What Has Freelancing Given Back to You?

sunset taft freelancing

Think about your life before you became a freelancer.

Think about the state of being you were in. You faced problems and issues that made you consider working from home. You desired a better life where you’d earn and are close by when your loved ones needed you.

Back then, you had to gather up the courage to ask for a 2-day vacation leave. You had to sacrifice personal leisure in order to fit into your tight budget. You had to set aside your pride and take orders from someone else.

Now that you’re a solo professional, what has freelancing given back to you?

In Return

Is it your time? Precious moments with your daughter? Hearty conversations with your little boy? Happier days with your spouse?

Is it money? Freelancing has brought in a wave of opportunities you never thought possible. You’re now earning twice as much as you did before.

Is it your self? Freelancing gives you the power to choose based on your interests, passions, and skills. You decide what projects to work with, what to study, what books to read, what in-between snack to munch on, and when to take a 15-minute nap.

Freelancing Gave Me My Life Back

That’s a mighty thing to say, but it’s true. Before I became a freelancer, it was as if my knuckles were chained, that I didn’t know how else to use my time productively.

I was still in college, but I wasn’t happy. I didn’t know if I was going to graduate or not. I encountered a lot of road blocks that threw my plans out the window, leaving many of my loved ones disappointed.

There was a period in my life when I was almost broke. I had not much left in my account, and I knew my folks would scold me for it. I would ignore the hunger pains and just try to get some sleep despite the stress. It was a nightmare that I knew I had to get out of.

Today, freelancing gave me back my time, put my finances back in order, and made me realize just what I wanted to do with my life. It opened new possibilities, friendships, and enabled me to be there for my kids, to watch them grow and discover the world around them.

With freelancing, I could finally buy things that I’d only dream of having. I was able to travel, to see places I thought I’d only graze my finger over an airline magazine. More importantly, I could actually invest in my freelancing career, building it into a real freelance business.

Finally, freelancing has given me the tools to finish what I have left in pieces: my college degree. I’m happy to say that I’m at my last term as an undergrad and that I’m three months away to finishing this big, bulky chapter in my life. If it wasn’t for freelancing and all the love and support from family and friends—well, you get the idea.

Let me hear your story. What has freelancing given back to you?

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  • http://www.freelancewritingdreams.com Samantha Gluck

    Hi Stef,

    Great post – per usual for you. When I think about what freelancing has given to my husband, my kids, and me, it makes me tear up and get all emotional – something I don’t like to do ;-). But, for you, I’ll spill it: I’ve gotten so much more time with my children and private time with my spouse than my peers who work outside the home in cubicle-land. I even know some women (and men) who are very high up in executive management in big corporations, but I wouldn’t exchange what I have for their jobs for anything in the world.

    Next, I’ve gotten to meet people like you, amazing and inspiring clients (most notably, Ryan Clark of the Pittsburgh Steelers), and forged some truly priceless relationships.
    Thank you, Stef, for making me think about what my life as a journalist and writer has given to me. It’s given me my treasures – my marriage and my children, my friends and my heroes. It’s allowed me to cherish these priceless things like no other job could, at least for me.

    • http://stefgonzaga.com/ Stef G.

      Hi Samantha,

      Thank you for sharing your story! I’m really happy that freelancing has made your relationships with your family tighter, and at the same time forged more meaningful ones with clients and other people. I share the same sentiments; many of my friends and relatives have big-paying corporate jobs right now, but I’m not as fazed as I was before. I have everything I need — great clients, my husband, my two kids, and good friends like you.

      Good job on having a famous player for a client! Keep up the great work and more power to us freelancers! :)

      • http://www.freelancewritingdreams.com Samantha Gluck

        I feel so blessed to have met you. I think we need to have a Skype sometime soon and get to know each other better.


        • http://stefgonzaga.com/ Stef G.


          Oh thank you! We should have a Skype chat sometime soon. When are you usually off from freelance work? :)

  • http://adoboart.com April Ricafort-Custodio

    This article is so timely… I have forgotten to be grateful.

    1. freedom to choose projects/clients/nature of work (I’m no longer limited by my college degree; I can actually get paid while pursuing my passion)
    2. flexible time — for self, husband, family and I enjoyed my pregnancy
    3. better health — no more fastfood and no commute (my skin has definitely improved)
    4. long conversations with my mother and sisters (I couldn’t do this back when I was managing teams and had a support laptop/cellphone with me)
    5. integrity and peace of mind — since I can choose the clients I work for, I don’t have to sacrifice my own values just to earn

    Thanks Stef for reminding me of the good things that have happened in the past two years. :)

    • http://stefgonzaga.com/ Stef G.

