Human values, unfortunately still cling to the belief that knowledge must sell and that a fee must attach to the way you spend your time, and you must carry a hefty title to win and retain the respect of society.
However, what about it that makes one free is that when one does some things freelance. The provider is free to produce when, how, and how frequently, and what to produce at his or her own time as there is no money coming from this production. One day you can be a writer and the next day you can relax.
The main score though is to have a purpose for your life and have a purpose for what you do. Moreover, you structure your day and life for that purpose. These are philosophical statements, no doubt; even sound fantasizing. But, as I think back in my own work creations in the real world, the best breakthroughs came about by fantasizing; thus, many a time, the boss would say, ‘this is fantastic.’
I recall in my work life how I once set upon a plan to covert an entire budget system from a spread sheet format to a database format without knowing how to do it. It was just a dream. When I took this idea to the boss, he said it was fantastic, but if you need rope he said, I'll give you much rope so that you can hang yourself in shame if you can't do it. But needless to say, I went to NYU, took a couple of computer and programming courses, and in six months time was able to come up with a great design. Then we employed a great contract programmer, Frank, and within the next six months the clipper program was up and running. The next project was writing a budget manual from scratch, a kind of impossible task at the outset.
Although junior at that time, P3-P4, I may have been the most qualified in all of UNICEF at that time (see Business Card below). Of course, as D1 Budget Director, there were a number of Ph D's to contend with. But here is the cardinal mistake the UN makes. It is not the qualifications that matter most, it is what one can deliver. Consider the richest man in the world, Bill Gates, he is said to have dropped out of a Master's program. Bill Gates, is a genius. Of course, such people are the exception than the rule.
The only unfinished dream in UNICEF was failing to install an integrated budget, as that meant a complete revolution of UN practices. But my case is stated. Forget-about-it, other great people, including the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, could not complete his work, as his life was unfortunately ended before a natural age, but his mission still carries on.
In my private world of retirement (and with no inclination to work in the past 10 years), though I do not have bosses anymore, so I receive feedback and appreciation from real people like you. This gives me greater inspiration to live life with a purpose and enjoy what I am doing, just writing. Dream of a topic, study of it, use imagination, and write. Nevertheless, I still feel very small, certainly, not a big shot.
I have enjoyed the many e-mails I receive from around the world.
Business Card of the 1980's: Merrill Cassell, MPA, FCMA, FCCA, FBIM, Budget Officer.