Empowering the Freelance Economy

How to unlock your full potential as a freelancer

Hitendra’s mission is to discover, codify, and teach the laws of success in life and leadership. Image source: https://www.hitendra.com/
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The self-directed nature of freelance work can lead to feelings of isolation, uncertainty, and even burnout. So, how can freelancers navigate these hurdles and tap into their full potential? The answer lies in cultivating a deep connection with their best selves. Even if they don’t who that is – yet.

Professor Hitendra Wadhwa, professor at Columbia Business School and author of the book Inner Mastery, Outer Impact: How Your Five Core Energies Hold the Key to Success (Hachette Book Group, June 2022) outlines a three-step process that empowers people to bridge the gap between their inner selves and their outer world, leading to a more fulfilling and successful career.

Step 1: Cultivate your inner core

First, build a strong foundation by exploring your core values and purpose. Ask yourself: what truly matters to you? What drives you? If you won the lottery and could start your dream business what would it be? Reflect on past and current experiences that bring you peace, joy, and wisdom. This self-discovery journey will help you identify the compass guiding your choices.

Next, practice self-awareness. Pay attention to your emotions, thoughts, and reactions. Notice which activities and people make you feel most connected to your core. This awareness empowers you to make choices that align with your deepest desires.

Finally, develop a personal practice. Meditation, spending time in nature, or journaling can help you reconnect with your core and gain clarity amidst the chaos. Find activities that resonate with you and make them a regular part of your life.

For example, if you are an IT contractor but feel you missed your calling as a teacher, then look for ways as a freelancer to combine existing talents with dream job aspirations.

Step 2: Bridge the gap between inner and outer worlds

Now, let’s translate your inner world into action. Live with purpose, aligning your work and choices with your core values. This brings meaning and fulfilment to your freelance business, turning work into a vehicle for expressing your authentic self.

Choose your actions consciously. Instead of reacting impulsively, consider the long-term impact of your choices. Ask yourself: “Does this action align with my values? Does it serve my highest good?” This deliberate approach ensures you stay true to your core while navigating the complexities of freelance work.

Develop self-compassion. Remember, everyone makes mistakes. Be kind to yourself when you stumble, learn from the experience, and move forward with grace. Self-compassion fosters resilience and helps you navigate the inevitable ups and downs of transitioning to a freelance career that harnesses what you really care about.

Step 3: Remember, your inner voice is your guide

Your inner voice holds immense wisdom. Practice active listening through meditation, journaling, or spending time in nature. Create space for your intuition to speak and trust its guidance. It will often point you towards opportunities and choices that align with your best self.

If you’re struggling to connect with your inner voice, seek guidance. A therapist, coach, or mentor can provide support and help you unlock your inner wisdom.

Additional Tips for Success:

  • Set clear boundaries between your work and personal life to prevent burnout.
  • Create a supportive network of fellow freelancers for encouragement and advice.
  • Celebrate your successes, no matter how small. Acknowledge your achievements and reward yourself for your hard work.

Becoming more in tune with your best self is a lifelong process. Be patient, be kind to yourself, and enjoy the process of self-discovery. By following these steps and tapping into your inner wisdom, you’ll unlock your full potential and build a fulfilling freelance career that truly reflects your authentic self.

Columbia professor Hitendra Wadhwa shares in this video how to nurture the one resource that never fails: your inner voice.

Interested in learning more about self-awareness and how top CEOs cultivate this skill? Check out McKinsey’s report here or listen to his podcast or read his book.

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