      Oh, congratulations April! How is the little one? I’m very happy for you and I wish you all the best with your freelancing career. :)

  • http://brilqntin.hubpages.com/_m7zufyno7ego/ Diana

    Hey, Stef! Very nice post – being grateful is important so that we don’t forget where we started from and where we want to go, right?

    I am new to your blog but i definitely enjoy every bit of it :-) My story is a bit similar, just happening a few more years after i graduated from college and had to work in offices for several years but i pretty much feel the same.

    The MOST important lesson i learnt is that there is nothing more precious than time. Freelancing has given me the freedom to HAVE my own time – to do whatever i want, whenever i want and also have given me the opportunity to find balance in my life. and i am loving it :-)

    Thanks for writing this inspirational post!


    • http://stefgonzaga.com/ Stef G.

      Hi, Diana and thanks for sharing! I think the value of time is what really drives people to become independent professionals. The goal now is managing it to become more productive. ;)

  • http://www.TravelingFreelancer.com Aleah | TravelingFreelancer.com

    Hi Stef! Freelancing has given me the freedom to travel whenever and wherever I choose. That’s priceless :)

    • http://stefgonzaga.com/ Stef G.

      Been inspired by how far your travels have taken you, Aleah. More power to you!

  • gerson

    Because of the freedom to work anytime as well as the flexibility to work from anywhere, freelancing has given me the opportunity to travel. I’ve been to many parts of the Philippines and was also able to visit 3 different countries last year. Having traveling as one of my biggest dreams since I was young, this freedom is one of the greatest things freelancing has given back to me and I’m enjoying it while I’m still single LOL

    • http://stefgonzaga.com/ Stef G.

      Nice! What are these countries? We were able to travel to different parts of Asia thanks to freelancing. Our latest journey was to Singapore and Malaysia. Can’t wait for this year’s trip!

    • http://stefgonzaga.com/ Stef G.

      Nice! What are these countries? We were able to travel to different parts of Asia thanks to freelancing. Our latest journey was to Singapore and Malaysia. Can’t wait for this year’s trip!

      • gerson

        I spent 2 weeks there! I’ve also been to HK. And Macau for a day.

        I already have 4 planned for this year and it’s all thanks to the freedom and flexibility of freelancing. We are a lucky bunch.

  • http://glorisurban.com Glori Surban

    Freelancing allowed me the freedom to what I’m passionate about. It teaches me new things everyday! I love waking up in the morning knowing that I’ll be doing something that I truly love. :)

    • gerson

      Indeed! There is not enough time in the day when you are doing something you love.

    • http://stefgonzaga.com/ Stef G.

      Love this. Keep the spirit up Glori!

  • Florante

    Hi Stef,

    Thanks for this great post.
    Freelancing has indeed brought a different perspective and a new kind of life to me. I’m a father to three (the fourth coming this January 31) and I’m happy that I can have all the time to be with my wife. I have three growing kids and the mere experience of being able to see them grow and play with them is priceless. I’m an advocate of freelancing. Because I see so many homes being wrecked by the so called dream of greener pastures. In my little ways, I’d like to be able to resonate that kind of hope that many of our countrymen still don’t have. You don’t need to go abroad to have a better life. You can be a freelancer.

    All the best,


    • http://stefgonzaga.com/ Stef G.

      That’s great! Congratulations Florante. Let us know if your little one is already with you. :)

      I share your sentiments. Being able to be there for our children (or our loved ones) is the best thing we could ever ask for from freelancing. And yes, you don’t need to leave your country, your family, and go abroad for a better life. You just have to know how to use your available resources and make them work for you.

  • http://www.unsayuso.com Zion

    Freelancing has given me and my family financial freedom.Personally, it has given me my personal freedom. Freedom to choose my choices.I don’t have to worry about asking for my allowance anymore and I don’t have to be guilty about mindlessly spending my money because it is MY MONEY!

    • http://stefgonzaga.com/ Stef G.

      That’s awesome, Zion. I hope that financial freedom will help you become a more valuable asset for your present and future clients.

  • http://www.livinginqatarinfo.com Yaj

    excellent read. I am freelancing for more than a year now along with my full time job. As an ofw, being away from the family is such a huge sacrifice. Freelancing is now providing me an option to maybe, just maybe, make it full time in the coming years. I see that a lot become successful in this field. I too, would love to be there. Kinda hesitant to left my full time career in middle east for freelancing at the moment. but without a doubt, freelancing gave me that financial freedom i never thought I will have. and aside from the financial perks it is giving, freelancing made me a serious online professional who is trying each day to be better in my craft.

    • http://stefgonzaga.com/ Stef G.

