Google 'how to freelance' and you'll find a list of articles on how to setup your company or ways to improve your freelance business. They're great. We write most of them; but there's not much out there on the emotional side of freelancing and what one needs to succeed from a psychological perspective. Do you have what it takes to be a successful freelancer? Take a look at the habits of a successful freelancer and see how many boxes you tick.

With over 20 years of freelancing on the clock and 6 years helping freelancers develop their business, we've met some wonderful characters with a range of personality traits. We've also noticed a pattern in the profile of successful freelancers who are still around, working at the level they're happy with and earning a great wage. So what makes a great freelancer?

There is one personalty trait that we come across time and time again that we affectionately refer as the hustler profile. This freelancer type thrives on a never say die attitude, has the ability to spot an opportunity and the drive to succeed. We've noticed that the hustler profile also has that rare ability to walk up to a stranger and talk about themselves or their services - an extravert with swagger. Most successful freelancers have a bit of the hustler in them. The other key trait we've found is very different. 

Emotionally, freelancing can be very challenging. When things aren't working it can be a lonely place and without a regular wage it's hard to know how each month is going to turn out let alone each year. We're often filled with anxiety about money, bills, clients, family and friends. We miss out on certain social experiences and life can feel hard. The good news is that it gets easier. Time can be a real healer and often it's the mental side we need to work on to get over a lot of life's freelance stresses.

We call it 'the fear of freelancing'.

That feeling when you dare not take a holiday in case you miss a client. Over time you get used to the anti-social hours and irregular wage patterns. The key is to trust your ability to make it work and recognise that you'll have good months and bad but that it generally evens out of the year. It's equally as important to take a break and clear your head. Check out the Pomodoro Technique (intermittent breaks in between concentrated work). It's not just daily productivity that's required either. If you can't afford a holiday take a weekend to yourself. Clarity of mind is paramount when it comes to running your business. Stress leads to mistakes and if you don't step back once in a while it can have a negative effect on your health and your business. It's this very characteristic we often see in those self employed success stories - zen. Calmness breeds confidence which often opens doors to opportunities. You're more likely to make bad decisions when stressed so give yourself a mental break as well as a physical one. 

Lastly, the personality trait that often comes to the surface is adaptability. That ability to fit into a situation seamlessly and wear many masks depending on who you're dealing with. Freelancers have to work with so many different types of people from directors of companies to private clients and each person requires a slightly different approach. You typically only spend a short amount of time with each too so knowing everyone's triggers can be a very useful skill. 

To make connections, meet successful freelancers and develop your skill, be sure to check out our next Masterclass