• Advice

How to leverage your passion to launch a successful freelancing career

Are you reading this and thinking that you’d love to work for yourself? Well, read on. I am going to share with you how to leverage something that you are passionate about into a successful freelancing career.

The Root of Passion

Passion has become such a nebulous term that we use it with great frequency without always thinking about its meaning. So, I decided to check out its origins by reviewing its etymology. According to the Online Etymology dictionary, passion (n):

Late 12c., “suffering of Christ on the Cross,” from Old French passion “Christ’s passion, physical suffering (10c.), from Late Latin passionem (nominative passio) “suffering, enduring,” from the past participle stem of Latin pati “to endure, undergo, experience,” a word of uncertain origin.

Sense extended to sufferings of martyrs, and suffering generally, by late early 13c.; meaning “strong emotion, desire” is attested from late 14c., from Latin Latin use of passio to render Greek pathos. . .

For many of us, we associate passion with “strong emotion, desire” or something that we are deeply attached to. When it comes to one’s profession, being passionate can be linked to a profound sense of satisfaction or even the sense that you have been called to do something. For many of us, we became freelancers, amongst other reasons, because we were passionate about something.

Define Your Passion

For anyone who has not launched a freelancing career, but who is serious about it, it is important that you define what you are passionate about. Think elevator pitch: As clearly as possible, how would you define your passion? Some passions are self-explanatory like accounting, event planning, writing, graphic design, or software engineering.

However, you may find that your passion doesn’t fit so neatly into a category. That’s perfectly ok. You may be passionate about a number of things or some hybridity of things. The most important things are that you are clear about what you can do as a freelancer and you have a realistic understanding about how well you can do it.

Why Passion Matters

The reason why passion should factor into how you carve out your freelancing business is centered around stamina. If you set out to do something that you are lukewarm about or that you are not truly motivated to do, there is a strong possibility that it will fizzle or others will be less inclined to use your services because they may have concerns about how vested you are in your work.

Freelancing can be one of the most rewarding things that you have ever done. Paradoxically, it can also be one of the most frustrating. Passion can help you meander through those famine spells in the feast or famine paradigm. Caring deeply about what you do anchors you to keep doing it, even when you don’t feel like it or the reward is more internal than external.

Once you have articulated what you are passionate about, it will be easier for you to express this as you think about marketing and advertising your freelancing venture to others.

Aim to be the G.O.A.T. Freelancer

If you are a sports fan then the concept of the “Greatest of All Time” (G.O.A.T) will not sound unfamiliar. In may ways, it is an example of hyperbole because how can anyone measure the concept of all time? Hyperbole aside, being the absolute best at what you do is a laudable goal.

If there is one thing that I have seen hurt newly launched freelancing careers the most, it is mediocrity. Imagine the meh or blah emoji. Mediocrity is passion’s kryptonite. The best way to offset this is to become a sponge and learn as much as you can about your industry and field. What are the best practices? What are the trends? What are the new rules or regulations? Ask yourself: How can I get better?

Most importantly, spend time on task. If you were to do an impromptu survey of people who have been freelancing for 5 years or more, I surmise that they will tell you that they became better at their craft by doing it.

Keep in mind, this is not about perfection; when you are passionate about what you do, you will make the sacrifices, make the commitments, demonstrate consistency, and fully execute to become successful. Remember, most G.O.A.T.s have!

Tyra Seldon Tyra Seldon is a former English Professor turned writer, editor and small business owner. Her writing addresses the intersections of race, gender, culture and education.