• Gabi Bellairs-Lombard

The ‘madness’ of going freelance

Updated: Apr 13, 2020

“You’re only given a little spark of madness. You mustn’t lose it.” – Robin Williams

This is one of my favourite quotes from one of my favourite actors, and it applies to my life almost to the tee.

I heard from so many different people that ‘jobs are hard to come by these days, you know’, which I am fully aware of. But just as jobs are hard to come by, so is total happiness and fulfilment with the direction you choose to take your career.

I was working in-house as a Content Creator for a reputable skincare company that taught me a multitude of valuable lessons (and paid me quite well), including how my work should be valued and how it is up to me to find fulfilment in whatever task I undertook. As the company started to evolve into something more corporate, I gradually began to realise that I was not suited to this environment. I started resenting my job and my happiness was dwindling.

So, I resigned. And I didn’t really have a plan B.

I knew I wanted to go back to freelancing and, thankfully, I maintained a client that pays me on a retainer basis so I wouldn’t be totally poor. But I would be taking a significant pay cut and I didn’t have any structures set up in order for my transition from corporate to freelance to be smooth and stable. I got to a point where the risk was going to be worth it because I desperately wanted my happiness back.

There is a certain madness in this approach because there is an overwhelming fear of the unknown. My mom reminded me that ‘patience and perseverance’ is our family motto and I am living proof of that now: not long ago I thought I had made a big mistake in giving up financial security for a more flexible, balanced life, but now my business is taking off and I am attracting more clients and I can finally say that everything is going to be fine. And the happiness I felt was sacrificed for a payslip is back in full force.

Of course, there are huge questions that linger in the air when you launch your own freelance business: how will I build my client base? How will I also be my own accountant/designer/manager? How will I manage to pay my expenses and save? There is a huge amount of anxiety involved because I didn’t know how to answer these questions two months ago. But two months ago, I also was in a different headspace – one that was negative and doubtful – and I decided a shift needed to happen. I started channelling more positive energy into my everyday life, visualising my goals, and wishing them into existence. Then, in one week I signed a freelance writer contract, solidified a partnership with an agency, and had a meeting with another local agency! I decided none of these events was an accident – I attracted what I was exuding.

So, yes – I was mad for leaving my well-paying corporate job. But it is this spark of madness that has brought me to where I am today with LOTS more to come.

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Gabi Bellairs-Lombard



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