The Way We Work
February 5, 2014 by Guest Blogger

By oDesk freelancer Rebecca Lutz, Founder & Creative Director at LUTZstudio and writer at RebeccaLutz.com

There are so many reasons why I love working for myself.  I mean, who wouldn’t want to be their own boss and have the sense of freedom that goes along with such a title? Now that I have experienced what a great lifestyle freelancing can provide, I couldn’t imagine working any other way. Over the past four years, I have discovered five main freelancing freedoms that working online has given me (and I know can give you too!):

Freedom #1: I Can Work From Anywhere

Reaching out and finding employment for myself online has given me the freedom to literally work from anywhere.  I freelance on oDesk as a graphic designer, work independently as the owner and creative director of my own design studio, sell digital products through my Etsy shop, and write articles and training books for my brand new blog on graphic design. Since most of my work is done on the computer, this means that my home office, the local coffee house, my balcony garden, the couch, the floor, and even under the covers of my bed all qualify as workspaces!

If one location proves to be unproductive or distracting for whatever reason, I can change to a more suitable environment in an instant. As long as I have my laptop open, my drawing pad by my side, my phone nearby, and a reliable WiFi connection available, I can go about my daily task list as normal—no matter what environment I choose.

Freedom #2: I Can Live & Travel Anywhere

Not only do I have the freedom to live anywhere I choose, I’m also able to travel and still make a profit while I’m away from my home office.

Since I do all of my work online, I am not tied down to any one location. This means that my husband and I can live anywhere we desire. For example, if we decided to move across the state, it wouldn’t affect my work in the least. It wouldn’t even affect my work if we moved to the other side of the world!

Not only do I have the freedom to live anywhere I choose, I’m also able to travel and still make a profit while I’m away from my home office. Similarly, when I decide I do want to take time off to travel, I don’t have to check with anyone or request time off. As long as the work gets done on schedule for my clients with the quality they deserve and pay for, then that is all that matters. My clients don’t care what I do or where I am in my time off!

Freedom #3: I Can Be There For My Loved Ones

Perhaps the most important reason I chose to work for myself is so that I can be there for my family and friends when they need me, as well as be there in the day-to-day lives of my future children.

In contrast, through the lives of my friends and some of my own family members, I have seen horror stories play out right in front of me. For example: a family member is rushed to the hospital, or the family dog has just passed away, or a personal crisis needs tending to. What does the employer do? They often try to make my loved one feel guilty for wanting to leave, or make the time off count against them, or ask them to wait just a few more hours… This is sad to me because it’s as if their lives revolve around their work, instead of the other way around.  In addition, most of the time they work on weekends against their will and complain constantly.

Now, these scenarios of course don’t occur with every employer. But for many of the people in my circle, they occur way too often—validating to me over and over again that I have chosen the right career path for myself. There’s nothing more important to me than taking time to be there for the ones you love, especially in times of great need. Having your own business gives you that freedom instantly. 

Freedom #4: I Am My Own Boss

Life happens every day, all around you. I think it would be a shame to not slow down every once and a while and just enjoy it!

As my own boss, I am able to set my own hours and choose the clients I work with. This means that I don’t put up with demanding, rude, or negative attitudes, and there is no reason that I have to.  I instead choose to work with exciting and positive people, and I dedicate my time to the projects that I am most passionate about.

It’s a very liberating feeling to be able to plan my day out and dictate what I’m going to do and when I’m going to do it. This means I will never miss out on an event that’s important to me, as I can plan my work schedule around it. After all, life happens every day, all around you. I think it would be a shame to not slow down every once and a while and just enjoy it!

Freedom #5: My Future Is Wide Open

Working for myself has given me so much freedom and flexibility to live the life that I want to live, while at the same time helping others bring their business dreams to life.

One of the best (and sometimes the most intimidating) feelings is when you know that you have the freedom to make your business a success or a failure. I have found that what I get out of my work is in direct proportion to how much smart time, effort, and thought I put into my work.

Since it’s now easier than ever to acquire new skills in whatever you want to learn, there is absolutely no cap to how far you can go with your business endeavors and no limit to how financially fruitful and rewarding those endeavors can be.

I have found that working for myself has given me so much freedom and flexibility to live the life that I want to live, while at the same time helping others bring their business dreams to life. To me, making a profitable income for my family while in return providing my clients with great value is a win-win situation. What could possibly be better than working for yourself, being there for your loved ones, and creating a life you are passionate about? In my opinion, there’s nothing more freeing than that and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

Now it’s your turn: What are some freedoms that you have found freelancing has given you? Share your perspective in the comments section below!

Rebecca Lutz

Founder & Creative Director at LUTZstudio

Rebecca Lutz is the Founder & Creative Director at LUTZstudio, a design studio located in the greater Kansas City area. You can read more from her at RebeccaLutz.com.