Loved this perspective Christopher. Very well written. I think anyone who’s self-employed in a creative service business struggles with this issue of freedom vs. stability. I know I have, and still do.
I’ve come to terms with it because I’ve realised that I have more security (multiple clients instead of beholden to one company), more freedom (to choose my clients and projects, make my own schedule), and make more money than I probably would at a full-time role. Or at least more money for the amount of time/effort/stress/commuting.
I’m also fortunate to mostly enjoy my paid client work, so I don’t yearn for less lucrative, more creative outlets. I get joy from the intersection of design and business, and satisfaction from creating good solutions within challenging constraints.
Being a self-employed creative may never be perfect. But when it’s going right it’s as close as you’ll get.