Chris Guillebeau had a great post recently about auditing yourself from time to time. Good advice.
If you are doing any type of freelance work – freelance writing, blogging, design, development – it is always good to take some time for introspection and reflection. This keeps us grounded, on target, and generally satisfied.
Chris starts the process with these two hard hitting questions, “Are you happy? Are you doing something you enjoy?”
If you are freelance writing or are otherwise self employed, I would hope that you can answer this in the affirmative. If you are spending the majority of your time on things you do not enjoy and very little on the things that you do, you probably cannot affirm these two questions. And if you can’t, I would say that it is time for some serious soul searching.
If you are not happy and doing something you enjoy, why is that? What is holding you back?
The whole point of freelancing is to do what you enjoy, be it writing, design work, blogging, etc. If you aren’t enjoying it, what is the difference between that and punching a clock for someone else every day?
A common trap holding back many people is money. One of the biggest things holding people back from becoming self employed or freelancing is that the culture (especially the media) has promoted a lifestyle that is generally unsustainable and unachievable for most people without taking on debt. But with cheap and readily available debt service, what we can afford has changed from what we can pay for now to what monthly payment fits our present income.
Following that approach is a recipe for personal fiscal disaster and many people become enslaved to their debt. Debt bondage is a trap that is difficult to escape. But it is this very trap that prevents people from breaking free to do what they truly desire because they must continue to be a cog in the machine in order to service their debt. In becomes a never-ending hamster wheel that they can’t get off of.
Breaking free starts with recognizing your bondage. I think taking an audit of yourself is a good first step.
If you want to pursue your dream of freelance writing, this is good advice.
By the way, I definitely recommend The $100 Startup and The Art of Non-Conformity, both by Chris Guillebeau and available in a variety of formats.