5 Friends Every Freelancer Needs

Freelancing is lonely work – quite honestly you wouldn’t have gotten into it if you just loved staff meetings and co-workers dropping by your cube unannounced. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean you have to be a lone wolf. Even freelancers need some friends now and then.

The Other Freelancer

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Maybe this is a mentor, maybe it’s someone you met in a networking event, or maybe it’s just the person you noticed takes her dog for walks at all hours of the day and rarely seems like she leaves home. Having a friend who also freelancers is important because people with traditional office jobs won’t ever really understand what it’s like to one day realize you can actually choose laundry as a procrastination device. Seriously though, having someone to go to with questions who also works solo from home is critical when new situations pop up you don’t know how to handle. And also, the day your friend comes to you for advice you will get a good confidence boost.

The Gung-Ho Artist

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A painter, a documentary maker, the photographer who wants to showcase his work hanging upside down from a bridge in the middle of Nebraska – a true starving artist friend with the deepest passion for their work will inspire you to keep focused on your own goals and also be grateful you are making a tangible income. A gung-ho artist friend will help you see how passion truly can drive your day, and chances are you became a freelancer because you wanted more creative freedom. The gung-ho artist can quickly rekindle your creativity and passion for your work during just a quick meeting for coffee.

The Working Stiff

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This will make up most of your friend circle, but freelancers do need to be reminded what color the grass is on the other side from time to time. It’s completely normal to search through job ads and revel over the benefits and health coverage offered by companies just down the road. But you bit the bullet for a reason and owe it to yourself to stick out freelancing until you see success (which will come). Just joining your working-stiff co-worker in his hot suit for a happy-hour drink and listening to him complain about the person burning popcorn in the microwave will cast your home office in a whole new light.

The Sporty/Athletic Friend

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I admit, this is probably the first friend you want to push away, but don’t. You’re friend who is obsessed with rock climbing, addicted to triathlons, or just really into the latest sport trend (trampolining? Ultimate Frisbee?) will wear you down with invitations until you agree to get out of the house and get some exercise. As a freelancer, there will always be a project you can be working on, and the exercise routine can quickly take a backseat to the never ending pile of work. But if you have a friend who is constantly reminding you the tennis court is open, you are likelier to get out and stay healthy.

The Unconditional Support

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This is most likely a spouse or your mom, but every freelancer needs someone who believes in them, their talent, and their work ethic – because the truth is sometimes you won’t. Most clients will love your work, but a handful will just never be satisfied, and having that person who can tell you to keep at it because they believe in you might be the only thing that gets you out of the cycle of not feeling good enough to achieve your goals.


  • Keia

    Loved this

  • I think I need more?

  • Kundan

    Nice tips!
    Thanks :-)

  • 7silence

    ahah nice post ;)

  • Well, I must agree with this… Really nice post.

  • andykillen

    I’m gonna suggest that the techie geek is missing from the list.

  • MigrantMerkel

    Really nice post. :) Ive got the uncon supportive mum, athletic friend to keep me motivated through the gym, most mates are the work stiffs, im a gung ho artist but need more friends like that, The spouse bit is much harder considering i literally work on my own 24/7

  • Love the last one! One needs support to succeed in this industry!

  • yeah its true,, nice post for freelancers

  • Awesome Guy

    Yup Agreed

  • Agreed with all of these, although the techie friend as suggested by andykillen is also a must IMO. Just because you use a computer doesn’t necessarily mean you know what makes it go! :)

  • This is great and so true! Thanks for posting this.

  • i like your points, but couldn’t help but notice:
    The Other Freelancer > male
    The Gung-Ho Artist > male
    The Working Stiff > male
    The Sporty/Athletic Friend > male
    The Unconditional Support > female

    *sigh* we got a LONG way to go …


    ps. agree with andykillen about the Techie Geek buddy, too!

  • Hilarious and so very true. Now I have to post an ad to get about 3 out of 5 of these… ;)

  • L3CM

    Oh geeeez. Seriously? What ratio of male to female would you be happy with? Let’s focus on more important things in life.

  • Ron

    I also think as Freelancers we try to be all of these people.
    Nice post.

  • Diane S

    My sister is my gung ho artist and my sporty athletic friend. I wish I would have gotten some of her motivation and energy.

  • Matt Hull

    Being self employed my problem is I tend to work in a bit of a bubble, and I get lonely. When I do work as a team I realise how much I need it. Any recommendations on finding fellow people to bounce ideas off?

  • Steve Bonin

    thanks for this Roy, I actually enjoy being alone all day, but I do have a separate office from my home.

  • Patrice

    All I can say is “AMEN” Been there, needed that.

  • The man in the suit

    While not a replacement for real human contact, there’s the internet. There’s a forum/online society for just about anything and many of them have regular posters who are knowledgeable, helpful and supportive.

  • disqus_C6vfFT6vhY

    So true. and through other people that you meet, which i think are more than when you’re employed (that is if you get out of your house), you really get to get more ideas and insights which help you in the long run. i’ve been in the corporate scene for quite some time, and i really cant help to think that you are “boxed in.” sure, stability is there, but freedom, nothing beats freelance. you just need to be very patient and diligent to make it work. good post!

  • Although we freelancers would like to think we can handle anything that comes our way it’s nice to have help to combat that not-enough-hours-in-a-day feeling. We shouldn’t have to go back to the drawing board every time we hit a wall, so it’s nice to have these resources at the ready. It also gives us a glimpse of the future because one day we will be one of someone else’s 5 friends.

  • Excellent piece of work, Thanks

  • Ned Albright

    You have a printer you work with? Ask if you can wonder through the art dept. You’ll find envy and friends. Make pals with a close art gallery or frame shop owner – artists in and out all day. Hang where you shop – Office Depot, Mac store, big box, etc – hang around your area of interest and you’ll find folks looking at what you like – talk with them. All this better than the local bar – trust me here. Good luck! Pals do help – been there … some times find myself there again.