Recently, I was asked the question “What is the ultimate secret of freelancing?” For newbie or aspiring freelancers, it can seem like there is some hidden knack to freelancing—some magical secret that opens the doors to freelance success. Like discovering the best freelancing platform or most in-demand skill or productivity method is the secret of success as a freelancer. But is that the case? Is there an ultimate secret of freelancing, and if so, what is it?
What isn’t the secret?
Almost every day, I get asked prescriptive questions like “What’s the best freelancing website?”, “What are the most in-demand skills right now?”, and “How do I manage my time most effectively as a freelancer?” The assumption is that discovering these things will somehow make freelancing a breeze. That the struggles you face as a new freelancer are the result of a website, skills choice, or working method. The problem with these things, and the reason why they’re not the secret to freelancing, is because we’re all different, all individuals, so what works for one freelancer won’t necessarily work for another.
What is the ultimate secret?
Let’s not waste any time here. The ultimate secret of freelancing is that everything is up to you. That sounds obvious, doesn’t it? But so many aspiring and new freelancers fail to really grasp that freelancing is all about personal responsibility and personal choice. While that can be scary, it’s also pretty amazing. The sum total of it that you should do what works for you, not what works for someone else.
On one hand, it means you have to solve every problem, make every decision, and answer every question. Only you can set the goals, the direction, and the priorities. You have to rely on yourself, motivate yourself, and be disciplined. It’s up to you to manage your workload, finances, and work-life balance. You have to sell yourself, find your clients, and compete against other freelancers. There’s no boss or colleagues to do it for you. It’s all on you.
On the other hand, you get complete freedom and control over your life, your time, and your working environment. You don’t have to stick to 9-5. You don’t have the endless commute, the office politics, or the laid-out career plan. You have the freedom to choose your own work story, to follow it around the world if you want. To work from wherever you want, with whoever you want, doing whatever you want. And you get to earn money from doing what you love. There are so many wins.
Do what works for you
As a freelancer, you have the rare opportunity to choose what, when, where, and how you work, so don’t waste the opportunity by doing what somebody else suggests. Unlike an office job or 9-5 role where someone else makes the decisions, you get to choose—so choose what works for you. Whether it’s picking a freelancing website, a skill to pursue, or your working hours, experiment with the options until you find the right option for you. That’s where freelance success lies.
Is the secret of freelancing what you expected? Comment below or get in touch. Stay tuned for more tips on freelancing…