, there are client constraints such as deadlines that I respect and work hard to meet, but in terms of when I work on a particular day, I have near total freedom.
Work Where I Want
I usually work at home or at school, but I’ve worked while studying abroad in Barcelona, Berlin, and Copenhagen. It’s incredible; I can be on a beautiful beach somewhere, and as long as I have my MacBook Pro and a decently fast internet connection, I can be productive and make money. For example, I can provide IT consulting from wherever by helping clients over the phone while simultaneously using remote access/control software to see and control their computer screens, and I can design and develop websites anywhere there’s internet.
Work With Who I Want
If you’ve ever been employed by a single employer, you’ve probably had to work with someone you didn’t like at some point. Maybe you even hated him/her. It can be incredibly frustrating working with people like this and it adds unnecessary stress to your life, sometimes driving you absolutely mad. If I’m working with a client who I really don’t like, I can “fire” the client. Yes, I may lose a small portion of my income by doing so (provided my income is well diversified), but I gain something much more valuable in turn: my sanity.
Be My Own Boss
This is related to my previous point; maybe you’ve had a boss before you didn’t like, but you couldn’t do anything about it unless you wanted to risk losing your job. Being my own boss is absolutely liberating, not only lowering my stress, but also allowing me to take my business in whatever I direction I like, whenever and wherever, which brings me to my final point…
Have No Limits
As a freelancer, my income – and the kind of work I can do – has no limits. My income is not limited by my employer’s budget nor by my ability to ask for a raise. I can theoretically work for as many clients as I want, as long as I have enough time. And if I don’t, I can always hire someone else’s. If you have a “regular” job, there are all sorts of factors that can limit you: your boss, your job title/description, your strict schedule, your commitments, and more. Because I freelance, nobody limits my potential except me. I find this incredibly motivating because I know that complacency leads to failure, so I am constantly thinking of new ways to help my clients, work more efficiently, and generate more income.
Why Do You Like Freelancing? (Or, Why Don’t You Like Your 9-5 Job?)
Let’s get some reader involvement here; what do you think? Obviously, I’m strongly biased. If you’re a freelancer, what do you like most (and least) about being self-employed? Or, if you’re not a freelancer, what do you love and hate about your job? And if you’re not happy with your job, have you considered freelancing? If you have, what motivates you and what worries you about making the transition?