Work-Life Balance … With a Twist

We have all at least heard of the term “Work-Life Balance” somewhere along the line. And it is a significant term. We don’t simply freelance to go from “Job A” to “Job B.” If that were the case, then just stay at “Job A” and reap in the employee benefits over the long-term. No shame in that, not at all.

Yet, for those who seek more, for those who seek a higher quality of life and control. Being in charge, at the helm of the ship, steering your own path, and venturing new waters. That is the freelancer’s golden egg, and those brave enough to reach out and take it excel. But there is also a twist. The element of “Self.” When Self is absent, or at least the recognition of it and how it relates to your business, then heavy loss can occur … and no, this has no ties to religion of any sort. This is simply about awareness of Self.

The Freelancer

As we touched on in the introduction above, there is the question of “why?” That being, why do we become freelancers? What is it that drives us down this path? Many have wisely answered this before, and yet, it is still a question we revisit.

Why? …

I can answer from my standpoint, and I am sure that others will agree with a smile, or even find their own different answer with similar links.

For me, it was about control. I was tired of the grind. I was tired of going from week to week, month to month, waiting for the next paycheck, and wondering how far I would be able to ride it out. I wanted financial freedom, but there was more, there was … ME. The Self. No matter how many high-fives, promotions, or raises I got, I was never satisfied. More money was good, but I still had an emptiness, I was still seeking … something. And that something is what I found when I looked in the mirror and saw the answer look back at me. It was three things …

The Work-Life Balance

The “Work-Life Balance” to me means having everything spread out equally. Work, friends, family, and fun time … all of it. Not necessarily having each element in an exact equal proportion, but a spread in which they all come together. And time within each one is fun and rewarding. Transitions between these aspects are smooth, with the occasional speed bump that just can’t be avoided, no matter how balanced you are. Really, it can even be simplified down to one easy word … Balance.

Ultimately, it is about having and maintaining an equilibrium in your life. Not letting one element or part run too far, causing other important things to fall wayside. Remembering to go after your goals and ambitions with burning fire, but to hold fast and still find downtime for yourself.

The Twist

As I stated before, there is the element of “Self.” It was the absence of this that threw me out of balance, and caused damage to me and my freelance business. Before we dive in further, let’s take a look at the three things that make up “Self,” in relation to your freelance copywriting business.

  1. Desire: This is the fuel that ignites your fire and drives your passion. It is all of your hunger, all of your want, all of your need that comes together and plunges you forward into the world of a self-owned and operated business.
  2. Control: This is that “something” inside of you that says “Boss.” Like a captain of a ship, you are at the helm, guiding your ship through the waters. In other words, you are in the front seat, in charge and running your freelance writing business. Specifically, the way you want and need it to be done. Suiting you, your wants, your needs, and your goals. A clear example of this can be seen when you compare the wants and needs of a full-time mother, part-time freelancer compared to someone who is a full-time freelancer. Both are excellent, but the way the business is run in regards to the needs of those two individuals will be different.
  3. Action: This is a crucial piece. Without your actions, everything simply remains in dreamland. A full and vivid dream that is screaming to become a reality, but your actions are required to make this happen.

That is what makes up your “Self.” And when it all comes together, you can have balance. Then the other aspects of your life like fun, friends, and family come into play. All are intertwined and the “Work-Life Balance” is achieved.

My Crash …

My desire was hot. I was on fire. My business was going strong and was growing and I was most certainly in control. It was clear that my past and present actions were full throttle and rewards were coming in the form of regular business and growth.

But then something happened …

I slipped. My desire and control became “out-of-control.” I took on more work than I should have. I was alienating myself from friends to a level that was damaging to me as a person, but also to the friendships. Everything was about my business, and time with family felt like a “chore.” A lousy one that pulled me away from my business.

Then I really sunk …

The business … my freelance copywriting business began to suffer. Things like seminars took priority over certain clients. If I was late for a meeting, I didn’t care, because I was growing, or so I thought, and if I lost them, it didn’t matter because they were smaller than me. A “pitiful roadblock” in my way of growing.

Rock bottom …

I fell apart. Friendships were damaged, and clients began to disappear. Still at the helm, but this captain was going down with his ship.

Rebirth …

It took some time, but I came to and woke up. A crash will do that to you. Clients vanishing at first seems little, but after time, reality sets in. Then comes the rebuilding. Starting over. The good news is that after a crash, it is possible to do this. And you’ll be stronger and better for having been through it.

My Conclusion

Your “Self,” what is it?

Find it. It’s important. Desire, control, and action, are all good things, for they are you, they come from within you, and drive you. But balance is essential. Knowing your limits and maintaining “self-control” is important. You can become power hungry and fall out of balance. In turn, causing damage to your life, family, and friendships. At the worst level, the crash, you will lose all that you built up. But should you find yourself traveling down this treacherous path, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. A re-birth is possible. It means starting over, but you can start over. When you dust yourself off and rise from the shipwreck, you will be stronger for having been through it. It is not easy to start over. Some never do. However, if you are in tune with the “Self” … yourself, you, and all that surrounds you, then you can and will rise again.

This article, Work-Life Balance … With a Twist, was originally published by B2B Writing Success.

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Published: October 29, 2015

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