We love this diagram by the Freelancers Union in the United States, which charts the journey every independent professional makes from financially precarious hustler, to self-actualised master of the freelancing universe.
Where are you on your business journey?
The Freelancers Union defines the five stages of freelance actualisation as follows:
The Unfree Freelancer — You’re constantly stressed out about money — getting enough gigs to pay your rent and put food on the table is your only priority.
The Hustling Freelancer — You’ve finally got some gigs, but they’re sporadic. Of course, things like insurance or savings or a real plan for the future are still out of reach.
The Empowered Freelancer — You’ve got some steady clients and maybe can even find some time for a vacation (but still check your email from the beach). Your network is small but growing.
The Influential Freelancer — Clients are finding you. Your peers are asking your advice. You’re financially stable and healthy — you might even have life insurance! But you’re still missing that thriving community you need to be a truly successful freelancer.
The 360 Freelancer — Congratulations, you have achieved self-actualization! You are living a New Mutualist life! You’re looking to the future and seeing that you’re more successful when you work with your network. You’re happy and healthy and giving back — living a 360-degree freelance life. You might even start a cooperative business! Full description coming soon.
Click here to read the full article, or to learn more about each of the five stages.