I had an enlightening talk with a friend (who is also a freelancer) this weekend about the “way of life” for those of us who choose to work for ourselves. We were discussing recent events in our lives (she just bought a house and I’m selling mine) and how challenging it can be to make the work we want to do manifest the life we want to lead.
Her words: “we choose to freelance because our work is who we are; it’s the expression of the way we want to live our lives. We freelance and in doing so gain the everyday life we want, but there are sacrifices. We might work odd hours, without benefits, and without the steadiness and size of a regular 9-5′s paycheck. We might lose out on certain luxuries, like vacations, free weekends, or the ability to spend money freely on ourselves and the people and events that are important to us.”
I’d venture to guess that many of you can relate to this. I sure did.
I think it begs two very important questions, especially those of you who are still on the fence about starting your own gigs:
1. What are you willing to sacrifice in order to get the life you want?
2. Do you see it as a sacrifice (that you’re forced to make) or a choice?
The first question is really important simply because it forces you to clearly define your value system. It’s in the letting go that growth happens. When we clear out the “stuff” in our lives, we create space for the things we really want. Think about letting go in all the aspects of your life; what expenses could you unload to make it easier to support your lifestyle? What relationships are draining your reserves instead of enriching you? Which daily habits do absolutely nothing for your well-being?
The second one is really a trick question, because the answer is probably the #1 reason that we all chose the entrepreneurial path:
It’s always a choice. And it’s always yours to make.