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  • Diana Schneidman

Living the freelance dream

Work where you want.

Work when you want.

Work how you want.

Charge what you want.

Dress as you want.

Listen to the music you want.

Live in your brilliance (whatever that means to you).

Do what you want whenever you want to. This is the fantasy of working for yourself.

If this says it all for you, frankly, I'm concerned.

Yes, as freelancers, our workday may be more flexible, but freelancing is not all about freedom.

We freelancers are paid by our clients to serve their needs. That means work. It may be work that we enjoy, but even so, it's not all play. Freelancing can be stressful and demanding.

It can be a happy lifestyle, but fundamentally, our top concern must be to land and satisfy clients.

First, we have to land our own work. If we provided a similar service at our job, we are accustomed to work coming in unsolicited via email or the sticky notes that magically attach to our computer overnight. Our assignments may even be on a predetermined regular schedule. Now as a freelancer, we must always be marketing.

There’s a second challenge that can be even more intimidating. All decisions and indeed, all failures, lead back to us. This can be terrifying. When our freelance work plate is empty, we must determine: Is the disaster a seasonal lull that will self-correct? An economic downturn? A poorly conceived marketing message? Our own laziness?

Marketing takes time and effort. If you are fortunate, you may have a network in place that kicks in quickly and feeds you clients. A weaker network may yield occasional assignments but lack consistency and sufficient income.

Freelancing is a fulfilling choice when we relish serving customers and helping them succeed.

But if your only concern is your own freedom, you may be headed for disaster. Many coaches and other experts encourage people to take the freelance plunge.

Be careful. Consider what you are committing to before you jump in.

It is not a question of how old you are or which generation you represent. People of all ages dream of an easier life with greater satisfaction and less pressure.

However, if you don’t love the work itself, you may be sadly disappointed.

Best wishes for your new endeavor. May freelancing fulfill your dreams and prove a rewarding career development.

Originally posted 12-26-16

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