Recently, I was reading this How to make money online during lockdown article. It compiled advice from thirty experts on becoming a successful digital nomad, freelancer, WFH employee, and any other similar word or phrase.
Honestly, each piece of advice was on point. Combined, the article discusses some fantastic elements that will help you become a successful freelancer/online business owner/remote employee.
However, one thing it lacked was: It only taught about becoming a “freelancer” but not a “happy/fulfilled freelancer”.
The latter part is what I want to discuss with this happiness & purpose-driven thrive community.
Given that my last post on Thrive Global was focused on happiness and I am slightly experienced in being a freelancer, I think I have some tactics — one in particular (of which I will discuss here) — that will help the new pool of online workers eliminate the non-happiness-bringing factors. It’s called Laziness.
Laziness, not meditation
The reason I mentioned “Laziness, not meditation” in the title is, I find both concepts to be the exact opposite. While meditation is meant to ‘calm you down’ and ’empty your mind’, laziness ‘stresses you out’ and ‘fills your mind’.
The former is mostly associated with being happy & fulfilled, and latter, rarely so.
Now, I don’t have any experience with meditation, and I am sure it’s helpful. But, with laziness? I have plenty. And I am here to defend it, in the context of its traditional meaning- something that leads you nowhere.
Why will laziness make you a happy freelancer?
In my experience, laziness is a sign that shows things you don’t like or temporarily like — these are the things you need to eliminate gradually and smoothly.
After analyzing my short freelancing career, I can say laziness has helped me eliminate throughout the hierarchy of things.
Level-1: Field of choice
I was an IT engineer supposed to write code at some software company. For me, coding was fun initially but soon turned out to be boring.
So, I decided to start with content writing because I had a bit of blogging experience. And I am still continuing with the same — it doesn’t mean I won’t jump the gun if something new arises. I have done social media, SEO link building, etc. kind of stuff simultaneously, but have always pivoted back to content writing because the laziness factor appears as soon as I get comfortable with other fields.
Similarly, laziness will help you eliminate the fields that you genuinely don’t like.
Level-2: Niche of work
As a writer, I have worked in more than ten niches. Laziness has allowed me to eliminate seven of those — now I work mostly in marketing and blogging related niches.
The same can be the case with you too. If you are joining the IT industry, for instance, you have multiple options- software development, web designing, UI/UX, etc. In that, too, there are numerous platforms and language options. Try all; eliminate those that make you want to procrastinate.
As a freelancer, not having clients is the worst. The second-worst? Having bad clients.
Sometimes the first two levels are in check, but certain clients make you lazy. You procrastinate interacting with them; you accept less work from them just to avoid discussions; you have to remind them multiple times to clear invoices, etc. These are the toxic clients you need to eliminate.
I try to work with clients whom I will want to instantly reply even if they are pointing my faults. You should do the same.
How you should carefully navigate laziness?
“Choice” is a luxury most of us don’t have. Financial stress trumps the stress of not getting to work on projects & with people of your choice. So, prioritize your stresses first, and when you have the privilege of eliminating things that makes you lazy, do it.
If you want to be a happy freelancer or remote employee, carefully notice your laziness. Laziness will help you weed out the unnecessary aspects of your career. Meaning, it will make you a happy freelancer in the long run.