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How to Feel More Fulfilled as a Freelancer

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Do you find freelancing fulfilling?

For most people, including freelancers, their work is not just a money-making activity. It’s a way for them to self-actualize and achieve a higher purpose in life.

But in order to be fulfilled as a freelancer, you have to do achieve a few things:

  • First, you need to be content with your own working conditions. This way, you’re telling yourself that you’re taking charge of the way you work and not taking anyone else’s word for it.
  • Second, you need to keep growing professionally; this way, you’ll see that your career is progressing, even if there’s no change to your job title.
  • Third, you need to ensure that your private life and living conditions are aligned with what you do. Otherwise, your living situation might hamper your sense of fulfillment.
  • Lastly, you need to use every single advantage provided by this working model.

So today, using this framework as a starting point, I’ll break down a few ways I believe you can feel more fulfilled as a freelancer.

Make your own workspace

In theory, you could be working somewhere on a beach in Cancun or while sitting on your living room sofa in nothing but your underpants. However, while this sounds amazing, the truth is that it’s far from ideal.

You see, there’s a reason why offices insist on certain layouts and rules. No, it’s not just because of decency and formality.

The truth is that you need a workspace of your own. You need to replicate an office setup so that you can take all the benefits of an office space while getting none of the disadvantages.

How to create your own space

To create a space that really works for you, start with designating the right place. Ideally, it would be a room facing the backyard and not the street so that the traffic doesn’t disturb you too much. Second, it would ideally be in a remote area of the house so that the noise from the common rooms and footsteps in front of the doors don’t disturb you.

This is, of course, provided that you have the privilege of picking a room. If not, you use only the space that’s available. Just keep in mind that dual-purpose rooms (bedroom-office) are not ideal for people who want to claim home business deductions.

In the next section, we’ll discuss the equipment you might want to invest in; however, you want to design the place so that it’s optimal for work. Adding a few motivational posters, plants, air fresheners, etc., could also help.

Invest in yourself

As a freelancer, the cost of self-improvement and equipment acquisition will be your own. So, in order to feel like you’re working at the very best of your capacities, what you need to do is set a self-improvement budget.

You should use this for online courses and learning materials. Sure, you can find everything online for free, but online courses are worth the money. Just set a budget and make sure to always either attend an online course or plan to start attending it.

As for the equipment, the truth is that your equipment directly affects your productivity. For instance, everyone knows that a second monitor boosts your productivity by 46%. A third one further improves this (although not by that large of a margin).

Getting a reliable mechanical keyboard is definitely worth it for those who type a lot. The tactile sensation will make you enjoy your work more, and the mechanics of the keyboard will even boost your typing speed.

Noise-canceling headphones are the most important part of the equation. They’re there to isolate you from the rest of the noises in your home. Just because you aren’t at the office, this doesn’t mean that it’s all quiet.

Other than just computer peripherals, you might also want to invest a bit into ergonomic furniture. If you spend an entire day sitting in your chair, then it’s a top priority that the chair is good for your posture.

The height of the desk needs to be adequate; in fact, it would be ideal if it were adjustable. This way, you can set it up to suit your posture, the angle at which you’re looking at the monitor, and your elbow positions.

An adjustable desk can even be turned into a standing desk which studies have shown can be really beneficial for some people.

Learn how to properly market yourself

Ultimately, as a freelancer, your opportunities within a single enterprise will be somewhat limited. This is why it’s so important that you explore your other opportunities. Generally speaking, as a freelancer, you’re not working as much on your rank within a company. What you’re actually doing is trying to drive your rate up by boosting your resume and the number of your recommendations on freelancing platforms.

So, you need to start by working on your LinkedIn profile. This is the first platform that everyone will want to check out before they hire you. Make sure that your profile is sharp and that you keep your resume up to date.

