20 great reasons to go freelance (and to encourage you to keep going)

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Freelancing is one of the most rewarding things you could ever do. It brings a tremendous amount of freedom, independence and control over your destiny. It's also incredibly challenging.

If you're thinking about going freelance, but something's holding you back, read these 20 great reasons to go freelance, and you'll be wondering what's stopping you.

If you're already a freelancer and you've forgotten why you went freelance in the first place, this list is also for you.

1. You're the boss

That's right! No one is the boss of you anymore. No more appraisals. No more getting told off for being late. No more working for control freaks, strange managers or directors. You are in control of your working life and no one else.

2. No more Monday mornings

Monday mornings, aren't they a pain! Well, not if you're freelancing. Because while the rest of the world is taking part in the dreaded Monday morning commute, you can choose to be tucked up in bed instead. Hate Mondays? Take the day off! You're a freelancer and can choose your working hours.

3. No more office politics

That's right! No more office politics, bitchy colleagues or annoying people. Just you, your slippers and a nice cup of tea – all cosy at home in your own home office. You don't have to worry about getting noticed and competing with colleagues. You are on your own, and that's just great.

4. You make the decisions

Want to change the way your website looks? You can. Want to decide which clients to have? You can. As a freelancer, you can make all the decisions. You're in control. No one else.

5. You're free to do what you want, any old time

Ok, so taking inspiration from the Stones here but it's true – we all love our freedom. And freelancing brings a wealth of freedom if that's what's important to you. No one can tell you what to do, and no one can stop you from doing anything. You're pretty much free to work as you like.

6. You choose your working hours

Want to finish work early on a Friday? Like the idea of taking every Wednesday off to go out on your bike? As a freelancer, you can choose your hours. Just because everyone else is working 9-5, doesn't mean you have to. If you're worried about clients disapproving, pretend you're 'in a meeting'. Who's going to check?

7. You can work from anywhere

Working from home is superb, but it doesn't suit everyone. These days, technology allows us to work from pretty much anywhere. If it's sunny outside, you can go to your local park and soak up the rays. Or if you need to get out of the house on a rainy day, you can find a cosy cafe and take your laptop.

8. You can pick your clients

When you start working for yourself, you'll take every bit of work you can get. Once established, you'll be able to pick and choose who you work with. And in those early years, you'll soon learn to recognise the signs of who will and won't be a good client. When you're running a business, you have the luxury of choosing your clients.

9. You have higher earning potential

Ok, so a salary might be safe and comforting. But when you work for someone else, your earning potential is never as good as when you freelance. As a business owner, you pretty much have unlimited earning potential. It's down to you how much money you make.

10. You benefit from working longer hours

The great thing about freelancing is that the harder you work, the more money you earn. If you work for someone else, working longer hours won't necessarily bring more cash. It might help further your career, showing your boss how keen and committed you are. But it won't put more money in the bank. Freelancing allows you to earn as much as you like.

11. You're lining your own pockets

When you work for someone else, it's easy to become bitter about working all hours when it feels like you're lining your employer's pockets. That doesn't happen when you freelance because all the money you make goes directly into your wallet.

12. You have more security

It seems daft, but freelancing offers more security than a full-time job. It might seem like a ridiculous statement, but no job is ever safe. Particularly in these difficult financial times. So what makes freelancing any different? At least when you're a freelancer, you have control over your destiny as it's down to you whether you survive.

13. There's plenty of work to go around

There is loads of work out there, trust me. From agencies requiring freelance support to small businesses needing affordable services – there is plenty of work to go around. How you find it is down to you. No one else can win that work for you, so make sure you prioritise your marketing and get out and meet people.

14. You'll learn so much more

Freelancing brings many challenges; there's no doubt about that. But these always offer some invaluable lessons. When you work for yourself, you'll learn so much from the people you come across; the mistakes you make and the clients you work for. You'll also learn plenty by always striving to improve your skills.

15. You'll build confidence

When you freelance, you only have yourself to rely on. You'll go to meetings on your own, you'll carry out work without any input from anyone else, and you'll manage projects from start to finish. With so much responsibility, your confidence will soar.

16. It's character building

Freelancing puts you into more situations than working for someone else. You'll have weeks when you wish the earth would swallow you up, but you'll also have weeks when you're on top of the world. The whole freelancing experience will be the best thing that's ever happened to you.

17. Freelancing is something to be proud of

Not everyone can freelance. It takes a certain type of person to be able to do it. If you're running a business, you should pat yourself on the back for being brave, ambitious and having a 'can-do' attitude. It takes guts to be able to do it, so you'll get a wonderful sense of job satisfaction out of achieving something that many people would find too difficult.

18. You can take longer holidays

Ok, so you won't be earning money when you do go on holiday, but you can always take your laptop with you. Freelancing allows you to have so much more freedom than a regular job would ever offer. And that means you can go on holiday as much as you like. Or as much as you can afford to.

19. Freelancing could bring bigger things

When you freelance, you have the potential to grow from a sole trader into a limited company. You may be employing staff one day. And why wouldn't you want to be a success and leave a legacy? When you freelance, there is a world of opportunity waiting for you. It's down to you how far you go.

20. You can do the work you love

Finally, why else would you put yourself through the long working hours and difficulties of freelancing without doing what you love? Despite the obvious disadvantages of freelancing, the main fact is you're doing exactly what you want for a living. Now you can't get better than that!