How multi-passionates can become successful freelancers

Being interested in a lot of things can be both a blessing and a curse. On one hand, you’ll never run out of passion and drive to explore and try new things. Which is always a big plus in a shaky economy. On another, it might be a challenge to focus. And when building a freelance business, focus is one of the most important aspects of it. You cannot build a solid portfolio and clientele as a social media manager if half the time you’re dabbling into virtual assistant tasks or playing around with graphics tools.

So, how do you become a freelancer if you’re a multi-passionate? How do you balance your own creativity with the goal of being an entrepreneur?

The power of focus

Let’s go back to focus—it’s powerful. It sounds like the exact opposite of being a multi-passionate but it is possible to focus on one thing while still giving space for your other interests. It’s all about practicing allotting more time, energy, and effort to that thing you want to build.

Cal Newport, author of Deep Work, believes that being able to do deep work is a highly valuable skill that one should master if you want to remain relevant in today’s economy. Spending a few hours a day “in the zone”, free from distractions, will allow you to produce more meaningful work in less time.

Stay consistent on this and don’t let overwhelm take over you. It’s hard to build a business of any kind, but with consistency, things will fall into place easily. You’d also want to optimize your weekly schedule. Know which days are for your business, which tasks you need to do on those days, and which days are for your other interests.

Harness your most valuable skills

The Pareto Principle, also known as the 80/20 rule is one useful tool to help you pinpoint which of your skills are highly marketable and valuable. As a multi-passionate, you may have this inkling that you’re or you could be good at a lot of things, and maybe that’s true! But the freelance economy is

only growing—to set yourself apart, you need to know which of your skills are truly valuable so you can invest time and effort in honing them. With the Pareto principle, it states that 80% of results come from 20% of actions. Simply put, you need to make those actions count and be anchored on your skills.

Map out your week

“If you have no time, you have no priorities,” says Simon Severino, CEO of Strategy Sprints. He argues that in order to have an ideal week, where you’re productive and in control, you have to plan it. For him, this is especially true if you happen to carry different responsibilities in your business.

Multi-passionates always have a ton going on and as a freelancer, you’d want to make the most out of every week by setting your priorities and knowing which part of the business needs your attention, and when. Keep your work on track and but always give you room for growth and exploration. Severino suggests doing the following:

  1. Set an intention for each day – know what you want for that day and achieve it
  2. Define the elements that make up your week – what will help make your intentions become reality?
  3. Put time blockers into your calendar – have enough time blocked to work on your growth as a freelancer in your specific niche
  4. Track your projects – keep your project list updated so you know just how much work you need to do and how much you’ve already done

Have side projects to keep things balanced

There’s nothing wrong with having side projects. At this point, so many people are hustling to be freelancers and maybe you’re one of them. Thing is, you cannot suppress your own interests and creativity and you also cannot be a scatterbrain. Again, focus.

A side project could help keep things balanced. Sure, you’re running a business on your own, but it doesn’t have to be all work and no play. Have a few side projects and keep at it just like how you keep working on your business. This way, you’re not always consumed by freelancing but you also have space to keep things light and fun. Giving your mind something else to think about aside from work and freelancing is giving your mind the chance to recharge.

Talk to people

You don’t have to do it all alone. Connect with fellow freelancers and fellow creatives. Find your people. Talk to them. Have conversations about having multiple interests or being unsure of which one to pursue or just wanting to pursue all of them but knowing it’s not feasible. The gist—talk to people. Believe it or not, this is always a big help.

Conversations with those who get you help ease the loneliness in freelancing. It reminds you you’re not alone and you’re not the only one with struggles and confusion. Plus, other multi-passionates might even have tips and advice!

Finding your place in the freelance world is not easy. Making your mark? Also not easy. Building a business? Definitely not. But we’re here and we’re still doing it because just like most freelancers, we all want that financial freedom and independence.

Creativity and passion are two very important things. While you may be focused on building your freelance business, keep in mind that having these two in the foundations of your business is what will set you apart. That said, stay multi-passionate. It’s a matter of learning how to work your way through all those that interest you.

Tammy Danan
Tammy Danan

Tammy Danan is a storyteller who reports on environmental and social issues. She also covers productivity, creative pursuits, and the future of work. Her words have appeared in VICE, Audubon.org, ZEKE Magazine, Shutterstock, Toggl, among others. You may find her on Instagram @SlowFreelancing.