Freelancer, freelance, self-employed, future of work, workforce, why

Are you freelance because you want to or because you have to?

The “why” is important when joining the freelance workforce. If you start out as self-employed without really wanting it, you’re going to have a hard time.

The reason I ask is that there is a big difference. I have met many people that at some time in their lives have called themselves freelancers. Not because they wanted to. But because they were without a job or a least without a steady job. These days, freelancer sounds a lot better than unemployed. But as soon as they found a traditional job, they threw away their freelance title.

It can be cool to try it out. See if it fits. And it is not for all. But if you start out as a freelancer because you are forced to do it and not because you want to do it, you’re going to have a hard time.

If you, on the other hand, need to try it out, have a feeling that won’t go away, a desire to make it on your own, then do it. It is not easy, but it is worth it. As far as the kliché go – you’ll only regret the things you didn’t do – it is true.

It’s not freelance, it’s self-employed

One thing that I have learned is that if you see yourself as a business and not “just” a freelancer living on the goodness of others, you’ll have more success and take more responsibility for yourself. I’m not a freelancer. I am self-employed.

As a freelancer, you might not have a CVR number. I didn’t the first few months. But having one makes me take myself much more serious as a business and make others take me more serious as well. I don’t just write and do what others tell me. My business model is diverse and evolving. 

I have KPI’s to meet, and goals to set and reach. Being a one-man band means that I both have to be able to – in my line of business – write, interview, and make content, I also have to sell, network, do marketing, set the strategies, do the budgets and so on.

Find out your “why”, before you figure out your “how”

The budgets and books I could do without and at some point I might outsource that part to focus more on the things I am good at. To put my hours to good use and not waste time. For now, I want to be hands on because it is my business. I have never had as steep a learning curve as the past few years. It is challenging, and I can feel that I get smarter and better, more determined and more efficient every day.

Read more: Why I decided to quit my nine to five

That is because I take pride in doing my own thing and I take full responsibility for both the good times and the bad times. That is a lot easier if you are passionate about something than if you are forced into a line of business that you don’t care about. 

So even if it is hip – and a lot more common today than just five years ago – to work freelance, project-based or self-employed, find out your “why” before you figure out your “how”.

And the how. I’ll get back to that for you.

In need of feedback? Feel free to reach out to me at sokkels@me.com for a free discussion about whether I can help you take the next step or follow me on Instagram for inspiration to go your own ways!

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