Right, no messin’ about. No beatin’ around the bush. Let's get right into this.

What is your freelance destination? What is your freelance endgame?

Just like any video game, where you make your way through each level one by one, all the way to the end where you come face to face with the final boss…what is the ultimate level of your freelance career? 

Surely you’ve got one, right? 

Surely…your current freelancing isn’t merely a makeshift, temporary, or even last resort solution to fill some days and cure some boredom while you pursue higher priorities? 

Alan, what the hell are you bangin’ on about? 

Okay, okay…that’s a fair question. I got a little carried away. Lemme try and put it a tad more directly. 

I’m banging on about how freelancing, and only freelancing, offers you the tools, the freedom, and the power in order to achieve a major life goal. To reach a final destination. To tick something big off the list. 

Reciprocally, any other kind of work — be it 9-5, part-time, or even full-time remote work where you aren’t operating on your own time — would be vastly disadvantageous to these aforementioned dreams. 

Do you notice how freelancing still, even in this post-pandemic world, remains deeply stereotyped as a stopgap, a stepping stone to something ‘grander’, a means to an end — not an alternative lifestyle choice all the way to retirement, a big house, and tonnes of grandkids running around?

We discuss all things politics and culture around this lifestyle choice here at the Freelancer Club, but it’s recently occurred to me that we haven’t discussed this!

My destination is a digital one

Freelancing is my ticket to the digital nomad world. If I close my eyes right now, I can see it…I can visualise it.

Instead of sitting in a London co-working space or yet another bloody cafe with dodgy wifi (don't get me started), I can see myself setting up shop on a sun lounger in Malaga, becoming all too used to the novelty, getting itchy feet, and then thinking about Milan or Florence as my next port of call – and then saying, “ye know what? F**k it!…let's do Bangkok.” 

I can travel the world, all the while writing for clients. And what excites me even more, is the idea of meeting new awesome clients during my nomading. 

Now here’s the thing  — this ain’t an easy destination. This ain’t an easy endgame. This ain’t an easy masterplan. I’ve got so much work to do, clients to sign, money to make, and circumstances to create…in order to make this dream a reality. But it’s me directly choosing to be a freelancer, that opens up this possibility for me…and nothing else. 

And that is the point I’m trying to make. 

I’m sure as hell not looking for a “proper job” being chained to a corporate desk 10 hours a day as a cog in someone else’s dreams of early retirement as the appropriate masterplan to my digital nomad dream. 

It could be the right decision if I want to buy a house and start a family, however.

But why can’t freelancing also achieve first-time buying?

Great question, Alan!

(Sorry, I’m a freelancer — I’m my own personal cheerleader. And it’s a full-time job) 

Absolutely, why should the concept of buying a home be totally alienated from us freelancers? Why can’t choosing to go freelance with your life not be a viable pathway to putting a downpayment on a house too? 

My good friend Joe Rodwell, freelance composer, and his girlfriend (also a freelancer), recently achieved this major life goal. Well, at least this is what I thought anyway. I originally remember Joe posting on social media the usual first-time-buyer pic of the two of them standing outside the front door of their new home…with their new keys.

I couldn’t be any more excited, any more happy, any more proud of them. What a feat, what an achievement, what an incredible life goal unlocked — all accomplished through freelancing. 

It turns out that actually, they didn’t buy their first home “all by themselves” after all. They received family help and used a bit of inheritance in order to get on the property ladder.

But then that got me thinking…that’s even better. That makes them just like everyone else, instead of being a rare species of freelancer who defied the ridiculous odds. I like that, I can get onboard with that, I prefer that. 

Their story of homeownership is no different to anybody else with a “proper” Mon-Fri job also receiving family help in order to get ahead in life. 

And what made matters even better — is that at the time of their appointment with the mortgage advisor, Joe was having one of the best years of his life music wise, and his lady was doing so well as a producer for the BBC, she was being pushed to go self-employed by them as part of one of their production employment policies. Basically, going freelance was going to be better for her career aspirations. 

Both of them looked even better on paper than your average John & Jane Smith who work in finance and could be made redundant at any moment. Our two freelancing heroes were far more in charge of their futures and destinies in front of the banker.  

You could say…thank god they were full-time freelancers killing it professionally at the point of buying a home. Thank god they weren’t just treating it as an ‘income topper-upper.’

This is all starting to make even more sense now. 

Nevermind freelancing being a fantastically feasible and alternative career choice, it may actually be preferred. 

Let freelancing unlock your true potential 

So there ya ‘ave it. 

I’ve chosen freelancing as the preferred pathway to go travelling with my laptop, and a freelance friend of mine has achieved a notable triumph of buying a house with this way of life. 

And here’s the thing guys, I’d like to add here that there’s every possibility I may take up an offer of a full-time job in future, I may come across some contract-for-hire work, I may simply change up my working ways depending on the opportunity or my circumstances. 

I’m not going to sit here and say as a 37 year old professional, that I will be a freelancer every day, 24/7 until my grave — and that I’ll stick my fingers in my ears and be ignorant to other opportunities when they present themselves. Who knows what phone call or email might come in this week that is simply too good to pass up. I’m just saying that as a guy with his sights set on the world at large…freelancing will remain the only option to get me there. 

The full-time job I do for a few years will be the stopgap…and freelancing still my masterplan. 

Feature: Christina Morillo
1) Andrea Piacquadio
2) Andrea Piacquadio
3) RDNE Stock project
4) Kindel Media