Life as a freelancer can be pretty complex with many ups and downs.
When you’re a freelancer you work all of the time. You have no guarantees and you’re on the constant hustle. You never have time off. You don’t have vacations. You have to create your own schedule and figure out your own strategy for getting ahead.
How much you earn depends on you. How much time you relax is your own prerogative.
With that being said, did you know that UFC fighters are also freelancers? They are technically self-employed independent contractors and they don’t directly work for the UFC. So a UFC fighter is no different than a personal trainer in that sense (minus the ability to destroy another human being).
What’s the point of this? I wanted to share how a fellow freelancer recently lost out on $130,000. That’s a painful amount of zeros to lose.
How did someone lose out on $130k?
I’m a huge UFC fan. I went to the first ever show that they had in Toronto. I try to watch every show.
On a recent card, a new comer to the company, Pat Healy, won his fight on PPV. It was a huge show and he definitely impressed everyone with his performance. As a result of his exceptional performance he earned himself two bonuses. One for fight of the night and the other for submission of the night. Each bonus was worth $65k.
So as a freelance fighter, Pat Healy, earned himself an extra $130k on top of his show money, win money, and any sponsorships that he has. I don’t know about you but that’s pretty impressive, right?
Boom! The other day it was announced that Pat Healy failed his drug test for marijuana. It’s an illegal substance. The UFC policy is to withhold all bonuses until you pass your drug tests. So just like that, Pat Healy, has to say goodbye to the $130k.
For a newcomer to the UFC and struggling freelancer, that’s “change-your-life” type of money.
Since this site isn’t about judging, drugs, or politics, I wanted to get in a different direction next…
What are the lessons from this $130k mistake?
Remember that nothing is guaranteed!
When you work for yourself, there are absolutely no guarantees. When you have a standard 9-5 job, you show up, survive the day, go home, and never think about work when you’re at home.
As a freelancer, your income, your schedule, and everything in general is unpredictable. There are no guarantees.
One minute you’re dreaming about what you’re going to do with that $130k (buy a freaking house!) and the next you’re back to being broke.
Please don’t forget that we as freelancers don’t have any guarantees.
Know the rules of the game.
What are the rules of the game? You can try to be clever and creative as a freelancer. That’s cool. You do have to remember that each game has its own set of rules. As glorified as rule-breaking is, in some fields you have to know what you can do and what you can get away.
You don’t want to get yourself into trouble as a freelancer. You want to thrive.
Keep your eye on the prize.
It’s easy to get distracted.
You’re on a unique journey as a freelancer. Your friends aren’t always going to be on the same journey.
In this case, apparently, Healy socially smoked marijuana with some friends a while back. It likely seemed innocent at the time and he obviously thought that he was going to pass his drug test. That one joint cost him $130k. Ouch! One second he took his eye off the prize and he got burned.
You have to remember that it’s important to associated with like-minded folks as a freelancer. You don’t want to let anyone get in the way of reaching your goals.
Okay, so this is a stupid question, but here it goes — what would you do if you lost out on $130,000?