4 Essential Freelance Lessons I Learned Last Year for Business And Life

Michael Nardi
The Fiverr Playbook
5 min readJan 13, 2022

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Some perspective to help us be happy, fulfilled, and successful in 2022!

Photo by Dmitry Ratushny on Unsplash

Pandemic aside, 2021 was a transformative year for me. My fiverr business reached new highs when I was accepted into their fiverr pro seller program. My YouTube channel grew to 6x the size it was at the beginning of 2021. My email newsletter grew from a handful of people to hundreds of people…

Basically, all of the side hustles I’d been working on building over the past couple of years have finally started to take shape!

But through doing all that I realized I’d learned a handful of very important life lessons that I think will be essential to continued happiness, a sense of fulfillment, and success in 2022 and beyond. These 4 lessons are what I’ll be diving into in this post.

Freelance Lessons #1: Proactively Prevent Burnout

Over the past couple of years I’ve found that it can be pretty easy to fall into a pattern of obsessive productivity. With nothing else to do during the pandemic I figured being productive, creating content, freelancing, and making money online would be the best use of my time.

Burnout is REAL!

It really does creep up on you. After months of working at all hours of the day, sacrificing time with family, the gym, or doing things that let your mind unwind things slowly starts to weigh on you.

So this past year I made a conscious effort to make sure I was taking the time to go for walks, spend time with family, read, and do things that help me unplug from all of my freelance work. It helped me reduce anxiety, stay fulfilled and happy with the work that I was doing, and overall be more satisfied in my life. Highly recommend!

Freelance Lesson #2: The Path Becomes Clear Once You Start Down It

This one has to do with the idea that if you’re starting out as a freelancer (or at anything new for that matter) you’re never going to fully understand how to succeed until you actually start.

Over the past year I’ve had a lot of friends reaching out to me asking about how to go about starting their own freelance businesses.

The one thing I’ve noticed with almost everyone I speak with, and this was something I was guilty of in the past, was that they all seem to be over planning every little detail. They plan themselves into paralysis and never actually take that first step to start freelancing. Everyone wants to plan every little aspect of their fiverr business to make sure they make no mistakes, make money as fast as possible, and are able to grow quickly.

NEWS FLASH! How are you going to plan for everything when you don’t know what exactly you’re planning for?

The reality is that until you start doing the thing that you are planning for, you’re never going to know the specific challenges you’re going to be faced with. And how would you? A lot of the things you’ll deal with on a daily basis as a freelancer are going to be new to you.

We don’t know what we don’t know. So if you find yourself getting into planning paralysis just start doing whatever it is you’re planning for. Things will start to make more sense once you do!

Freelance Lesson #3: Your Fitness Will Affect Your Work

This past year I noticed a huge dip in my physical fitness. A combination of being stuck inside due to the pandemic, and the uptick in the amount of freelance work I’ve been taking on caused me to neglect my health.

Midway through 2021 I started to feel lethargic. My mood was changing. I was getting anxious. And most notably my productivity really dropped. My mood started affecting the quality of work I was putting out.

Enough was enough, I knew I’d been putting my fitness on hold for a while, it was time to get back to the gym. And let me tell you, once I did, everything improved.

Aside from feeling better, being in a better mood, and having fewer spells of anxiety my freelance business started doing better!

With a clear mind I was able to negotiate better projects. Put out better writing. And ultimately do better than I’d been doing as a copywriter months prior.

Fitness matters. If you’re a freelancer, or want to become one, make the time to stay healthy!

Freelance Lesson #4: Enjoy The Journey

Enjoy the journey. We live in a world where everyone is looking to fast track success. Whether it be freelancing, starting a business, climbing the corporate ladder, everyone just wants to rush their way to the top.

Don’t believe me? Just take a look at Medium’s homepage. How many articles do you see that are the “here’s how to make $1xxx fast” type posts? Probably a lot. And they’re not just here on Medium, they’re everywhere. It’s the type of content people love consuming nowadays.

Let me tell you something. I agree that a quick rise to success sounds like a great thing. But I also think that enjoying the journey and savoring all of the life experiences gained along the way is equally if not more important.

Enjoy the journey!

We only get one shot at life. One shot at rising to success. One shot at developing as freelancers. If you find yourself obsessing over how to do things faster, how to achieve success quicker, and all things related to that, maybe you need to take a step back and assess whether you actually enjoy what you’re doing.

That’s it for today! Feel free to hit me up on YouTube or Twitter if you have any questions, happy to help answer them in any way that I can!

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Michael Nardi
The Fiverr Playbook

Canadian Blogger— Freelance Copywriter. YouTube Content Creator. Aspiring Novelist. www.youtube.com/c/MikeNardiTV