I could just go get a “real” job.why freelance

As much as I love being a freelance consultant, the perks of a normal job are at times tempting. Several weeks of paid vacation, paid sick days, affordable health insurance, and a 401K match certainly top the list. I’d be lying if these things never cross my mind.

So, why do I freelance?

Here are nine quick reasons I came up with today.

Why Freelance? My Thoughts:

1. I Like Helping People

We’re all blessed with unique skills. Mine happen to be in marketing. Perhaps you’re a good accountant or project manager. As freelancers, we’re able to match our abilities to the exact needs of clients. In my opinion, this is the ultimate in professional fulfillment.

2. I’m Motivated by Accomplishment

I’ve noticed that I’m happiest on days when I get a lot of stuff done. As an independent contractor, it’s my job to deliver the most value for what I’m being paid. Freelancing is a natural fit, as both parties share an interest in my ability to be efficient and effective.

3. It’s Stimulating

At 6:30 am each morning, I start my day by immediately chatting with a contractor in the Philippines and another in India. Throughout the course of my day, I work for several different customers and interact with dozens of really smart people. At times, it’s tricky to keep it all organized. However, I’m always amazed by the progress our virtual teams make in any given day.

4. I Have More Control

Since I work from home, my calendar is usually pretty flexible. I could theoretically take off an entire afternoon, and few people would probably notice. (Of course, I wouldn’t be earning any money.) This flexibility is very handy for balancing family and personal needs. Taking the kids to school, running to the occasional doctor’s appointment, or sneaking away for a round of golf are all things I’ve done in the past. As long as I get my work done, no one really cares.

5. It’s a Great Way to Meet People

My clients all know people. Those people all know others. By serving multiple customers, my network is instantly magnified. And, to help market my clients’ brands, it’s also my job to make new connections. While the main goal is to help my clients create awareness for themselves, networking is also beneficial to me personally. Everyone wins.

6. It Unlocks New Doors

Happy customers tend to want more. They also love to make referrals to other business owners. By showing up day-in and day-out, new opportunities always seem to present themselves. My new SaasBlogger.com service is the perfect example. Customers needed better content marketing without breaking the bank. Another door was unlocked. What doors could you unlock?

7. My Opinion is Appreciated

I usually deal with business founders or their right-hand men (or ladies). Founders know how much they pay me and are therefore interested in maximizing value. As long as they keep paying me, I interpret it to mean that my opinion is appreciated. It’s especially gratifying when a customer specifically enumerates how I’ve contributed to growth.

8. Clients Benefit by Sharing Me

I’m not in an exclusive relationship with my clients. There’s an understanding that they only get a portion of my time. While some may argue you can’t serve two masters, I would contend that smart consultants can make it work. Lessons learned from one customer can benefit others. New strategic thought for one campaign could translate into additional ideas for another client.

9. It’s Worth It

Each day, I try to make an effort to count my blessings. (Some days I forget.) Freelancing has been (and continues to be) a major blessing in my life. I’ve been able to provide a great living for my family, learn exciting things, and meet some awesome people. Sure, there are risks and opportunity costs. But, from my standpoint, they’re all worth it.

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Matt Keener is the original "Executive in Sweatpants," having built a successful online consulting business (from home). His best-selling book offers tips for capitalizing on outsourcing and freelancing. Matt holds an MBA and has been featured by many recognizable brands, including Upwork (formerly oDesk), Elance, Insightly, the Dave Ramsey Show, and Entrepreneur.com.

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