• Advice

Clarify your purpose with a simple exercise

This is a post from a member of the Freelancers Union community. If you’re interested in sharing your expertise, your story, or some advice you think will help a fellow freelancer out, feel free to send your blog post to us here.

Finding your purpose, as a freelancer is the greatest thing you can do for your career.

It will drive everything you do, every client you work with, and every goal you work towards.

Sitting through the keynote speech of a self employment conference one day, this realization hit me like the proverbial ton of bricks.:

Here I was, hoping to get answers to burning questions about SEO, blogging frequency and personal branding…

...And I didn’t even know what my purpose was!

Maverick pianist, public speaker and entrepreneur Jade Simmons said it best:

“Your purpose is to cause a change in the people who see what you make.”

Cue light-bulb!

Our work is a vehicle, a way to convey a message.

“Purpose = to (action verb) others to (something really awesome) through (your work)!”

Now I don’t mean that everyone’s purpose has to be a deeply emotional or spiritual experience.

But whether you write, photograph, design, build, bake, code, or sell/market a different product, it’s important to know why.

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Why do you do what you do?

Once you know your purpose, you’re better prepared to succeed in your career.

How come?

It gives you a focus.

Having a purpose opens you up to new possibilities.

It helps you become more creative and more innovative than ever before!

It frees you from being stuck with one skill, one art form, or one type of business.

You see where I’m going here?

Your purpose drives your direction, but not how you choose to get here.

Jade made another great point about purpose: It allows you to create your brand around yourself.

Suddenly, who you are becomes not only important, but a unique, marketable skill.

Your passion, your interests, your personality and background.

That is what make you uncommon.

That’s your brand story.

Take me, for example. I’m a freelance journalist, travel writer, photographer and videographer.

Interesting, but not unusual, right?

But if I add that I grew up on three different continents, am an accent chameleon, a Bollywood dancer and Korean drama fan, I have the beginnings of a unique brand story.


And that is my key to becoming a good freelancer, a good business owner, and a great journalist.

How about you, Freelancer?

What’s your purpose?

Leanna Johnson is the founder of Lost Lass Freelance Journalism, which discovers and creates multimedia stories for businesses and media outlets. Her goal is to be a location-independent, full-time freelancer by the end of 2016!