8 Tips on being a happy freelancer

12.10.2015

Being happy always looks so easy on the outside, be it on a professional or personal level. But those big smiles, success and financial stability don’t come for granted – they have to be worked for. Happiness is something quite personal for each and every one for us, but blissful freelancers do share some qualities and ways of work which could help make the life of every freelancer a bit happier. Here are our personal tips for joyful freelancing:



1) Separate work and leisure
Relaxing and working as a freelancer in the same environment is extremely difficult. It works out so rarely that the first thing you should do as a freelancer is to get a dedicated working place. It can be a corner of your room, a separate place in your house, a co-working environment or even the local library. Getting into the mindset that you’re at a place with a specific purpose will do wonders for your concentration. And vice versa – stepping out of that zone will let you relax without constantly stressing out about your email’s inbox.

2) Set priorities and stick to them 
Yes, I am aware that this tip is as obvious as they get, but you would be surprised how many freelancers fail to set priorities even though they know they should. Having a certain schedule for specific tasks helps. If you are working on a big project with a tight schedule, spend less time on your marketing than you usually do, even if it means changing a rhythm you’re used to. 

3) Expect the feast and famine cycle
The feast and famine cycle is an inseparable part of many a freelancer life. Planning for it can make the difference between achieving your dreams and going bankrupt. If most of your clients are away for the summer and projects don’t come in at the usual pace, save beforehand. Then, you can take a break or focus on all those things you’ve been putting off so you’re ready and energized for the next work-heavy period.

4) Multiple revenue sources
Relying on one big client is often how most freelancers get started, but breaking out of that pattern can be essential for your success. Having multiple clients will guarantee that even if something unexpected happens to one of them, most of your income is still secure.

5) Learning to refuse
We’ve mentioned the need and usefulness of saying “no” in the recent past. In case you missed that, here’s your reminder. Sometimes refusing to a client, project or even the voice inside your own head is the best way out of a difficult situation.

6) Build a reliable network
Security is a big part of feeling happy, whether as a freelancer or otherwise. The easiest way to obtain professional security as a freelancer is having people you can rely on. Go to conferences, join on- and offline communities and make acquaintances or even friends. Don’t be afraid to share projects, extra work and a part of your success with them – they might do the same for you in the future.

7) Reward yourself
Being a freelancer means that you’re the HR department of your own company. That means not only knowing your strengths and weaknesses and acting on them, but also knowing when you did a good job. Don’t forget to acknowledge your own hard work and give yourself a reward for it.

8) Consciously fight loneliness
Freelancing can get lonely sometimes. Denying that fact won’t help, but working towards a change can. Try going out on your breaks and find a hobby that gets you somewhere other than your home. Loneliness is a real issue with possibly severe repercussions – do something against it!

What gives you happiness in your freelancing career? We would love to hear from you in the comments below this article!

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