Recently, a friend of mine quit her job. She didn’t have another in place. She decided to freelance.
Her motivation? No different to many out there. Tiredness. Tired of the office politics. Tired of seeing the negative effects of her regular overtime hours taking its toll on her family. Just plain tired of being tired.
I admire her.
To make that kind of decision is the hard part. Sticking to it, even harder. Doing it, in my mind, has to be pure liberation. The hardest part is finding herself in the world of freelance. That’s the most interesting part (for me at least). I can’t explain it. It’s a feeling I struggle to mould into words. Maybe it’s because I feel too close to the subject – friend and freelance. Or maybe the only words that explains it is this by Lewis Carol “ If you don’t know where you going, any road will get you there.”
The point is…
“you should enjoy it…” is advice given to Neil Gaiman (a talented comic book artist) by Stephen King. Given when his career just lifted off. Neil said he never did enjoy it. Instead, he worried about his freelance career. He worried about the next job, the next pay cheque, the next story he’d have to write. (link to his speech to art graduates: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ikAb-NYkseI)
Most permanent workers dream of a freelance life. Most freelancers dream of a permanent worker’s regular pay cheque! …minus the regular hours… OK, freelancers also put in the hours. In fact, more. Why is that? Because its their bread and butter. It’s the next meal on the table, and for some, it’s for the pure love of it.
The point, again, is you get to know what you want to achieve…. Sorry, actually that’s not the point either.
The point is this, when you start doing the things you love doing, the stuff that makes you tingle, do it for the love, NEVER the money. Another thing Mr Gaiman said, and one I truly believe in. Some might not agree with this. And some might agree.
The How and But, on this, are not important. Whats important is keeping your eye on the ball. Set goals and keep to them. The only person you’ll disappoint the most, is yourself. And to me, that’s the greatest disappointment of all.
To all freelancers out there, don’t forget this advice… “you should enjoy it…” because its one of the things that will keep you happy in what you do. And if you happy and enjoying it, then there’s nothing stopping you from anything you put your mind to.
Thank you Neil Gaiman and Stephen King!
Thank you friend, for inspiring me.