Perhaps one of the most heartening data points from the Freelancing in America 2015 report is that, among independent workers who left traditional employment for freelancing, the majority (60%) actually earn more from freelancing than they did at office jobs.

In fact, 3 out of 4 freelancers surpass those earnings within the first year of freelancing.

The trope of the starving artist fades as creatives (and other freelancers) access new technologies that make self-marketing and managing businesses easier than ever.

For many, the old, one-size-fits-all work model no longer makes as much sense – both economically and in terms of personal fulfillment.

Successful freelancers find that they can make more in salary and satisfaction; 1 out of 2 wouldn’t return to the traditional workforce for any amount of money.

Freelancers value the ability to work for themselves, flexibility, and the opportunity to follow their passions. It all adds up to a kind of wealth that is more valuable than money alone.

More than anything, this shift in freelance fortunes demonstrates that the freelance lifestyle is increasingly sustainable: Despite the fact that independent workers continue to walk the freelance tightrope without a safety net, many are making it work.

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Just like the industrial revolution changed the way we work, today’s modern technology has enabled us to step off the assembly line and into lives of meaningful independence.

Now, it’s on us to speak up and let our elected representatives know that it’s time to build that safety net.

Not only do freelancers deserve to get paid for their work; to avoid double taxation; and to have access to healthcare and benefits, but the American economy can only benefit from a system that supports its most entrepreneurial, innovative and creative minds.

Do you make more freelancing than you did in your 9-to-5? What about your freelancing lifestyle do you value over a regular salary? Share your tips for building a successful and sustainable freelance lifestyle on social media with the hashtag #FreelanceNation!

A new soul and media geek, Laura writes about sustainability, community, poetry and pop culture. Find her @Pennyscientist or on Freelancers Union.