The next thing you need to do is keep shopping around. No one is going to ring you up just to tell you that the rates have gone up and that it’s time for you to request a raise. Instead, you should always be looking at new offers, even when you don’t intend to change jobs or find a new form of employment.

Keep profiles on multiple platforms active, schedule interviews just to stay in shape, and don’t be afraid to switch jobs when something really compelling comes along. This field is more dynamic than you think, so don’t be afraid to engage with it fully.

One of the most important things is to specialize. Sure, a top B2B marketing company may look for freelancers when they get a huge short-term project but even then, they’re looking for people who have experience with this sort of work. As a specialist, you reduce the number of tasks you can get but you increase your rates and make yourself more marketable. Most would agree that it’s a fair trade-off.

Talk to your friends, roommates, and family

Being a freelancer is sometimes quite hard to explain. Just think about the concept of telling someone that the busiest, most hard-working person that you know is someone who barely ever leaves their room. Just a few years ago, this would have sounded like an oxymoron, but it can be true. Not only that, but it is probably the case.

Still, for people who are not working this way, it’s pretty hard to understand some of these things.

First of all, you need to talk to your roommates and family members (that you’re living with). Just because you’re at home, this doesn’t mean that you’re free or available. There are a lot of ways to communicate this, and you need to be a bit more tactful to avoid being seen as combative or condescending.

Also, since you may be working long or odd hours, chances are that you’ll have to work even when other residents get off from work. The thing is that while it’s fine to ask them to keep it down, you can’t keep them hostage in their own home. It’s not their fault you’re working the entire day instead of having work hours like them.

So, noise-canceling headphones, and aligning your work hours to theirs might still be a good move.

For older family members, the concept of full-time freelance and remote work may be a bit more difficult to explain. Not the concept, mind you, but the fact that this is something that you see as a permanent solution. Still, don’t underestimate people’s ability to understand, especially people who do care about you.

Use some of the benefits

The idea that you just don’t have to leave your home is a compelling one, but it shouldn’t be your only reason for picking a life as a freelancer and a remote worker. Namely, the very point of a job in this field is the level of freedom you get, but what is the point of freedom if you’re not using it?

First of all, you can design your place in whatever way you want. We’ve discussed this previously, but other than this mandatory equipment, you can pick the decor, the layout, and even the overall vibe of the place. There’s nothing stopping you.

Second, you can pick your own working hours. Previously, we’ve discussed living with others and how working from home can be difficult in those situations. Well, some people live alone, have roommates who are never at home, or have a completely isolated home office. This means that no one disturbs them, and they don’t disturb anyone even if they’re working at 3 A.M.

Sure, there are some remote jobs where you have set work hours. This is usually the case in jobs that include customer support, etc. Sometimes, however, you just have to clock in a set number of hours into an employee monitoring software. In other cases, you have deadlines that have to be honored and no one to check if you’ve clocked in. In these scenarios, you have the freedom to do whatever you want.

Lastly, you have the full freedom to pursue a life of digital nomadism. Travel the world and work each month from a different location. This is a dynamic, intensive, and expensive lifestyle, but with the right attitude, management, and motivation, you can make it work. Just remember, you still need to bring in the money.

Wrap up

Ultimately, this is a great opportunity and a chance for you to be the one setting terms of how you work. You get to choose where you work, when you work, and how much you work. At the same time, there’s virtually no ceiling to the amount of profit that you could get. With experience, your rates will only go up. In other words, you have all the conditions necessary to make this work. Seize this amazing opportunity!

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Written by Aleksa Radovic

Contributor at Millo.co

Aleksa Radovic is a seasoned SEO and marketing specialist at Heroic Rankings passionate about driving business growth through strategic online campaigns. With expertise in organic search optimization and targeted marketing initiatives, he has successfully enhanced the digital footprint of numerous brands. A true advocate for meaningful content, Aleksa is dedicated to delivering measurable results for his clients.

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Reviewed & edited by Preston Lee, Editor at Millo.

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