Why Freelance? In A Word: Freedom

For some people, it happens in their 20s. For others, it’s after 30 years in the trenches.

They get tired of the whole idea of working for someone else.

There are a host of reasons I’ve heard from people I’ve interviewed: A boss from Planet Ego insists they follow arbitrary and insane rules because he’s on a power trip. They discover their company doesn’t promote people fairly. They come up with a great idea and no one will listen. A supervisor ruins every weekend by dropping projects on them at 6 pm on Fridays. Or they get laid off in a random corporate reorganization, after years of loyal and untiring service.

They get fed up and start a business.

Fortunately, there’s a happy ending for many, according to recent research I mentioned in a recent post for Forbes.. The Wells Fargo/Gallup Small Business Index found that 84% of owners would start their business all over again if given the chance for a do-over–despite contending with challenges, like keeping cash flowing.

The main thing they love: Independence.

Not everyone likes the flip side of being their own boss — being responsible, day in and day out, for generating their own income.

Running a business isn’t one and the same as being independently wealthy, where you are truly free to do what you want every day. In any business, your number one job is keeping clients happy. Sometimes, doing so means you have to cancel your plans for lunch with a friend or that run you’ve been looking forward to all week–or complete a deadline project while tending to a child who has the flu.

But like many people who have tasted the freedoms of running their own career and controlling their own advancement, I have no desire to go back to being an employee. I love being able to do the work I love, on my own terms–even if that sometimes comes with tough days.

I guess that means I’m part of the 84%.

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