You get paid to pursue your passion. The most successful freelancers I know have used their passions to shape and drive their business. Sometimes that means finding lucrative ways to be able to pursue the things that interest them the most. This month I’ve written about used motor oil, point-of-sale operating systems and parts recalls, among other things. Am I passionate about those things? Heck no, but I am passionate about researching, writing and sharing my knowledge. I am also passionate about making a living as a writer, which means I often write about topics that I’m not head over heals in love with. On the flip side, I can still make time for those subjects that do call to me on a personal level. And, if I can make motor oil interesting, I can do anything!
You create the lifestyle you want. For many freelancers, that means controlling your schedule, which holds true for me. I struck out on my own so I could work around my kids’ schedules. I love dropping my kiddos off at preschool and picking them up with time left over to play on the playground. I like our days at home, which are rarely spent at home. Making the most of my family time is a top priority for me right now, so I build my business around it. As my kids grow and change, my business will, too, but I’ll always get to be in control of what it looks like.
You can work from anywhere (within reason, of course). Some writers may dream of writing from Paris or a beach in Mexico. I love that I can spend a week or two visiting my parents and make time for my writing while also slipping in to watch my dad have a tea party with Miss Madelyn or drive remote control cars with Evan. As long as I have a telephone, internet access and a quiet room to work in, I can do my job.
You can make it fun. Building a business is a lot like playing a game, and I’m a big believer in games. I race my kids to the car, I play beat the clock when I clean the kitchen and I constantly strive to beat my own record–no matter what it is in. Setting and achieving goals is a rush. When you run your own shop, every goal is your own and, for me, strategizing to reach those goals is a game. I love setting financial goals, then seeing what I need to do to reach them (I talk about that a bit in this post about defining goals ). Yes, there is trial and error involved, but learning, adjusting and then succeeding is the best game I’ve ever played.