We discuss a lot of fascinating topics about the freelancing industry on my YouTube channel, called Freelancer Masterclass. We get a lot of our content ideas from comments in videos. One of our followers asked us if he could get rich freelancing.
His question is arbitrary but very important nonetheless. For many freelancers that I talk to, they consider their job as a side hustle in the gig economy. For me though, freelancing is something you can do fulltime. I love it.
Before I give you the direct answer to the question of whether you can get rich freelancing, let us define the word “rich.” If being rich means money, then the most honest answer is, you can’t get rich with freelancing. But if you define rich as being able to do the things that you love to do, then freelancing can be a very fulfilling and rewarding career.
Let me give you my opinion on what being rich is all about. Do you remember the character named Jordan Belfort in the movie “Wolf of Wall Street”? In the film and real life, Jordan is a wealthy person. He can spend his money on so many luxurious things like big yachts, fancy women, caviar and lobster. He throws money away like it’s nothing, but he’s a greedy person. He accumulates riches by scamming other people and gets the things he likes, no matter the cost. This is his definition of being rich.
My definition of rich is very different. My riches come in my freedom to do what I’m passionate about. I love playing tennis and want to have the freedom to play any day I want. Having to rush to the office when it’s a beautiful day outside is the last thing I want to do. I like the idea that I can do my work without getting stuck in a cubicle from 9 to 5. For me, being wealthy is having quality time with my family and friends. If someone called me to play golf on Thursday evening, and I had the choice to play golf, then I would consider myself a rich man.
Can you make money from freelancing? Absolutely! I make a great living from it. There is no reason why you can’t. What I mean by a great life is that I’m saving money and time from the commute, buying office supplies, or wearing expensive ties and suits.
To know what makes you rich, do this exercise. Get a piece of paper and write what being rich means for you –aside from the money. If what all you think about is money, then don’t be a freelancer. Be a lawyer or a doctor if you want to earn $300,000 or more per year.
Having a fat wallet is not all that can make a person happy. If you ask patients with terminal illnesses what their biggest regret is, their number one answer would be they didn’t travel enough. Well, if you are a freelancer, you will have enough time to travel the world, explore different cultures, and get a different perspective on life.
You can make a great living as a digital nomad. You can work anywhere in the world with an internet connection and end up just as efficient as being in a home office. I want you to take out a piece of paper write down the top three things that come to your mind when you say you want to be rich. What do you feel would make you rich? Is it the freedom to do what you want during the day or collecting marionettes? Is it playing the guitar?
Now’s the time to write down what rich means to you. All you have to do is figure out how freelance work can fit in with your meaning of rich. We have one life to live. If you’re not living the life that will make you rich, not by money definition, but by your passion, then you are missing out big time.
Don’t let time pass you by. Don’t tell yourself that you can become a freelancer when you retire. Do it now. Think about what you enjoy in life and build a plan about how your career can integrate with the things you enjoy.
Freelancing can make you rich but not typically in terms of money. It can give you a different level of happiness and satisfaction, which you may never experience with other regular jobs.