Let the Freedom of Freelancing Ring

Four Foundational Principles for Freelancer Business Owners

I was an office job girly before I ever became my own boss. 

For five years, I went to work every day in a cubicle, with set working hours, a dress code, and the occasional free lunch in the break room – what a gift!

In 2020, I decided to go out on my own and pursue a writing career. 

I had no idea what that would even look like, but I became my own boss overnight and I haven’t looked back since. 

These are four foundational principles I hold as a freelancer and business owner that have convinced me to stay my own boss, forever.

#1. I don’t work 9-to-5.

This was the hardest adjustment for me once I transitioned away from an office job. Realizing that I could set my own hours outside of the standard 9-to-5 workday and still be considered a successful, hard-working, and productive adult was so freeing.

These days, my work schedule fluctuates. I’m way more productive and creative in the afternoons so that’s when I write. 

I no longer force myself to fit into society’s workday rhythms because that’s not what works for me. Meetings at 9:00 am? That’s a no for me, dawg.

My mornings are sacred. I use them to rest if my body needs it, I  go to the gym, or drink my coffee and read. (Side note! I don’t have kiddos, so this allows me to embrace slower mornings.)

The freedom that comes from knowing that no one is expecting me to “clock in” at a certain time will always be liberating. 

#2. I make the rules – no writing on Fridays. 

If I can help it, I’ll finish up all of my projects and calls with clients by Thursday. As the Founding Mother of my business, I need one day dedicated to the details. 

Plus, by this time in the week my brain is fried. I barely have the energy to write an email, much less a whole month’s worth of social media copy for a client. Ya feel me?

My Fridays are reserved for invoicing, expense tracking, and organizing business admin. By 1:00 pm, ya girl is* slamming her laptop shut til Monday*.

#3. I give myself permission to say no.

Permission to say no to projects and clients if they aren’t willing to pay my rate or if I know the assignment is going to drain my energy more than it will fuel my creativity. 

Saying “yes” for less pay or for the sake of having work takes up valuable time and effort that I could later commit to a better opportunity.

Saying “no” is not a loss. For me, it’s a boundary. 

(I’m grateful to be in a place where I can say no. It wasn’t always like that in the beginning. It’s become a privilege for me to be able to wait for “yes” opportunities, and I don’t acknowledge that sentiment lightly.)

#4. I can live and work wherever I want. 

I’m not tied to a city because of my job. Like a lot of us, I can take work with me wherever I go. And I do. 

My vacation days are up to me. They’re unlimited and they’re also unpaid, obviously. But, there’s no boss or manager who has to approve when I can take a break. I check out when I want to and when it works for me to do so. 

Being my own boss has become the greatest gift I could ever give myself. It’s hard, rewarding, and I love it because I value the freedom it brings. On hard days, when an office job feels like a “safer” option I remind myself of this list. 

Remember, you make the rules here. You can throw away the old ones that were handed to you by someone else. 

You have permission (from me!) to create a working environment and culture that fits your style, fuels your creativity, and is productive for you

Let that self-employed freedom ring, boss!

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