In Simon Sinek's Start With Why, he explains why understanding that question informs everything else you do. In any line of work, people are better able to respond to situations in their work when they understand why they're doing a particular thing. Understanding why is just as critical in running a freelance practice because all the decisions you make and actions you take will center around this reason.
What's your why?
It's different for almost every freelancer. Some never want a company to ever be in charge of their lives again. Others want the balance that comes from being able to prioritze different things at different time. Others want the financial security that a stable freelance practice offers. Others want the creative control that freelancing affords them.
Freelancing for Greater Freedom
Some people want to go freelance because they want more flexibility and control in their work. Are you sick of working on the kinds of projects that your boss tells you to work on? Do you have a specialty that you don't get to delve into as much because you're doing your 'day-job' work?
A well-run freelance practice lets you do those deep dives into your specialty, because that's what your clients hire you for? Want to work evenings? Your call. Early mornings? Your call! Three days a week? You got it; your call! You can structure your practice to work however you'd like.
Freelancing for Higher Profit
You want to earn the big money. You want to make it rain. And you know you can't do that working for someone else dream. You need to work on your own. The 2017 Freelancing in America survey shows that higher earnings, in excess of 100-200k, are fast becoming a major segment in the Freelancing Economy. In a time when traditional jobs are eroding both salaries and the sheer number available, a career where you can set your own rate often sounds quite appealing.
Freelancing for More Security
It's as simple as this: you can't lay off a few thousand freelancers. Freelancing is more stable for the economy overall, but even in your own practice, you'll rarely if ever be let go from more than one client at a time. If the typical freelancer is working with 2-4 clients at any time, then this income is far more stable than what we've come to expect in traditional employment.
These are some of my reasons for choosing a freelance practice. Understanding why you're building your practice will help you stay true to those reasons when you have to make decisions around your practice.
What are yours reasons for going freelance? Have you thought about it yet? I'd love for you to send me a message on social and let me know.