A freelancer in the middle of transition and growth

I turned 30 in early January, and I imagine just like most people who turn 30 (or any other milestone year), I started feeling the need to make changes in my life for the better.

I’ve been doing the typical improvements — exercising more, watching what I eat, spending more time with those I love, not working every single moment of every day, taking the time to do things I enjoy outside of my business.

The biggest changes I’ve been making involve small changes to the balancing act of life and working with the pieces to find how they can all work together the best they can that also gives me the best life I can make for myself. After all, that’s the reason I started my own business to begin with.

My family, my fiancé, my health, my happiness, my business — all of these things are major priorities in my life. I never felt like they were out of whack, but always felt that they could all work together a bit better. So I’ve been making much-needed changes to find what works for me.

My business is probably the biggest aspect of change I’m undertaking (my health and wellness is a very close second). There are some improvements and changes I’ve been wanting to make for a while now, but never have put those plans into place. There’s something about turning 30 years old really turns up the motivation to start making changes.

Freelancing content leaves something to be desired

I consume a great deal of content relating to freelancing, self-employment, and building the life you want. From following freelancers and solopreneuers on social media, to reading books about life and business, to watching videos about work/life balance — it’s safe to say that I’ve consumed more than the average person probably does in these areas.

It’s also safe to say that I’ve read just about any and every method on how to get more clients, how to achieve work/life balance, how to prevent burnout, how to grow your passive income, etc. — and several variations of each — over the last decade of being self-employed. Pretty much any “hot” topic that is common questions and SEO fodder I’ve read 20 different variations of it.

So when I decided to start making some changes in my life, I started paying more attention to those that I follow, hoping to find some pieces of information that would help me as I work toward changing some things in my life.

What I’ve come to discover over all these years are there are two main types of content that exist directed to freelancers and the self-employed*:

  • The “been-there-done-that” content: Content written by individuals who are a couple of steps removed from the content in which they are writing/sharing.
  • The “ultra business focused” content: Content focused only on the business aspect of life, and not life as a whole while often preaching a work/life balance.

Let’s discuss the “been-there-done-that” content. This is the content written by freelancers, self-employed, and the like on a specific topic or how to, but they no longer do that or haven’t done it in a while. For example: Have you ever read an article about how to get freelancing clients by someone who hasn’t had to go out and get a new freelancing client in a couple of years because they no longer freelance?

It’s been a while since they’ve done the thing they are writing about. So, it’s likely that they are a little fuzzy on exactly how they did something, or they find themselves writing about the way they think it *should* be done or how they wish they had done it. Their experience slowly fades the more removed they are or how long ago they last did it.

I could easily write a ton of content about freelancing as a student in college (and actually have in the past). The difference between the content I wrote in the past and the content I could write now is that I’m no longer a student. I’m six years removed from the college life. Any content I write about now would be stale, out-of-touch, and otherwise not current.

The second content type — the “ultra business focused” content — is probably the hardest to spot. What happens here is they talk about how freelancing can give you the life you want, but then never talk about the “life” part after that, or how doing a particular thing in their business gets them a bit closer. They start becoming ultra business focused and only talk about how to improve your business, but not how to improve your life.

I may be making quite the assumption here, but didn’t those of us who want to freelance or be self-employed want to build businesses so that we can live the life we want? Then why are most of the content pieces out there focused on building the business and not building the life?

*It’s important to note here that there’s nothing wrong with these types of content pieces as a whole directed toward freelancers and the self-employed. They are quality content and have a place, especially since everyone as it different places in their journeys. Content that doesn’t seem relevant to me anymore maybe just want someone else needs. So while I may present the above as undesirable or an issue, it’s not meant to be negative or a knock on content makers or the types of content they share. It’s just not the type of content that attracts me or fits my needs anymore, and I feel like I’m not the only one.

In transition

As a newly minted 30 year old, I’m wanting to find ways to save time in the areas of my life that I don’t want to spend a ton of time in while spending extra time in the areas of my life that make me happy or a better person. I want my business to give me the life I want, not to change my life to make my business work. There’s not really that much content out there that really focuses on that.

Along with improving my business, my health, and my relationships and being in this transition state, I really feel the desire to help create content in content type that doesn’t seem to get much love: the “in the moment, all of the moments” content.

While I’m in transition with several aspects of my life, I feel like it’s a great time to start sharing in the moment type content with those who are in similar places in their journey to live the life they want — the one that you wanted when you first started your business. Freelancers and the self-employed all have lives outside of their businesses, and it’s important to start focusing on that too.

There’s so much more to life than our businesses. Our businesses are great, but they aren’t our entire lives. They shouldn’t take up the majority of our lives. We have family that loves us, we have hobbies that we enjoy, we have sleep we like to get more of. Let’s focus more content on that.

Writing and sharing through my transition

I’m more keenly aware of my health and wellness these days. I’ve experienced near-burnout. Those who I love the most should always get the best of me and not what’s left of me after slaving away at work.

My business should help me achieve those things.

That’s why I’m in transition with my business — to have my business help create the life I want, instead of hoping one day it will magically happen (news flash: it won’t just happen unless you make it happen).

I feel it in my gut that I’m not the only freelancer or self-employed person who feels this. But there’s just not enough content out there to help us along the way.

I plan to start writing more about what it feels like to be in transition as a freelancer and self-employed business owner; what it takes to live the life you want while still building your business (and paying your bills); how the ideal of the freelance life is what drives freelancers to what they love to do, but not many are able to achieve — all while actually doing it and not when it’s all said and done.

I really don’t have a focus on what I plan to write about. I plan to write about what seems to be working for me in the moment as I’m in transition and working toward that life that I want right now.

Business-related content. Life content. Health content. Life hacks content. Financial content. Whatever I feel brings value to freelancers and the self-employed and others like me who may be in transition themselves, or who have a desire to have more life and less 80-hr weeks.

I hope you’ll follow along

I’m now five months into my transition and I’ve learned so much. I’m bubbling over with excitement at wanting to share with you too how I’m trying to put life at the focus of everything I do, instead of my business. I have specific goals I’m working toward, but I’m not working myself to death to get there. I’m making changes to help make things more automated so my time can be spent in better places.

If this sounds like you or sounds like something you’d love to read more about (even if you’re in that season of transition or not), I’d love it if you could follow along with me on my journey while you are on yours.

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Also published on Medium.