What makes a good freelancer?
Some would characterize them as hard workers, up late and back at work early; others would say the one and only quality they need is the capacity to produce a superior product; a few, though, claim that the secret to a great freelancer is passion for the project. Do they love what they do, or is it simply a job that pays the bills?
A double-edged sword in a sea of mediocre freelancers
This last concept, though absolutely accurate, is tragically flawed; a double-edged sword in a sea of mediocre freelancers. As vital to good work as passion is, it leads to the exact scenario that you’re trying to avoid: the waste of both time and money.
Passion is often highly associated with a dreamer; a visionary who sees a path, or potential in any given venture, and can’t shake it until they’ve tried. Passion also means learning as much as possible about the various ways to get where one is headed, via tool or trade. The unfortunate aspect is that, often times, in order to continue to pay the bills (as adults are often prone to do) that research or brand new, shiny trade is fed straight into the mind of the freelancer, the same hour you just paid $25 for.
The fact is that freelancers aren’t on your team; they’re their own entities, entirely autonomous. Therefore, contrary to the type of industry adaptation you’d encourage with a full-time employee, it truly is not cost effective or logical to allow this form of paid research on your own time.
A common quote passed around in the freelance world is…
Do something today that your future self will thank you for.
But when we have no stake in a freelancer’s future, we don’t have the time or money to fuel their fire today.