Welcome to No2 of The Freelance Life series! If you have not read the first post about What No One Tells You About Freelancing, please do so here.
Being your own boss is a mixed bag of feelings. There is a secret number of phases (that no one really talks about) that you have to go through personally, before you even consider yourself as your own boss. These are just some of the motions I had gone through…
Phase 1: Before you become your own boss, you imagine it to be a powerful feeling, full of freedom and that you can do whatever you want to do.
Phase 2: When you take that first step as your own boss, you find that a lot of hard work is involved and you are ignited by a fire to work over 12 hours a day to help your baby (by baby, I mean business) grow. You pour your heart and soul into it, and you produce work that you are proud of.
Phase 3: Then comes the next rollercoaster – frustration. There will be a point where people do not react to your products as well as you had hoped for, and maybe there is little to no interest in all your hard work.
Phase 4: Next comes an even harder point – feeling like an absolute failure and on the verge of giving up. Part of being a boss if to feel in control of your life and business, and sometimes, it’s just not happening. You will be tempted to give up and throw in the towel.
Phase 5: At this point, if you had already given up, then this is where your story ends. For those with persistence, this phase is where you decide that “okay, I must have something wrong so now, what can I do t fix that.” This is where you put your failures aside and work on a solution.
Phase 6: You have gone through trials and errors at this point and finally found something that works for you and your business. The work that you’ve done in Phase 2 will now seem like a terrible idea, and you learn from it. You trudge on warily, but a small sense of proud elation is working their way into your bones.
Phase 7: Everything has evened out and your find yourself working relatively hard, and getting a good amount of response/customers/work/clients and most importantly, money to sustain yourself & the business. It is at this point where you find your footing and a sense of pride. You have accomplished saving the dream your nearly gave up on.
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I was watching The Good Wife the other day when one of the characters said this. She had just pursued her own dreams of working from home (away from office politics) and rejected a lot of money to work for someone else. When she said this, it hit me. I may be a struggling freelancer at times, but nothing can beat being your own boss and answering only to yourself. It is a REVELATION to something I had always known but never actually realised. That's why this is my favourite quote of the year.
This quote hit me the other day – as you can see I got it while watching The Good Wife and in that episode, the character of Alicia Florrick was offered a position that involves a large sum of money and a high position, which she turned down. She turned it down and said this exact line, quoted above.
It was then I knew that I feel the same way as she does. Nothing gives me more pleasure than being my own boss. It is a good feeling of being in good control of your life and not answering to anyone else but you. Not long after, I was also offered a full-time position with more money, and for a moment, I was nearly tempted to take it. Thank goodness I stopped myself, and I found new love and life in the work I do here.
Another saying goes that “if you do not work for your dream, someone else will hire you to work for theirs”. That said, if you’re reading this, I believe you are reading it for assurance. So trust me when I say, persevere and don’t ever give up on your dream.