This past week I was able to take a small step towards my new career by scaling back my day job to 4 days a week. This, as you can imagine, is a boon for both my productivity and art-making. I’m able to take time to work on this blog, other internet projects (including an Etsy Store Front for Chaku Chaku) and to develop my art.
I also decided to stop using the word ‘freelancing.’ So far its been a convenient word to explain things to family and friends, but I don’t feel it fully covers the scope of what I want to be doing. I do intend to pursue more freelancing work throughout the year, but long term I am more interested in building a life that allows me to focus on my own projects.
So to more accurately describe what I envision, I am starting to use the word ‘work independence’. To me, this reflects a scope of thought far beyond freelancing. Its about achieving things on my own terms and my own bootstraps. Most importantly, I think it begins to answer the most important question I have asked myself over the past few weeks.
That question is of course; why?
Why work on your own? Why not focus on a more usual career path? Why take on the responsibilities of a business?
I think ‘work independence’ really answers these for me.
First, work. I love working. I’ve never understood folks that shy away from it and eagerly await for periods of prolonged nothing. I am not wired that way and thankful for it. But of course the idea of work being mine is vital to me. When I understand and agree to the value of a task, I am unstoppable, and yet ultimately working for someone else doesn’t allow me to work with the same energy and flow as I will for a project of my own devising. I want to be achieving at the highest level possible, and I feel that requires me to work independently.
And independence is great in that I can apply it generously to so many areas of my life. I want to be independent so I can make the decisions about when to work and when to rest. To be able to take time for my life–my family, my friends, my health my spirit. In short to return as much control as I can back to my own hands, mind and body.
So is Work Independence a great slogan I will merrily chant as I march into a new world of business and achievement? Probably not, it’s just a word to help me define and focus things right now. But it is important in that it gets me to the next point along the path, and as long as it keeps me moving in the right way it serves its task. It keeps things rolling.
And isn’t that all you need for the moment?