Why do we do it? What makes us push ourselves to continually learn more, be more, give more? I’m thinking about those of us in that category commonly referred to as solopreneurs, one-man/woman outfits, the self-employed.
We probably don’t receive sick pay, holiday pay, end-of-year bonuses, and so forth. The hours are anything but regular in all likelihood, so why do we do it? Frustrations come and go; doubts pop up, yet the following keep me moving forward with this seemingly reckless behaviour.
I’m not suggesting those in other forms of employment are less authentic. I’m referring to the opportunity for me to be true to who I am and what I believe in, without compromises resulting from adherence to ‘corporate policy, company objectives, and management decisions’.
As freedom is one of the values I treasure most in life, being a freelancer fits with this. I can choose the direction of my activities in order to achieve my goals. The period of work is, more or less, under my control. Furthermore, I am in a position to collaborate with like-minded people for various projects without the need to refer the decision ‘up the line’.
I know the ‘type’ of clients I love working with: decent folk seeking to explore their choices, perhaps needing a space in which to be heard, wishing to fulfill their potential, knowing life is not just about chasing more, attracted by the simplicity and beauty of life but possibly only now beginning to move in that direction. Although there is no formal filtering process, I’d say over the past years many of my clients ‘fit’ this profile.
I love the quiet periods of my work dedicated to study and writing. The marketing, fiscal, administrative and IT requirements of being self-employed provide opportunities to interact with professionals from other sectors. Time spent with clients, whether as participants of training sessions or as coaching clients, represents the peak moments of my work.
Someone said we stop working the day we begin working for ourselves. Well, in terms of enjoyment of what I do, I can understand the sentiment. It gets me up early each day, pushes me to be disciplined and focused as I go about my tasks. Likewise, it encourages me to take time out for reflection, friends, family and fitness. I certainly wouldn’t want to exchange this job for another.
‘ALIVE’, the best way to describe how I feel about my life as a freelancer. And you? I look forward to hearing your perspectives on this question.