We talk a lot about how to build a more fulfilling freelance life. But it’s long been known that the best way to become happier is to give happiness to others.
So here’s your next great gig: Freelance Giver of Small Bits of Happiness!
Here are just a few random acts of kindness you can practice this spring to your friends, family, fellow freelancers, independent businesses, and fellow workers. Feel free to share your own ideas in comments and I’ll add to the list.
1. Pull a weed in your neighbor’s yard or on a public square that’s choking the flowers.
2. Offer to write a recommendation for someone you worked with on LinkedIn. Even if you weren’t the manager of project, you can share what it was like to work alongside them on a project. Your fellow freelancers will especially appreciate this!
3. Buy a print of a fellow freelance illustrator or graphic designer’s work to put up in your office, instead of that boring print of a bridge from IKEA.
4. Put something cute in a tip jar along with the tip, like a small toy, sticker, or note like “Thanks for the best coffee ever!” (Of course, you’re visiting an independently-owned coffee shop, right?)
5. @Mention and follow the author of articles you share on Twitter, along with the @mention of the blog or news source you found it on. Chances are that it’s a freelance writer, and an @mention will make them feel good!
6. Give a friend or colleague the extra veggies from your CSA that you can’t finish.
7. Leave a happy quote or positive note in a library book.
8. Compliment a waiter or waitress, then go tell their boss or manager how great the service was. Or better yet, tip the waiter or waitress 100%, especially if you’re a regular customer.
9. Like a stranger’s comment on Facebook and respond warmly to them about it: “That made me laugh!” “You’re so right, I feel the same way.” If you want to compliment a fellow freelancer, find one on Freelancers Union’s Facebook community.
10. Pick a few wildflowers on your way home and put them on your significant other’s pillow.
11. Bake or buy cookies and bring them into your co-working space or client’s office.
12. Compliment a fellow freelancer on social media about their beautiful or well-designed website.
13. Find your favorite teacher/professor on Facebook and send a message to let them know they inspired you to follow your passion or start your own business.
14. Take a long lunch and take yourself out to a cafe with an outdoor patio. Don’t bring freelance work and turn off your phone and laptop. A random act of kindness to yourself.
15. If you’re on the hunt for gigs and spot something or hear of something that would be great for a fellow freelancer, take the time to make the introductions and recommendations.
This spring, make a vow to practice one random (freelance) act of kindness every day or week. Get your friends to do it too so that we spread the word:
“Hey [@mention your friend or fellow freelancer], let’s make the freelance world a happier place. http://bit.ly/1n8WsG2”