Today I have a few words about living a happy life 24 hours a day.
This is your life
This is your life . Do what you love and do it often. This is your life. If you don´t like something, change it. This is your life. If you don´t like your job, quit. This is your life. If you are looking for the love of your life, stop; they will be waiting for you when you start doing things that you love.
These are not my words, I just quoted the Holstee manifesto which you can see behind me. I liked it so much that I had it shipped from the US and normally it hangs in our hall. And every time I stop to look at it, it reminds me how fortunate, how lucky I am to be doing things that I love, 24 hours a day. Every day.
One of the reasons – probably the most important reason – why I can say this is is because I am my own boss 24hrs a day, even at work. I work as a freelancer, which means I am self-employed. I believe that being a freelancer helps you to lead a happy, fulfilled life. At least the one I am living… So let me tell you a little bit about how I became a freelancer and what it means to me.
How I became a freelancer
I had never really planned for this. At university, especially if you study humanities, no one really prepares you for the life out there. No one boosts your self-confidence, no one encourages you to think creatively and independently. So you don´t plan for an independent future. I certainly didn´t.
After graduation I ended up in a boring office job just like most of my schoolmates. And then one day my life changed. An old friend of mine called and asked me to help her with some of her English courses in big companies. Back then I had zero teaching experience as I had never aspired to become an English teacher although I studied languages. My dream was to work for some cool international company where I´d use my language skills. Education was not a field for me, at least not back then. But I wanted to leave the unfulfilling office job, and she had all this trust in me, so I thought: “Ok, why not? Maybe I´ll meet someone interesting who will offer me a better job!” I saw this as a networking opportunity to find a better company job.
Now it´s been almost 9 years since that phone call and I have never looked back.
I finally found myself, this fit my personality so much better! I fell in love with freelancing. As an employee you have to report to your boss, you have to follow the company´s policies, do what you´re told… and frankly that doesn´t really work well for me. As a freelancer, on the other hand, you can do whatever you want, whenever you want, with whoever you want.
Do whatever you want, whenever you want, with whomever you want
You can do whatever you want. And it doesn´t really matter what it is. What matters is that you love it. It feels pretty good to wake up every morning and be happy about the way you make a living. It motivates me to be innovative, to take risks, to experiment. I play and I have fun. For example recently I stopped teaching from coursebooks – that would never be possible if I wasn´t self-employed. I learn and I grow, because I am free to do what I want.
You can also work whenever you want. You don´t have to follow the 9-5 schedule. It´s your decision – and yours only – when to get up, when to work, when to go for lunch with a friend and when to go to bed. When to take 2 months off. Or 2 years off like I did when my baby was born and then I slowly started to work part-time. I think that´s also the reason why so many mothers become freelancers when on maternity leave. Because they can work whenever they want.
But most importantly – you can choose who you work with. I hope you will agree with me when I say that life is about the people you meet and the things you create with them. I want to work with those who cherrish the same values,who help me grow, who inspire me, who understand what I am about . That goes for both my colleagues, the independent enterpreneurs, and my clients. Yes, I can also choose my clients and I do, all the time. If you´re employed you know what a privilege that is, to be able to choose your colleagues and your clients.
It is hard at times
And yeah, I won´t lie, it´s hard at times. You have to be disciplined, you have to have good time management skills. And you have to play many different roles – first of all an expert in your field, but alsoa marketer, an accountantant, an event organizer… and an enterpreneur. Sometimes there´s less work and the pay is never regular. But it´s worth every penny. I wouldn´t change a thing.
I am free
As a freelancer I am free. This is my life. I do what I love and I do it often. I do whatever I want, whenever I want, with whomever I want. And with that in mind: I know that I am making my dreams come true, and not someone else´s.
So.. how about you, are you gonna make your dreams come true? Or someone else´s?