• Bola Kwame

Once You Go Freelance, You Never Go Back

2020 was the year we realized that many of us are not cut out for a 9 to 5 in an office. I think that’s why it feels like everyone has their own business today.

The other day I heard someone say that freelancers are just people who are not suitable for a job. So they must create their own jobs since no one would hire them.

Luckily for that person, I have been meditating a lot lately and I’m now a spiritual being. A less spiritual me would have thrown a drink in his face.

However, I don’t judge people who prefer the stability and security of a traditional job. In fact, from time to time I envy them.

Health insurance, productivity bonuses, Christmas parties at the office.

I can’t speak for all freelancers, but I think there is a misunderstanding as to why someone prefers to fly solo. Some believe it’s because we want to be rich, others believe it is an ego thing, or I’ve even heard that we’re all Steve Jobs wannabes.

All of the above may have a grain of truth, I’m not going to lie to you. But the essential reason why someone persists in having their own business is that the feeling of working in something that is yours, free of limitations, is unmatched.

“Do something you love and you won’t work a single day of your life.”

That is a big lie.

Just because you love what you do doesn’t mean you don’t work hard, burn out, or get frustrated. Sometimes, being freelancers, we work many more hours than an employee.

My intention is not to create a war between employees and freelancers.

Also, let’s be honest, freelancers wouldn’t have a chance. We’re too busy trying to meet impossible deadlines that we shouldn’t have accepted in the first place.

My point here is that the true satisfaction of freelancing doesn’t come from status or money. It comes from creative freedom.

I like to think that we are all artists, we are all creators of something. Even if you’re an accountant or programmer, you are making something that did not exist before, that makes you a creator. It can be a code or an account balance.

Each creation has its own rules and restrictions. When you have your own business, it is like starting to paint a blank canvas. Clearly, some things have already been invented and not all of us will be pioneers of something, but the path is clear.

When you develop an app, open your own blog, or design your clothing brand, you are creating something of your own with total freedom. That doesn’t mean that the road will not be hard and confusing, but it will be rewarding.

You make mistakes, you get disappointed, you fail and you start over. That is inevitable and part of the process. But in all that, even in a very small part, there is some satisfaction. Call it freedom, vocation, or inspiration.

That’s what keeps you going, no matter how many times you fail. That is why I would not want to go back to a traditional job in an office. Not because of any prejudice against it, but because I would not renounce that feeling of creating freely.

That is why I am a freelancer.

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