Finding Your Purpose As a Freelancer

“My purpose is to   (action verb)   others to   (something really awesome)  , and I do that through    (my art)  !”

Finding your purpose, as an entrepreneur is the greatest thing you can do for your career.

It will drive everything you do, every client you work with, and every goal you work towards.

As I sat through maverick pianist Jade Simmon’s keynote speech at the recent Self Employment for the Arts (SEA) Conference, this realization hit me like the proverbial ton of bricks.

There was also a light-bulb involved.

Here I was at this conference, hoping to get answers to burning questions about SEO, blogging frequency and personal branding…

And I didn’t even know what my purpose was!

“Your purpose is to cause a change in the people who see what you make.”


Not only that, but our work is simply a vehicle, a way to convey a message.


Now I don’t mean that everyone’s purpose has to be a deeply emotional or spiritual experience.

But whether you write, photograph, design, build, bake, code, or sell/market someone else’s product, it’s important to know why.

Why do you do what you do?

Once you know your purpose, you’re better prepared to succeed in your career.

How come?

It gives you a focus, whether it’s selling, entertaining, reporting, or simply sharing what you do with others.

Having a purpose opens you up to new possibilities.

It helps you become more creative and more innovative than ever before!

It frees you from being stuck with one business, one art form, or one type of business.

If your purpose is to “cause a change”, then you don’t have to just blog about it. You can speak about or film it, dance about it or make art for it!

You see where I’m going here? Your purpose drives your direction, but not how you choose to get here.

Jade made another great point about purpose: Knowing your purpose allows you to “create your brand around YOURSELF”!

Jade Simmons

Suddenly, who you are becomes not only important, but a unique, marketable skill.

Your passion, your interests, your personality and background.

That is what make you uncommon. That’s your brand story.

Take me, for example. I’m a freelance journalist, travel writer, photographer and videographer.

Interesting, but not uncommon, right?

But if I add that I grew up on three different continents, and am an accent chameleon, Bollywood dancer and Korean drama fan, I have the beginnings of a unique brand story.

What’s my purpose? My purpose is to  CHALLENGE  others to SEE THE WORLD DIFFERENTLY , and I do that through  MULTIMEDIA JOURNALISM!

And that is my key to becoming a good freelancer, a good business owner, and a great journalist.

How about you?

What’s your purpose?


  • Even though I attended the branding workshop at WITS I simply didn’t “get it”. Not until I read this post. Your words were super helpful and this week I’m going to work on writing my own purpose. Thank you!

  • leannaej

    Christa, thank you so much for your kind words! You should definitely take a look at Jade Simmons’ work as a fantastic example of purpose. She really inspired me!

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