F50 Issue #12: The 12 Days of Freelancing

F50 Issue #12: December 19, 2023

The 12 Days of Freelancing

“On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me, a partridge in a pear tree…”

With the holiday season upon us, no doubt many of you have heard this tune on the radio, in the mall, or in your own collection of music. Do you have a favorite version you enjoy listening to?

  • Maybe it’s Bing Crosby and the Andrews Sisters with their classic rendition from 1949.
  • Maybe it’s Perry Como with his unique variation from 1953.
  • Maybe it’s Alvin and the Chipmunks with their fun version from 1963.
  • Or maybe it’s John Denver and the Muppets from their 1979 television special.

Well, we’re here to introduce you to your new favorite version — “The 12 Days of Freelancing”!

You may not be able to hear us singing, but you’ll appreciate the sentiment, especially if you’re considering becoming a freelancer.

And you’ll hear a growing chorus of voices who have chosen this increasingly popular career path. The statistics portal Statista projects that 86.5 million people in the United States (50.9 percent of the total U.S. workforce) will be freelancing by 2027.

Similarly, a Forbes magazine article shares this encouraging report from The Human Cloud’s “Lighthouse Quarterly Trend Tracker”:

“Freelance leaders see 2024 as a net growth year for freelancing generally. Over 83% were either highly or moderately bullish about the short-term future of freelancing, and an additional 21% were neutral. Only about 6% were pessimistic in their performance expectations for the next 12 months.”

So, without further ado, let’s raise our voices in song and celebrate the benefits of having a freelance business, not just for 12 days — but for this holiday season and well into 2024!

12 Things Your Freelance Business Can Give to You

Let’s sing: “On the first day of freelancing, your business gave to you…”

1. Courage You Never Knew You Had

Sometimes freelancing means taking the road less traveled, one you’ve never been on before, and one your peers have never been on either. But when you embark on this exciting journey, you’ll discover a deep well of courage within you.

You’ll find the strength and resources to pursue your ideal career and chase dreams you might have been putting off for decades.

2. A Flexible Work Schedule

When you become a freelancer, you can control your workload by deciding when you’ll work and how many clients you’ll take on.

You can complete your projects with plenty of time left to spend with family and friends. And if you need to change your schedule again, go right ahead! The choice is yours.

3. Freedom to Work Wherever You Want

Now that you’ve decided when you’ll work, you can decide where you’ll work. It’s good to have a home office space that serves as your business hub, but you’re not limited to that!

If you need a change of scenery, find a comfortable spot in your backyard, a local park, a neighborhood coffee shop, or wherever else you can find a comfy chair and a good Wi-Fi connection.

4. Freedom to Travel Whenever You Want

This gift goes hand in hand with your flexible work schedule and freedom of location. If you want to travel while you’re working, simply pack up your laptop and schedule time along the way to connect with clients and finish projects.

You can also take time off to travel. More about that later in the section on Healthy Habits!

5. Financial Opportunities

When you become your own boss, you have the freedom to set your own rates and pursue additional work opportunities. That means you can increase your income by taking on more clients or specializing in additional services that earn higher rates.

As the song says, you can receive “five golden rings” and much more!

6. Adaptability

In good times and challenging times, a freelance business gives you the opportunity to be creative and quickly adapt to change. Sometimes you’ll need to adapt to new technology that’s taking the industry by storm, and other times you’ll need to adjust your services so you can attract new clients.

Whatever the case, you can be proud of yourself as you realize how resilient and resourceful you are!

7. Fulfillment

Have you ever gotten up in the morning and groaned, dreading the workday ahead of you? With a freelance business, you can choose to do meaningful work that makes you want to jump out of bed.

You have the freedom to handcraft a suite of services that you enjoy doing and that your clients desperately need!

8. Confidence to Be Your Own Boss

This gift might be new to you, depending on where you’ve worked before. In fact, you might need to get yourself a mug that says “I’m the Boss” to remind yourself.

Remember that when you start a freelance business, it’s up to you to control your workload and the type of clients you work with. When you embrace this freedom and responsibility, you’ll be amazed at how your confidence grows!

9. Community Connections

We talk a lot about community because it’s so important. This is the part of the song where we’d be singing “nine ladies dancing.”

But even better than that, when you become a freelancer, you have the opportunity to network online or in person with fellow freelancers, mentors, business coaches, and more.

You’ll receive invaluable companionship and support along the way!

10. Wardrobe Choices

This is the part of the song where we’d sing “10 lords a leaping,” and you can leap with joy too when you become a freelancer. Why? Because you can wear whatever you want while you’re working.

Dress formal, informal, or curl up with your laptop wearing cozy flannel pajamas and fuzzy slippers. The choice is up to you!

11. Learning Opportunities

When you start a freelance business, you receive one of the most valuable gifts — a chance to learn more about the freelance industry and your chosen niche. Best of all, your love for learning may increase as you tap into the many resources available.

Whatever niche you choose, you can find blog posts, articles, podcasts, YouTube videos, and webinars that will help you keep learning and growing.

12. New Skills

Finally, at this part of the song, we’re singing “12 drummers drumming.” And they’re showing off their skills to highlight the fact that you can acquire new skills too.

When you start a freelance business, you can become an expert at new technology, new tasks, and new ways to organize your clients and projects.

These new skills, along with the other 11 gifts, will help you build a thriving freelance lifestyle!

Healthy Habits

Are you reluctant to take time off to enjoy a holiday? The fourth gift, “Freedom to Travel Whenever You Want,” is a tough one to accept sometimes.

But an article titled “How to Manage Your Workload During the Busy Holiday Season” shares this valuable piece of advice:

“Studies from the American Psychological Association show that taking a vacation reduces your stress levels, because you’re removing yourself from the sources of your stress. Whether you plan to travel for the holidays or simply spend quality time with family at home, taking a break can do wonders for your mental health.”

It also benefits your physical health by lowering your risk of heart disease and increasing your job satisfaction.

The article shares some helpful tips so you can unplug and relax. For example, if you’re working as a freelancer, notify clients in advance about your plans and use a holiday “out of office” message on your email. Finish as many tasks as you can before the holidays, and ask if there’s anything else clients need before you go.

Handy Tools

Now that you’ve given yourself permission to take a holiday, where will you go?

If you need some inspiration, Jill Duffy from PC Magazine includes Tripadvisor as one of “The Best Travel Apps for 2023”:

“It's one of the most comprehensive online sources for travelers, with background information about different cities and regions, plus highlights of what to see and do. You can read reviews of hotels, restaurants, and activities, written by members of the Tripadvisor community, as well as seeing photos they've uploaded so you know what to expect before you arrive. Tripadvisor has relationships with various booking sites, too, which means once you finish researching hotels or restaurants, you can usually reserve them.”

We wish you a wonderful holiday season with time to rest, reflect, and recharge as you consider the exciting opportunities 2024 can bring!

Stay tuned for the first edition of 2024 in the first week of January!

Happy Holidays!

Co-founders of Freelance University

431B 41st Avenue NE - Unit 94, Calgary, AB T2E 2N4
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