Why It’s Important to Run a Business on Your Own Terms—And How to Do It

How to reclaim control over your time and energy as a freelancer.

So, you became a freelance copywriter to have more control over your time, schedule, and headspace. But right now, you’re working more than you’d like and still not feeling like you’re reaching your goals.

It feels like your freelance business is running you instead of the other way around.

Oof, I know what that’s like – and I’m here to help you break the cycle. It’s time to set processes, boundaries, and goals that enable you to run a business you truly love.

What It Means to Run a Business on Your Own Terms

We live in a time of abundant access to information and opportunities online. There are many different ways to start, market, and run an online business – which is fantastic!

But there’s a downside to all these resources. The flip side is that it’s easy to experience opinion and information overwhelm.

You’re constantly exposed to ads, Instagram stories, videos, and more that all say something different about how you *should* run your own business.

When you’re not grounded in your own goals and values, you may get swept up in this sea of information and start comparing yourself to other freelancers.

But the truth is, you don’t have to run your copywriting business like everyone else.

The beauty of being a freelancer is you get to choose how to run a business that supports your values and, most importantly, the lifestyle you want to live.

If you’re a freelance copywriter, you’re already a business owner. 🙌

You just need to run your business on your own terms. This results in…

  • Focus. When you’re clear on your value-aligned goals, you can take action to reach them. This prevents you from needlessly spinning your wheels by trying all the new business ideas or strategies out there. Instead, you remain focused on making gradual, compounding progress toward your specific goals.

  • Fulfillment. When you stop comparing yourself to others, you free yourself to feel more fulfilled with where you are. You cultivate deep confidence that you’re on the exact path you’re meant to be on. 

It’s time to release the beliefs about how you should run a business and create the processes that work best for you. Because having more control over your own time is one of the reasons you became a freelance copywriter in the first place, right?

5 Ways to Run a Business on Your Own Terms

Are you ready to feel in control of your time, headspace, and goals? Here are 5 business processes to help you do just that.

  1. Working Hours. 

    Many of us grew up believing that we need to work 8 hours a day, 40 hours a week – but that’s simply not true. You may feel like you have to sit down at your desk and work from 9-5, especially if you’re coming from the traditional workplace.

    But as a freelance business owner, you get to set your own hours. Give yourself permission to work during the times that you have the most mental energy.

    For example, are you a night owl who enjoys getting work done late at night? Stop trying to force yourself to get up early! Do you start feeling tired around 3 p.m.? Allow yourself to take a break and walk around the block.

    You get more work done in a shorter amount of time when you plan your day around your mental energy.

  1. Response Time. 

    Similar to setting your working hours, it’s also important to set proper expectations with your clients about your response time and when you’re available.

    Today’s work culture expects many people to be constantly available to respond to emails, but this is simply another belief that you can release as a freelancer.

    Outline the hours of the day that you’re going to check your emails, and decide how quickly you respond to them. This releases the expectation that you need to respond right away and actually gives you more time to plan a thoughtful response.

    Need to hold yourself accountable? Remove your email app from your phone and only check your emails on your computer during the hours you’ve set.

  1. Work Environment. 

    I’m not sure who needs to hear this, but – you don’t need to chain yourself to your desk all day long!

    Do you enjoy being around other people? Head to a coffee shop or coworking space to get your work done in a vibrant setting.

    I can’t tell you how much I used to hate the fluorescent lighting at my last corporate job. Something about it just harmed my mood and energy.

    Now, I fill my workspace with soft lighting, warm colors, and tons of plants. This sounds like a small tweak, but cultivating a comfortable environment welcomes in so much more creativity and flow.

  1. Boundaries. 

    I can’t tell you how important it is to learn to say no as a freelancer. Of course, it’s good to accept tons of different types of opportunities in the beginning.

    But as you learn about the projects you like, and the types of clients you like to work with, you’re allowed to become more selective.

    Saying no to projects that don’t align with your interests or values helps you build self-trust and honor your own preferences.

    At the end of the day, YOU get to choose who you work with, what you work on, and how you run your business. Choosing things that light you up ultimately makes you more fulfilled and your business more prosperous.

  1. Business Plan. 

    As you continue to grow your freelance business, keep checking in with how you’re feeling and adjust your business processes accordingly.

    Do you have any feelings of resentment, resistance, or procrastination? These are usually cues that certain things need to change in your business.

    For example, if you keep finding yourself procrastinating on a certain client’s work each month, ask yourself if you’re still enjoying writing about that topic or that type of copy. It could be a sign that it’s time to move on from that client.

    Basically, checking in with yourself periodically allows you to make small adjustments in your business that feel more aligned with you. This prevents you from waking up one day and realizing you need to do a massive overhaul in your business.

Overall, it’s important to honor your personal preferences. When you do, you actually end up getting more done – and feel so much happier along the way.

The beauty of being a freelance business owner is you get to run a business according to your desires. Don’t let yourself forget that or start comparing yourself to others.

How to Run a Business Online

Running a business on your own terms starts with shifting from an employee mindset to a business owner mindset. This is when you give yourself permission to define your own goals, boundaries, processes, and vision.

As a freelance copywriter, you already are a business owner. But it may take some time and mindset practice to fully internalize this belief.

That’s why the business owner mindset has always been a foundational aspect of my copywriting course, Write Your Way to Freedom.

Of course, you learn exactly how to write effective, compelling copy. But Write Your Way to Freedom also walks you through how to build a successful business on your own terms.

Get guidance on how to…

  • Cultivate your mindset – overcome the limiting beliefs that hold you back and cultivate confidence.

  • Set value-aligned goals – define what true success means to you in your life and how your business can support it.

  • Find the right clients – learn how to work with clients that align with your beliefs and land the projects you want to work on.

These are just a few of the ways you learn how to run a business that also supports your life and values. 

To learn more, sign up for my free copywriting masterclass, How to Build a Lucrative Freelance Copywriting Career.

Want to Watch Instead?

View my YouTube video on how to run a business on your own terms. Subscribe here for more tips on building a value-aligned freelance copywriting career.

About Sarah

I’m an entrepreneur on a mission to help other people become entrepreneurs.
My blog is a place where I provide business building advice and explore how we can create more meaningful work.

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