Quitting the day job for a life as a freelancer?

OK… but here is something to think about.

You can quit that soul-sucking cubicle job, but can you let it go?

I think that is going to be the toughest challenge you face.

Corporate life and the life of a freelancer are so different that they are polar opposites in the mindset of humans. To approach your entrepreneurial freelance career as you would a corporate career will doom you to instant, painful, and ugly death (business wise).

In corporate world:

You have a set time for nearly everything. Go in at 9, go home at 5. Monday through Friday. Two weeks of vacation – SCHEDULED. Sick pay (numbered). A boss that tells you what to do, for every hour you work. Someone is watching and monitoring and measuring what you do. You earn the same amount of money per week whether you fucked up the Jones account, or helped land a new, even bigger account. You get the same money for the hours you work as the person in the cubicle next to you, the same benefits, the same job description, the same parking pass, the same “permission”.

Permission to do a limited, company defined, corporate defined set of actions.

And the good news for corporate folks is that they get used to it.
And the terrible news for corporate folks wanting to become freelancers is they got used to it.

In ‘freelance’ world, none of that exists.

No set time for in or out, no vacations scheduled. No rules on what you have to do, when you have to do it, who you have to report to, when you have to report it, or whether the report was good or not. You do not have the same ‘perks’ as anyone, nor do you make the same amount of money for the same amount of hours worked as a competitor, and you may actually go weeks without making any money at all. You do not have a manager standing over you telling you what to do, and whether or not you did it correctly.

You do not need permission from anyone else, because you are the only one able to grant it.

And if you fuck up the Jones account, YOU take the hit.
And if you bring in a bigger account, YOU accept the gig.

In a corporate world it is them first, you second. In a freelance world it is you first, the world second.

Working corporate means going home at 5, having dinner, watching some “Game of Thrones” then off to read for an hour before going to sleep. You have some balance of life and work. Sixteen hours of life, 8 hours of work.

Freelance means you are working most every moment of that time, and building/making/creating your business.

There is no fucking “work-life balance”. There is work, and more work.

Then if you have done all that work well, you get a job that is work.

Eight hours of life, 16 hours of work.

Does that sound impossible? Does it sound harsh?

if it does, perhaps the corporate world still lives in your head and you are trying to bend a freelance world into what you know… the corporate world.


Stop right now.

They do not mix. They have never mixed. They will never mix.

If you are recently corporate, and struggling with the freelance, you may need to do a mental reorganization. A ‘reboot’. Start over with your life.

Try a freelance retreat, or meditation. Read books by entrepreneurs. Stop watching TV, or playing video games.

Success is only granted to those that demand it, not ask for permission to chase it.


— Don Giannatti

Print Friendly, PDF & Email