American workers’ top three life goals are:
- Spending enough time with their family
- Leading a fulfilling life
- Getting the most out of life.
More U.S. independent workers reported achieving these three goals than the overall U.S. workforce. More independents also reported achieving continued personal growth and helping others.
In essence, independent professionals are living their best lives. How are they doing that? What are the ingredients that, when combined, lead to happier, healthier, and even wealthier lives?
It’s about Balance
The simplest answer is “work-life balance.” Independents report being better able to include personal and family experiences while maintaining work productivity. What creates this balance? Mainly freedom. Independents have more freedom than full-time employees in several ways. including:
- WHO they work with. Independents are free to choose their clients. Many curate a portfolio of Clients of Choice with whom they mainly or exclusively work.
- WHEN they work. Independents set their work schedules, which means they can work when they are most productive.
- WHERE they work. Work location is completely at the independent’s discretion. The rise of digital nomadism is the most dramatic example of this.
- HOW they work. Independents set up their businesses as they see fit, decide on policies and procedures, and determine strategy.
- How MUCH they work. Independents can dial their workloads up and down according to their wants and needs.
Goodbye to Job Stresses
Another contributor to work-life balance and living one’s best life is the absence of stresses common to the employee experience. For example, no more commuting saves time and money (and possibly frustration), while no more office politics or rumor mills eliminate energy-sapping and often demotivating work environments. Lifestyle is not linked to work requirements, so choosing where and how to live alleviates stresses once attached to residing in an undesirable location because that’s where the job was.
Redefining What’s Important
Today, when independent professionals say they are living their best lives, this could mean many things. These workers can define for themselves what the term means. Not long ago, this wasn’t the case. The definition was created by society and often included elements like outcompeting coworkers, getting the corner office, or driving the glitzy car. While some independents may include one or more of these to define their best lives, it’s by their own choice. Many have gone in other directions, like traveling the world while working or living in a country cabin.
Work-life balance, freedom, and redefining what’s important—going independent can open the door to a person’s best life.