The Stoic’s Guide To Balanced Freelancing

Brad Bartlett
4 min readDec 28, 2023

If you’re going to make it long-term as a freelancer, you’ll need more than a few hacks and an online course.

When I first stepped into the world of writing online for clients, I imagined all I’d need was a client, a lovely testimonial, and some safety net cash.

But as I quickly learned, the freelance life is not for the faint of heart. It takes discipline, adaptability, and a strong sense of balance to navigate the ups and downs of this career path.

One philosophy that has been instrumental in helping me maintain my equilibrium as a freelancer is Stoicism.

This ancient Greek school of thought focuses on finding inner peace and contentment by accepting what we cannot control and focusing on what we can control.

But more than that, stoicism looks at aspects of professional growth such as personal ethics and resilience — something that could be the lifeboat many freelancers have been looking for.

Because if you are going to hack it in the uber-competitive world of freelancing, you need to be able to roll with the punches and stay true to your values.

Applying Stoic Principles to Freelancing Challenges

Stoic philosophy offers an array of principles that could be applied to the challenges of freelancing.

One of the core tenets of stoicism is focusing on what’s within one’s control, a principle that can guide freelancers to invest their energy wisely.

Like this: instead of fretting over a client’s delayed response (or two, or ten…) a freelancer can better utilize this time to hone their skills or explore new opportunities. By not wasting those precious moments worrying about Client X, you may just find better-paying Clients Y and Z.

Another stoic principle that freelancers can embrace is accepting the present moment. Freelancing is fraught with unexpected turns, and a stoic acceptance of the present can help overcome these challenges.

For instance, a sudden project cancellation could be seen as an opportunity to venture into new arenas rather than a setback. In some cases, that setback may have protected you from a nightmare scenario.



Brad Bartlett

Professional Freelance Copywriter. ( Musings on #freelancing, #productivity, #self-development, and more!