I love this tweet from today’s guest! I feel it captures the essence of this podcast, extending well beyond this episode.

I’m about to celebrate my 2-year freelancing anniversary and it was pure serendipity that this podcast episode comes out so close to that moment. It’s especially important because it combines three of the elements that combine to make up most of my work: building a company of one (aka freelancing), decision-making, and the growth mindset.

My guest today, Tom Hirst, generously shares how he’s progressed on all three fronts during the last decade, highlighting the decisions he used to achieve balance and the thinking behind them. The way he considers the choices and actions he’s making today and their future impact is a highly valuable lesson in strategic thinking. I learn a lot from this conversation and I hope you will too!

This is a fast-paced episode that packs a lot of energy and that might be just what you need to find your own priorities and engineer your growth from here on. Keep a notebook close, you’ll want to take notes!


About Tom Hirst:

Fresh out of college, Tom Hirst went straight into freelancing.

That was 11 years ago, when resources for freelancers and what it’s like to work as one were scarce. For over a decade, Tom, who is a freelance WordPress developer, has been building his mindset, processes, skills, and know-how, refining them to design a lifestyle he enjoys while doing the work he loves.

I met him on Twitter a few months ago, when a thread he did on pricing freelance projects snowballed to viral levels. In just a few weeks, he turned that into an ebook that every freelancer should read.

What especially caught my eye about Tom Hirst is his incredibly articulate and thoughtful observations around the decisions and actions that make a freelancer a true pro.

Beyond building his way to success in his freelance web development career, Tom also recently started to create a big audience on Twitter. When you understand the thinking and work that goes into his tweets, I bet you’ll instantly appreciate his transparency as much as I do.

Tom shares a lot of useful tips, methods, and inspiration for self-employed people. With everyone working from home, I feel this way of thinking now extends to everyone, as being self-managed, proactive, and owning your path is essential to anything we want to achieve, no matter how or where we work. In other words, Tom is a very good mentor, sharing his honest thoughts, perspectives, and experiences with you and me and everyone who wants to listen – and then do.

No matter what your job or role is, Tom’s perspective and advice are golden! And they’re easy to transfer to your own context.

Listen to this episode to learn more about his ideas, thoughts on freelancing in a very uncertain environment, and how to build a foundation that maintains your discipline as well as helping you enjoy the flexibility and freedom of being a freelancer.

Listen to this episode to learn:

  • What really works to achieve a balance between work and your personal life
  • How to set your deadlines more realistically
  • How to maintain your discipline during a period of high stress and anxiety caused by work overload
  • Effective ways to keep track of your progress at work and all areas of life that matter to you
  • Why achieving a balance between income and having a good relationship with clients will elevate your work and sense of achievement
  • What you can expect from a freelancing career and which stereotypes to avoid so you can set yourself up for success
  • The difference between “nice to have” and “need to have” in everything you do and how it can change your perspective and decisions.

A few ideas that stuck with me:

  • Freelancing involves discipline, maintaining good mental health, and taking control of your future. All that depends on becoming a good boss for yourself.
  • Freelancing is not for everyone because it requires you to play a range of different roles.
  • Doing any form of sports is fundamental for your mental health and it also forms the basis to build a bunch of other life-changing healthy habits.
  • Being a freelancer means you are a business owner. It can be a way for you to turn your passion into a very well paid job IF you take it seriously.
  • It’s very important to cultivate a strong relationship with small groups of people who share your interests and principles. It’s one of the best ways to open yourself up to amazing opportunities for your work and personal development.

Connect with Tom:

Resources mentioned in the episode:

Book: Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones by James Clear

Alternatively, play the episode in your favorite apps:

Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Overcast | Simplecast | Stitcher | Pocket Casts | Player.fm