Work from home is harder than you think. If you envy freelancers for having the coolest job in the world, I guess you don’t know much of our trade.
I thought it was going to be easy when I started as a news contributor for a Christian blog.
Honestly, I had no plans to become a writer, not even a chance. I planned to put up a rock star business, raise a sum of money, and be the next youngest entrepreneur of all time.
Here is the shocking truth: I don’t understand why I’m now involved in freelancing, writing, blogging, SEO, social media marketing, Internet startups, and the list goes on… I’m not a journalism or IT grad. In fact, I’m a management and entrepreneurship major.
Maybe it was just luck. However, it wasn’t. I don’t believe in luck. It’s not just the skills or qualifications. Time and chance happen to them all.
Here’s what I discovered while I work from home…
Freelancers develop these qualities throughout the journey that make them more competent and confident.
Self-discipline – veterans in freelancing develop self-discipline. No boss. No time card. The greatest enemy is “Thy self.” They have all the time they need to finish the project before the deadline. One thing is for sure, whether they like it or not: they need to work. As time goes by, self-discipline is not imposed anymore. The skills will come out naturally. They type with speed and finish the project before the time. Laura Spencer of Freelance Folder wrote:
Self-discipline is one the most important traits a freelancer can have. It can mean the difference between completing a job and blowing a deadline. It can carry you through those tough freelancing experiences like rejection, stress, or the feast or famine cycle.
- Character – this is built over time. Whether they like it or not, they need to make adjustments on daily habits. Serious freelancers end up sacrificing something in exchange for solitude to work until dawn. What’s more, they become more versatile because they work with diverse contractors worldwide. Character is built from small positive habits. As time goes by, they become competent. Author and editor Sheila Buff told Gary Krebs of Huffington Post in an interview:
I love the freedom of being a freelancer and I’ve been doing it since 1981. It’s not for everyone. You have to have the right personality and the right discipline. It can get pretty isolated working at home and you have to be okay with that.
Endurance – tell me what it’s like to run in a marathon. I haven’t tried it. However, if we’re talking about marathon writing until dawn or more than 18 hours of work, I can tell you what it’s like. Freelancers develop endurance over time, especially if they have tons of projects to finish. Deadline is the greatest inspiration for some writer. Others consider it as a chance to develop skills until the brain snaps out.
Challenges are inevitable. Unpaid projects, work-from-home scams, demanding clients, and the list goes on. Endurance is developed through trials and testing. Work from home is not an overnight success. It involves a process.
Japanese novelist Haruki Murakami pounded a nugget of endurance in his memoir, What I Talk About When I Talk About Running:
“Fortunately, these two disciplines—focus and endurance—are different from talent, since they can be acquired and sharpened through training. You’ll naturally learn both concentration and endurance when you sit down every day at your desk and train yourself to focus on one point.”
Freelancing is not for everyone.
Some are destined to rise up on freelancing, while others quit too soon. Whether you work from home or not, be passionate in whatever you do. Passion sets you apart from mediocrity.
Work from home is harder than I thought, but it’s worth it. I ended up doing my very passion ever since I was a child. I love to write, and it feels so good knowing that the next day, I’m going to write again.
Remember, work from home is not easy, but your passion fuels you to write in extra miles.
What are your challenges as freelancers?