If you're gonna work for a jerk...Aug 23, 2021
“If you’re going to work for a jerk, you might as well work for yourself….”
This is the story I told myself when I made the bold leap from working for someone else to working for myself almost thirty years ago. Are you a freelancer? How did you enter the adventure of working for yourself?
Freelancers get paid by the client or by the project. The math is pretty straightforward. No gig? No paycheck. It’s an approach to making a living that’s equal parts exhaustion and exhilaration.
Freelancers often work on their own. Working all day with our inner critic running amok, spinning cycles of doubt and fear conspires against our health and happiness. Often urgency, expediency, or both causes freelancers like us to settle for clients or fees that don’t measure up to our abilities or expertise.
I’ve been a freelancer for 30 years while maintaining a flourishing marriage and a rewarding family life. And I work with and for people who inspire me and are making things better.
But my freelancing adventures haven’t always been this wonderful. There were years of heeding the imposter bossing me around, telling me I was lucky to get to settle for the crappy gigs with cranky clients for starvation wages I landed.
What was the secret to turning things around? It really came down to two simple decisions that were not easy to stick with.
The first was to stop acting like the worst boss ever toward myself. I set boundaries around when I’m working and when I’m not working. I built down-time into every day for rest and self-care. I slowed way down and smoothed things out.
Then I got specific about what I do and who I do it with and for. I raised my fees and rigorously vet every prospect. I embraced the value of saying “No thanks” and began saying it much more often.
The result? A new level of clarity which led to boosted wellbeing and better clients.
Whether you make a living at it or not, we’re all freelancers when it comes to choosing what kind of boss we want to be toward ourselves and deciding what we do, how we do it, and whom we choose to do it.
Are you being the best boss you can be toward yourself today?
Scott Perry, Chief Difference-Maker at Creative on Purpose.
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