It sums up a lot of the feelings I was trying to articulate on last week's post about staying small.
Leaving my job in search for more freedom was a bit naive. I have zero regrets about my decision, but I know that going freelance is different for every person. Starting your own business can become the same burden as going into a 9-5. Because really, at the end of the day, we find our own freedom. Changing jobs won't give us the freedom we want if we can't achieve that on our own.
Here's what I've learned about finding freedom in freelancing:
- Thinking small allows for a greater amount of freedom. Things like having a lower living expense, having a business with lower overhead costs, being nimble in my productions. What is the smallest/lowest input I can have for the maximum output? Thinking small frees me from the paralysis of inaction.
- Freedom from financial fear can come from creating a sense of security. In "How to Find Fulfilling Work," Roman Krznaric talks about humans needing to balance the twin desires for security and freedom. The best advice I received when starting my freelance career in 2013 was to save 4-6 months of living expenses. Having this tucked away allows me the psychological security to make better decisions about what clients and projects I should take on.
- Take time to disconnect and let your clients know you're unavailable. Two weekends ago, I left my phone off for 3 days while spending quality time by the lake with my friends. It was empowering to leave work behind and clear some headspace for myself to be present.
Freedom is in the background of my decision making, but not an end goal of itself. What have you learned about freedom in your career?
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