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How to Stay Self-Motivated as a Freelancer

Research is showing that more and more of us, mostly self-motivated millennials, are choosing to pursue freelance careers rather than work the traditional office job. Who can blame us? Freelance work offers flexible hours, the right to decide our own rate, act as our own boss, and handle everything ourselves.

RELATED: Perfect Career Choices for Introverts

Also, the risk is much lower at this age. We aren’t faced with large mortgages and child care…yet. So take that Boomers and Gen X!

Sounds amazing, doesn’t it?

It is, but you need to be self-motivated and accountable to yourself to succeed in this type of career. This can be a challenge. Freelancing, like running your own business, is a lot of work, and it’s not always easy.

In a traditional employed job, you’re accountable to your boss and work within the scheduled hours. As a freelancer, you are accountable to yourself, so if you don’t make the time to promote yourself and find work, your business won’t succeed.

Listed below are some of the tips I have found useful to stay self-motivated as a self-employed freelancer over the last 7 months!



Love what you do

A photograph of a self-motivated photographer

It’s not surprising that you have to love what you do to stay motivated. I honestly don’t know many people who get excited to work for a job they hate and continue to succeed long-term.

Loving what you do as a freelancer will help you stay self-motivated because you are truly excited to get up in the morning and do what you do. You go girl!

RELATED: Why I Quit My Job to Blog Full-Time



Have a plan

A photograph of a calendar with sticky notes in many of the squares

It’s really difficult to stay motivated when you don’t have a concrete plan and are “winging it” every day.

One way I’ve discovered to stay self-motivated is to have a strategic plan. These are similar to a business plan, but they focus on where you are now, where you want to go, and how you’re going to get there. This helps you visualize your goals, see the big picture and determine the steps you need to take in order to get there.



Break it Down

A flat lay photograph of a camera, bracelet, necklace, pen and piece of note paper that says "This Week"

If your just beginning your freelance career, everything you have to do can seem overwhelming. Building your portfolio, pitching to clients, maintaining your social media pages and website if your online, and managing your work and life can be a lot. It’s also easy to procrastinate and put off actually getting your name out there because of fear.

Breaking your goals and tasks down into smaller projects can help you stay self-motivated rather than overwhelmed and defeated. You will also feel accomplished after meeting each milestone. YES!


Continue learning

A photograph of a stack of books

One major way I have found to stay self-motivated is to make sure I’m intentionally seeking out new information to learn. Applying new strategies and learning ways to grow as a self-employed freelancer is motivating and exciting!

My favourite places to learn about my industry is through Pinterest searches and YouTube videos. It’s a great way to find leaders in the industry and to connect with others in your niche.




A photograph of friends or colleagues chatting and drinking tea from mason jar cups

As a freelancer, it’s almost impossible to get work without networking and promoting yourself. However, networking can also act as a motivational resource.

Meeting other freelancers, online and in person, can act as a form of self-motivation. Connecting with other people through a common goal can encourage growth, lead to collaboration and healthy competition. All of this aids in self-motivation and moving forward.




A photograph of a surface, with books leaning on the left, a glass jar with a plant, a shark decor and a label with the words "Lady Boss" on it.

One of the best ways to stay motivated is to have an accountability friend. This is a great way to connect with other people in your industry and learn from each other.

Having an accountability friend can help break the monotony of working alone, and as a result, keep you motivated. They can offer feedback, be a sounding board for brainstorming ideas or even keep you on track with your goals.

If your struggling, these connections are great at helping you through a rut, whether that be writer’s block or reevaluating something that isn’t working.



Conquer your Next Freelance Gig!

As more of us choose to freelance, we’re relying on our ability to be our own boss and hold ourselves accountable.

Using the tips above will help you be the amazing freelancer that you are: self-motivated and excited to slay your goals!

For more tips to stay motivated I recommend checking out “Feeling Lazy? 5 Tips to Get You Out of a Slump” from She is so Lucky.


A pinnable image with a photograph and text. The photograph is a label with the words "Lady Boss" and the text overlay says "Self-Motivation Tips for Freelancers".


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