      Yaj, thanks for sharing your experience with us. All the best in your freelancing career and in your endeavors!

  • http://thefitpinoy.com Malds

    Awesome post Stef. In my case, freelancing introduced me to an alternative platform for business, one that requires less capital :). I always knew that a 9-5 job wasn’t for me and I’m only going to finish my post grad because I need a fallback in case business isn’t good. Before, I always thought that I’d have to get into traditional entrepreneurship (brick and mortar businesses that are investment heavy) to be able to build the kind of life I want.

    Once I started freelancing though I started working for WebPrenuers and was introduced to a whole new space I could work in. And as techie (self proclaimed lol) as I was, I don’t know why I never considered creating an online business before. I suppose it’s because I was never exposed to it in the same way that I was when I freelanced so I’m very happy that during that very lazy point in my life, I decided to give freelancing a try. Working for Internet Marketers introduced me to a lot of things and kahit kuripot yung iba lol, I’m happy for the experience anyway.

    Also, I am very impressed with what you’ve been able to build with The Freelance Pinoy and you’re honestly one of the local bloggers I look up to. Your posts are always genuine and that seems to be the new formula for success now :). So keep doing what you’re doing and keep the great posts coming.

    Oh, and just an FYI. You might want to check if there’s anything wrong with your captcha plugin. As I’m typing this it’s overlapping with the other comment fields. I can still click the captcha field but since your blog is all white, it’s not as easy on my old laptop lol. I checked this post on my ipad and the same problem shows up. You might want to replace your captcha plugin or update it. Try logging out of wordpress and checking your posts or browsing your blog from another machine where you’re not logged in as the owner of the blog on WP. You might not be seeing it right on preview because the captcha might be disabled for the blog admin.

    • http://stefgonzaga.com/ Stef G.

      Thank you, Malds, for sharing your story and for relating valuable experience to the readers. I’ve also been tinkering with the idea of starting an online business to establish a stable stream of income while I’m freelancing. I hope to sit down and fully invest myself in this once I’m out of college.

      RE: TFP, I try my best to keep The Freelance Pinoy updated with the latest tips, ideas, and insights on freelancing, so your support and words of encouragement are very much appreciated. Thank you and please spread the word to other freelancers if you happen to meet them.

      With regards to the captcha, I checked it myself and it doesn’t look like it’s overlapping the other comment fields. Here’s what it looks like, and let me know if you’re still experiencing problems: http://cl.ly/image/3d2c3x1F2F1k

      • http://thefitpinoy.com Malds

        You should def start an online business, maybe you can use this blog as a platform.

        Re the CAPTCHA, here’s what it looks like to me: http://www.use.com/b1d2d98cc8bb404fd724.

        As I’m writing this reply, it still looks the same. Maybe it’s a browser thing hmmm. But I remember checking on this last night on my PC and it looked like that tool. Checked on my ipad just now and it still looks the same.

        Might be a browser thing or something. I don’t really know why it’s doing that for me. Maybe other people are seeing it the way I am too.

        • http://stefgonzaga.com/ Stef G.

          What browser are you using? I have a PC here, so I can also check to see if it’s an OS issue.

          RE: online business, it’s definitely in the works. The products that will certainly help fund this blog, as it is all being supported through my own endeavors.

          • http://thefitpinoy.com Malds

            I’m using firefox but I checked with both safari and chrome on my ipad and it still looks the same to me. The Captcha isn’t moving below the comment field, it’s overlapping.

            Try checking it on your PC or maybe try asking some of your friends to check it on theirs. It’s probably not just me because it’s happening on my laptop, ipad, and PC. I’ll check it on my friends laptop later tonight and let you know how it looks.

          • http://stefgonzaga.com/ Stef G.

            I see the issue now after switching to Safari. For some reason it works well on my version of Chrome.

            I’ve emailed the developer about the problem. Till then, disabling the captcha. :)

  • Adam

    Excellent post.

    Wish I could stop running in the hamster wheel and find what I really want to do and what i love to do in life. I just can’t stop running because I need the cash and I am literally alone and have nobody else to support me.


  • Jane M.

    Hi Stef,

    I have always been very grateful that I discovered freelancing 5 years ago.Freelancing allows me to experience, Freedom, Fulfillment and Flexibility. And More than anything else, it leads me to self-discovery that I can be greater than what I thought I can be.

    Now, I have my own online business, and what’s the best thing about it is that it allows opportunity to create jobs for fellow mommies.

    • http://stefgonzaga.com/ Stef Gonzaga

      That’s wonderful, Jane. Thank you for sharing your story! Being able to help other people through your work is always fulfilling.