Freelancing Therapy: How to Make Freelancing Work for Your Personality

Are you struggling as a freelancer? It could be that your personality is to blame.

Of course, there are many types of successful freelancers. So, your personality type need not be an obstacle to your success. But sadly, it often is.

In this post, I’ll list some common personality types and explain some of the freelancing challenges that are specific to each type.

The Perfectionist

You may be a perfectionist if you are constantly finding fault with your own work and the work of others. You tend to have very high standards and are very detail oriented. The little things count and you know it.

When it comes to accuracy and high quality, the perfectionist can really shine. The perfectionist’s high standards mean that a client can count on top-notch work because the perfectionist won’t be happy turning in anything else.

One challenge you have as a freelancer is to let go of work when it’s good enough. Your perfectionist tendency to constantly revise and correct your work can actually cause you to miss deadlines.

The other challenge you face is that of being too hard on yourself. Your critical eye may find faults that are not evident or important to others.

The People Person

You’re probably a people person if you seem to make friends with everyone you meet. You genuinely like almost everyone and they like you. You love spending time with others and seek out the opportunity to meet new people whenever you can.

A people person has a definite advantage as a freelancer when it comes to networking. Most freelancers with this personality type have huge networks, which help them to generate quality leads for their freelancing business.

A freelancing challenge for the people person is to buckle down and get the work done. A people person freelancer may be tempted to spend too much time hanging out with friends at the coffee shop or on social networks.

Another challenge that the people person faces is being too trusting. Because he or she likes almost everyone, they have trouble imagining that someone might not have their best interests in mind. Be extra vigilant about possible scammers and always require a contract even if you don’t think one is needed.

The Rebel

You’re a rebel if you became a freelancer because you couldn’t stand the rules and restrictions of a more long-term working arrangement. Rebels tend to be highly intelligent with sometimes brilliant ideas, but often don’t convey those ideas well and they sometimes lack patience.

Rebels need a positive outlet for their ideas and creativity. Side projects are often the answer. Since a rebel dislikes having a boss or rules, the side project lets him or her move at their own pace and provides a creative outlet.

Generally, a micromanaging client is not a good match for a rebel. If you have a rebel personality type, seek out clients who don’t require much structure and are willing to give you free rein on their project.

Finding the patience to deal with clients who have a more structured approach to business can be a real challenge for the rebel personality. If you find yourself working with a client who demands structure, try to be patient and remember it’s not personal–it’s just the way that client happens to be.

The Controller

Do you freak out if you don’t know exactly what’s going on with your business and your projects at any given time? Do you hate to delegate work? If this describes you, chances are that your personality type is the controller.

Controllers make excellent project managers. They always know where the project is and how to get it to the next level. Their natural organizational skills can be a real asset to their freelancing business.

The down side of being a controller is that the freelancer with this personality type may try to do too much. He or she hates to delegate work to others, even when it makes a lot of sense to do so. If you’re a controller, you may have to force yourself to get help when you need it.

Another struggle that controllers face is dealing with the unpredictability of the freelancing life. As a controller personality, you’ll feel much better if you have a plan to deal with contingencies. An emergency fund is a good idea for all freelancers, but it’s a must for you.

The Shy One

Some people are less outgoing than others. That’s perfectly okay. If the thought of meeting face-to-face with a client or giving a speech stresses you out, your personality type is probably the shy one.

Shy freelancers have a lot to offer. They are frequently sympathetic listeners and can be very loyal to their clients.

As a shy freelancer, marketing is probably a struggle for you. You hate to put your name out there, but know that you have to if you are going to get any business.

Fortunately, there are steps that shy freelancers can take to successfully network and sell. Just be careful not to put off the selling and networking tasks too long or you will have trouble getting enough work to stay afloat.

Your Turn

What personality type fits you? How has it affected your freelancing business?

Share your answers in the comments.

Image by Chi King