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How To Survive And Thrive As a Freelancer

Updated: Mar 28, 2023

Is freelance life all that it's cracked up to be? What are the essential skills needed to survive and thrive as a freelancer? What does it mean to be "successful" as a solo operator?

Highly experienced freelance copywriter and speaker Sarah Townsend is the author of Survival Skills For Freelancers - and over the last 20 years, has learnt through personal experience how to survive and thrive as a self-employed creative professional.

Sarah Townsend presenting

Sarah joins Second Mountain Comms' Ben Veal for episode nine of Good Journeys with Second Mountain, the podcast series that explores the lives of inspired people and their inspiring stories, to talk about her freelancing journey.

Sarah believes that great copy marks the beginning of great relationships. Survival Skills for Freelancers has helped thousands of freelancers worldwide to grow in confidence and develop a mindset for success.

Episode nine of the Good Journeys with Second Mountain podcast is out now.


Sarah Townsend speaker


"We don't go freelance to work 9 to 5"

Freelance life goes against the grain of what many employed workers may have grown accustomed to throughout their professional lives; to freelance opens up the rich opportunity to work in a way that suits your personality and fuels your professional drive. Every freelancer works in a different way, there's no one size fits all approach.

"The idea of being your own boss is that you are working on your own terms. That's not a negative for your clients - it's actually a positive - because when you know what [pattern] works for you, when you're inspired, when you're doing your best work ... your clients don't mind what hours you're working or what the details are behind-the-scenes. They just need to know they can trust and rely on you to get the job done on time and within budget."


"Saying yes to everybody doesn't work"

Sarah has learnt the hard way that freelance life isn't always the easiest path to take. Speaking on the #GoodJourneysPod about her learnings as a self-employed professional over the last two decades, Sarah shares her experience of what happens when clear boundaries are not put in place and the juggle to find balance between work and home life becomes overwhelming.

"I had two small children, a marriage on the rocks, trying to say yes to everybody - and it just doesn't work ... having too much to do just means that nobody gets the best of you, in your personal life and your working professional life. It took me so many years to have those realisations [and] part of the reason why I wrote Survival Skills For Freelancers is because I don't want her people to make those same mistakes."

Sarah Townsend books


"It's a really fun book"

Sarah's latest book is a love letter to the English language, created to "help smart people avoid stupid mistakes." The Little Book of Confusables compiles almost 600 commonly confused words - everything from practice to practise to affect or effect - and is infused with memorable tips, humorous moments and vocabulary-boosting wisdom.

"I had an author that has written seven novels who told me they [read the book and] never realised there are two different versions of the word discreet - discreet [tactful or careful in actions and speech] and discrete [individual or separate] ... I wrote both books to help and entertain people."

Each and every #GoodJourneysPod conversation can now be watched, in full, over at Second Mountain Comms' YouTube channel:

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