The idea of being a freelancer is often represented as a solitary act. You're on your own, fighting the world, no one to help out, no one to catch you if you fall.
I think this is an unfortunate idea-- I honestly don't think anyone is fully on their own, and if they are, they'd be better off finding a community of people to help them out. We make each other stronger, we build each other up, and we can also help out on ideas and execution!
When I started my first business, I had this idea that building a company was all about shutting the door to friends and family (literally and figuratively) and working constantly, effectively ignoring everything else in my life. I learned pretty quickly how wrong I was -- I ended up feeling incredibly depressed, and the thing I used to care about (my work) ended up feeling like a prison.
It wasn't until years later when I started Capparsa that I knew work could be something different. It didn't need to be an all-consuming time monster. I could still work and make progress every day, but it was in balance with the rest of my life. It was realizing that there's so much more to my life than trying to grow a business.
In 2015, our company applied to and was accepted to be a part of the Tech Wildcatters accelerator class. We joined an incredible community of people that have since helped us shape the company and grow it in a meaningful and impactful way. It became less about growth for the sake of growth, and more about working for a purpose. It's been amazing to be surrounded by such smart, motivated individuals who keep me going whenever I feel I want to quit.
The community doesn't have to be work related either-- Over a year ago I started spinning at an indoor cycling studio. I fell in love with the workout, but I also fell in love with the community of dedicated riders that would consistently show up and ride all the time. The workouts were tough, and we started bonding over getting through them together. That simple act of showing up, putting in work, struggling together, and walking out successfully started to train my mind to not give up on other things-- and to remember that when I want to quit I need to double down and push for what really matters to me.
Community is all about helping each other. It's about helping other people achieve their goals, and as a result, you begin to achieve yours. You feel yours are in reach, and that if someone else can do it, you can too. It's a beautiful feeling, and it's something to seek out and celebrate.
Being a freelancer or entrepreneur or really doing anything hard at all doesn't have to be a solitary act. It can be filled with people in your life that surround you and help you and lift you up, especially when things get tough. Find a community that matters to you, and help others achieve their goals so you can achieve yours too.