Wikipedia defines a Free Agent in business as
someone who works independently for oneself, rather than for a single employer. These include self-employed workers, independent contractors and temporary workers, who altogether represent about 22 percent of the U.S. labor force. The term free agent is believed to have been coined by Daniel H. Pink, author of a 1997 cover story in Fast Company titled “Free Agent Nation.
What I like about being a Free Agent:
- I choose my clients – When I meet a prospect, I know after a few minutes whether or not we’ll work well together. Michael Wagner of the White Rabbit Group wrote a post about how taking on the wrong customer/client can adversely affect an organization. For me, it’s also about my reputation as a business owner; if I take on a client for social media coaching, for example, and they don’t “get it”, chances are, they’re going to have a bad experience and tell their friends…If they don’t “get it”, our working relationship will suffer.
- Flexibility – It was always difficult for me to work in an office setting for 8 hours straight. As a Free Agent, I get up when I want to based on how much work I want to get done each day. I rarely work for more than 3 hours straight. I workout in the afternoon because that’s when I need a break. I come home, get some more work done and then head back out for networking events in the evening. I also don’t mind getting work done on the weekends. Having two full days off was always so boring for me. Now that I’m doing something I love as my profession, it doesn’t seem like I’m “working” on the weekends.
- I don’t work in a jail cell cubicle – Having to sit in a box all day really ruins one’s creative juices! I’m writing this on Memorial Day sitting on our 3-season porch enjoying the fabulous day. I wasn’t really feeling the kitchen table (my usual spot for working), so I came outside and immediately the blog-writing juices started to flow. Traditional office windows don’t even open! How did I not suffocate in an office environment?
- Location Independent – I can do my job from anywhere in the world – for the most part. This is the business model I chose for good reason – I dislike being tied down. Well, at least I want to have the option to get up and go whenever the mood strikes. Tough to do with a mortgage, but you get my drift…
Are you a Free Agent? If not, what do you like about your job? Why do you get up and go to it every morning?