Freedom is important to me, it is in the name of this business after all.
Freedom isn’t just about wearing pajamas to work (although it can be), freedom is a lot more for me.
If you follow this blog, freedom is important for you too.
So what does freelancing freedom mean exactly? To me, it revolves around 2 main subjects.
Freedom of Time
I’m a night owl, and the fact that at 28 years old I still need a solid 9 hours of sleep, means I can’t be up at 7am like most 9-5ers. That’s ok because I don’t have to work on someone else’s opening and closing hours.
Weddings, birthdays, funerals, random celebrations….I can make them all because I don’t have to plan in advance or ask for time off that is granted only if convenient for my boss. I remember one of my biggest worries while working a corporate job abroad was if I would be able to take time off last minute to take a 12 hour plane ride home in an emergency. This no longer keeps me up at night.
Living abroad means a lot of vacation time is spent visiting home (rather than a beach in Bali), but I can have both kinds of vacations if I want.
The hours I work in a day depend completely on how productive I decide to be. If I want to take it easy, and check in on Facebook every hour, my work day might last a little longer. If I want to run some errands in the afternoon or head to the beach, I can turn off all distractions and bust through my to-do list in the morning.
If I need to make a doctors appointment, I don’t have to wait 2 weeks to get an evening or weekend appointment because I can schedule them anytime on weekdays.
I have more time in general because I don’t have to commute to work, can avoid grocery store busy-ness or run errands during non-peak traffic hours. Little stuff, but makes a big difference.
Freedom of Choice
I choose how much I want to charge and how much I want to make. If I want to raise my prices, I can provide more value. If I want to make more money, I can create more to sell.
I choose the services I want to offer. The sky is the limit and only dependant on my skills (which can always be learned) and whether or not they are valuable to someone else.
I choose the type of projects I want to take on. The options are endless and I simply need to define what I enjoy doing most and do more of it.
I get to choose the types of clients I work with. This takes time to recognize, but I get to choose who I say yes or no to. I choose the fun people.
I choose where I want to live. Based mostly on the quality of food, proximity to a wine bar and convenience of driving a scooter. I don’t have to settle for a location I’m not in love with because of a job offer or prospect.
Having complete freedom of my time and choices doesn’t translate into working 10 hours a week at 5k/hour and taking 6 months vacation.
The downside of all these freedoms: it requires a lot of self-motivation. But as long as you’ve got that, freedom as I see it is entirely possible.
I want to know, what is freedom to you?