Freedom means different things to different people; but the common ingredients within the context of “freedom” seem to be that of having both the time and money to enjoy life on your terms. This means you can do the things you want to do, when you want to do them, and for most people it relates to being your own boss.
That said, there is a tendency to think of this freedom lifestyle as something reserved for digital tech nomads or creatives, all working from their laptops in coffee shops in some SE Asian backpacker mecca such as Chiang Mai. Whilst this is, true, the freedom lifestyle isn’t limited to this genre and can suit a variety of different people, with different backgrounds and life goals.
Indeed, many successful and well educated people are dipping their toes into having a lifestyle with more freedom where they work on their own terms. For instance, Passion for Law is revolutionising the career model for senior solicitors.
Traditionally, solicitors are known to work very long hours, in challenging and intense office environments with such hefty targets in terms of billable hours, new clients, and scrutiny from their seniors over how each seven minute time slot is being utilised. There’s a lot of pressure from clients as well as within the corporate hierarchy and there are a lot of hoops to jump through in order to progress to the level of equity partner, which is why Passion for Law’s new business model is so interesting, as it provides a more dynamic and independent environment that empowers solicitors to live life, and manage their careers, more on their own terms.
In today’s flourishing digital economy there is now the opportunity to work remotely, from anywhere in the world, providing you have a laptop and a decent internet connection… and as previously discussed, for many people, “living the dream” today no longer features a corner office on the top floor of a skyscraper. Today, it’s more akin to having the freedom to jet off to an exotic location and work with their laptop, from the beach, or the airport, or wherever they choose.
Similarly, the freedom lifestyle isn’t intrinsically linked to travel, for some people it’s simply about have the time to be at home with their family and get much more involved with their kids lives. This is particularly pertinent when it comes to high flying executives and solicitors, who often sacrifice such important family time and burn the midnight oil at the office.
Today, we are more emotionally aware than ever before, and we seem to be starting to proactively value the things that truly matter to us, such as our families and our health, above our careers. It’s clearly important for there to be a balance, and this is what the freedom lifestyle tends to offer.
No doubt you’ll have heard the stories of someone giving up their daily grind in order to travel the world; exchanging the shackles of the nine-to-five for more flexible working hours; where the congested commute is supplanted by a sunrise walk on a tropical beach.
The opportunity to work remotely and live a life of more freedom is within your grasp – but one of the main fuels to this “freedom lifestyle” is that of money, and unless you’re able to generate a decent income, you could well end up spend all this new found free time pacing up and down the beach in a state of financial stress rather than the blissful relaxation you hoped for.
Indeed, being a freelancer can be tough. Not everyone living the “freedom lifestyle” will be a freelancer, some will remain employed but on a more flexible basis, which is probably the most secure way to go about things… whilst others will set up a business that can run on auto-pilot. That said, most people will turn to freelancing as their vehicle toward the freedom lifestyle.
If you are a freelancer trying to make a decent income, in today’s economy, the general advice is to develop a smorgasbord of projects, rather than depending on one source of income,, as this is a more stable and secure way to go about things.
The best way to describe this is by using the metaphor of a table with four legs vs. a stool with one leg. Your financial stability is inherently vulnerable if you just have one leg supporting the table, as any slight wobble, and it all comes crashing down – whereas a table with four legs is strong and sturdy, meaning if one of the legs were to go, then you still have three others.
The key advice, therefore, is to develop multiple streams of income rather than to rely on one particular source. The next nugget of advice is to develop skills that are in demand, and in particular, skills where the demand is likely to increase in coming years. In particular, skills that are highly desirable on such as Freelancer and Upwork, as even though you might be a highly qualified nurse, for instance, when it comes to freelance work that you can do from a laptop anywhere in the world, the majority of it is focused on digital media of some description; whether that’s content writing, video editing, managing social media accounts, web design, graphic design or any of the plethora of creative activities people need help with.
Here are three stable areas that are currently growing, as a trend, within freelancing:
With the ever increasing trend for user generated content, and video explainers on websites, the demand for video editing shows no signs of stopping. The good news is that basic video editing is a skill you can pick up reasonably quickly and the software doesn’t cost much at all.
Web Design is another booming market, and whilst, a few years ago web designers would require an understanding of coding language – today, there are plenty of simple website builders available. Remember, you don’t need to be an exceptional designer to create value; you just need to be able to facilitate the tangible outcome the client wants.
Just as popular as web design and video editing is the art of copywriting where you essentially develop content for a client, whether that’s a blog post, some advertising copy, or a description of the business or service.
Whatever you decide to do, make sure that you keep a good work/life balance and make sure you keep your productivity levels up after all it’s easy to stay in your pyjamas and get sucked into day time TV and Netflix binges!