Everyone can call themselves a successful freelancer but this doesn’t necessarily makes it true, right? This post is not to show you how to freelance your skills successfully. It’s not about qualities needed to become a successful freelancer either.
It’s rather about helping you recognize a successful freelancer when you see one. Here are the top 5 characteristics I think every successful freelancer has.
Successful freelancers know their strengths and weaknesses. They know their work well, develop their skills, and don’t take up projects which they cannot complete with the desired quality and on time.
They are not trying to work on all type of projects for everyone who ever needs professional services. To the contrary – they are often selective and picky about clients. They offer their services only when needed and when interested and competent enough to do the job well.
The successful freelancer works with passion and determination. No task is too hard; no project is too complex. He or she loves their job, including challenges, and enjoys doing it.
Although sometimes the balance is disturbed (stuff happens!), the successful freelancer has achieved work life balance and maintains it through the better part of their life.
You can tell if a freelancer is balanced – it shows in their work as well as in the way they communicate with you, with team members, with clients… High quality work, quick turnaround time, patience, understanding – these are all a direct result of good work life balance.
Successful freelancers are more often smiling than frowning. Laughter prevails over crying. They are thankful rather than angry or needy. Patience is their forte and they rarely are in a hurry for something or somewhere. They are satisfied with their work and life, they are happy with what they have and work toward achieving greater goals. They are in peace.
The successful freelancer is very active. He or she doesn’t stay at home much (unless it is super cold outside :D).
Professionals who successfully freelance their skills often travel a lot – hungry to explore the world, to meet new people and new cultures. They often go out with friends, have hobbies and basically, tend to have a lot of fun with other like-minded people one way or another.
Being a freelancer shouldn’t be an isolated work-alone-at-home type of life and successful freelancers know that. They don’t suffer from lack of social life, as many claim. Instead, they embrace the opportunity to find friends based on common interests.
They don’t call ‘friends’ their coworkers only because they shared a work place or a common enemy in the face of their boss. They put themselves out there; they do non-work related activities which they like and find like-minded people who do the same, you know – for fun 😉
The successful freelancer dreams and a lot! Not for more work, nor for more money, nor for more free time… all of these are accessible and a matter of planning. Neither for world peace, nor for eliminating the hunger in Africa – those are matters which no single person could really control.
The successful freelancer dreams to travel thousands of kilometers on a motorcycle; to travel the world on a yacht; to jump with a parachute; to set foot on Mars; to have a drink with Jon Stewart from the Daily Show…
What’s the relation between these seemingly unrelated desires? The emotion, the new experience, the breath taking moment.
All of these dreams, realistic or not, enrich the freelancer’s life and being. They make him or her more balanced and even happier. They bring a smile to their face in a rainy day. They motivate the freelancer to plan his or her time even better – so that when an opportunity presents itself, the successful freelancer will be ready to embrace it and make a dream come true 😀