Rosanne Talks About What Makes a Happy Freelancer

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When we first started working with Rosanne Schipper as a City Manager, she sent us a selfie of herself wearing a croissant for a hat. Not only did it make us all laugh and welcome her to the team, but it captured her creative and entrepreneurial spirit from the get go. As our Amsterdam City Manager, Rosanne's helped our abroad community flourish. 

She's a true freelancing spirit, sharing her journey as a freelancer (and being her own boss) on her site Happy Freelancer and her super-relatable (and hilarious) Instagram Happy Freelancer Struggles. We loved her site and how helpful it was for any rookie or expert freelancer.

Tell us about yourself!

After my studies, I started working in art museums and galleries in Amsterdam. But slowly I found out that what I love to do the most is writing. That’s why I started working as a freelance copywriter alongside my part-time job. But the more I got into freelancing, the more I realised that being my own boss just really worked for me. Over a year ago, I decided to give up my job and become a full-time freelancer. It has been the best decision I have ever made.

What made you start the Happy Freelancer? 

When I became a freelancer, I had no clue where to start. I didn’t know how to find clients, build a website, how the tax system works, and how to price my services. The first year I wasted a lot of time discovering all of this by trial and error. I made so many rookie mistakes! That’s why I started my blog The Happy Freelancer about 9 months ago, to help other freelancers to get started and, more importantly, to create an online community of like-minded people to help and inspire each other.

My mission is to get more people enthusiastic to follow their dream of starting their own business and be able to work from anywhere in the world.

What’s your favourite part about being your own boss?

Definitely the freedom. I am happy that I am able to do whatever I want, whenever I want, and wherever I want. I like to have the freedom to push myself and try new things. Sometimes they work out, sometimes they don’t. I truly believe that if you want something, you can make it happen. And being my own boss, I am able to follow my dreams every single day.

What keeps you inspired in your day-to-day?

I get inspired by everything around me. I get inspired by reading a good book, going to an art exhibition, or biking through my hometown Amsterdam, with its historical architecture. But most of all I get inspired by meeting other entrepreneurs. I love to cowork with friends and going to network events to hear about other people’s great ideas.

Where else have you travelled while working? Any favorite places?

Last winter I worked from Panama and Colombia. Medellin was my number one favourite workspot. The digital nomad community in Medellin is very large, so it was easy to find a coworking space, connect to other entrepreneurs, and make new friends from all around the world.

Are you part of any communities or groups as a freelancer?

I have a growing group of friends and freelancers with whom I work together on a regular basis. They keep me sharp, help me to grow and sometimes — without meaning to — they help me be more disciplined and get up early to go to a coworking space, because I don’t want to be the last one there.

What are some of your favorite podcasts? Books? Or blogs?

I don’t read many self-help and business books. I do believe they can be very helpful for your business, but what inspires me even more is to read literature and to wander off to faraway places with my mind. I can be more creative after reading books by my favourite writers such as Oscar Wilde, Victor Hugo, and F. Scott Fitzgerald.

Best advice for anyone wanting to get into freelancing?

My advice? Just enjoy and have fun! Don’t take freelancing too seriously all the time. See it as a journey with ups and downs and don’t be afraid to make mistakes. Building your own business means you are obviously going to hit obstacles. So if you do, just own them, laugh about it and grow from there. Follow my Instragram Happy Freelancer Struggles to laugh about struggles we all deal with as a freelancer.