Freelancing enlivens and kills at the same time

I’m a freelance marketing specialist and currently doing social media marketing and lead generation for some start-ups based in Europe and US.

When I started to freelance, at first, it was fun, but then some negative sides became visible. No motivation, no prospectives, no inspiration for what you are doing. 

Freelancing gives you the opportunity to work wherever and whenever you want, but THIS exactly is killing you from inside. At home you con’t find comfort for working, it’s noisy in cafes, so that you can’t get concentrated and for Yerevan, I would say, that we still don’t have a good co-working space, that one can go and do his/her job.

I think, that day by day more and more people start to freelance and it becomes a real challenge for us to think of creating a space for them.


Do you know Utopian Lab?

"No motivation, no prospectives, no inspiration for what you are doing. " - one would think it’s the other way around, being a freelancer gives you just that, the ability to choose your own work, with the caveat that sometimes you need to take it to pay rent. @Inge was just telling me the other day about the financial insecurity which is in fact the problem with this kind of lifestyle, but the motivation and inspiration? Perhaps no su much…

Can you share an example?

As for working from home or bars, I myself am doing the same and I find myself challenged by another thing: even though my productivity is ace and I’m quite self-disciplined to do the work irrespective of the cosiness or noisiness of a place, I find it hard to shut down my comp and decide by myself when the work day stops and when the leisure time begins. 

You should get in touch with @vgratian, he’s in the process of setting up the Utopian Lab, a new co-work in Yerevan which from what I read seems to be aiming for some other things than just office space… 


I had the same in the past, but freelancing is great

I had the same thing when I started freelancing as literary translator/artist. These were my passions, but eventually I lost any inspiration and went to find a ‘regular’ job. Income instability played also a role in this decision, but most frightening was to spend almost the whole day closed in my room.

But a lot of things changed as I grew as a professional: I learned how to combine freelancing with doing collaborative projects with teams. A coworking space is a platform where you can start and maintain such collaborations, or to have interaction with coworkers that you miss as a freelancer. We opened Utopianlab only a month ago (and we have 3 coworkers right now) and if it interests you, feel free to ask/tweet/visit :slight_smile:

Despite the challenges that I have had as freelancer (in the past few years this was mostly the instable-income challenge), I must say, that I greatly enjoy being a freelancer, I think it is an incredible opportunity to invest your time in creative and productive activities and to grow both as a professional or artist. Right now I am not freelancing, but hopefully will be back to it soon! :slight_smile:


So how do you support yourself now?

@vgratian since we ended up not meeting in Yerevan :(, I gotta ask: so your main occupation now is that of an entrepreneur and kicking off Utopian Lab, in addition to side projects and collaboration? How’s that going, are you satisfied? A lot of us are trying to cope with a certain degree of risk in what we do, knowing that some projects can succeed whereas others, as it is often the case when trying to innovate, simply fail (by the way Edgeryders in itself is an experiment). Is Yerevan welcoming co-work spaces, what’s the status? Where I come from there’s 2 main such spaces, I’m also a member in one. The result? Just like Alberto, I think it is a little bit too social: the initiators are trying to build community themselves, but need more time and attention before matching members’ interests with more specific and narrow focused events. Until then, it’s like shooting for anything that has the word “creative” or “entrepreneurial” in it, and it’s not something I would keep on paying for. I like to be around those spaces though but on on a daily basis… curious what your experience is.

The main challenge for a coworking space is financial aspect

Hi, Noemi.

Actually I have a ft job (which I also combine with a university program). I thought, this was the only way to get the minimum financial means for our coworking space and to get from the ground. On the other hand, this has also the consequence that we move very slowly forward. Our current status is that we have about 5 members, and we are hosting a number of events starting from next month.

About the too social aspect of a coworking space, I think this is something we have to think about… Frankly, we too are having different kinds of events which involve people with very different backgrounds. I think diversity can be an advanteage for your coworking space, but it also may be a challange if you want everyone to feel part of a community…

Anyhow, I think maybe the common model of a coworking space – a large hall with 10s of coworkers – is maybe not the best environment for freelancers to feel ‘home’. More and more I come the opinion that the best coworking space is one wich consists of smallers spaces (rooms with 4-5 coworkers), with other words: community which consitst of smaller communities. But this is something we will experiment around in the coming next months and hopefully we can keep going on. (Our only and main challenge right now is to be able to pay the monthly rent and bills).

Communities within community

Let me elaborate on this concept of “communities within community”. One of the most important gap in a freelancer’s life is not being part of a team or company. In a coworking space, however, the chances are big that you just end up realizing that you come there like in a sort of library or cafe, where you know many people but you don’t belong to them. I think this can be solved, when you give coworkers smaller rooms and give them the possibility to choose the people they have common interests with. It is much easier to integrate to a smaller group of people you chose to belong to than a crowd of people of different background, habits and character.

P.S. My ft job, was also the reason why I didn’t manage to come to the workshop :((( However I look forward to any future events by Edgeryders. In any case, I hopefully will meet soon with @amusheghyan and @Vahagn because I am very curious about the projects you discussed.

Know thy community

I agree completely that community building is the engine that drives a successful co-work space. The issue from what you write is, no surprises, resources: which I think is the reason many cowork spaces open up the space to a large diversity of people, and try to get the numbers first to become sustainable. In the process some probably are missing the focus on members’ real needs - which can differ (some may prefer a crowded space for networking, others probably wanna target a smaller group for more meaningful interactions). Which makes your observation about communities within community especially relevant. Catering to diversity is hard, doing good matchmaking between events and atendees even more - I repeat when you’re racing to pay rent.

Just yesterday I met with a co-host in my local co-work, and she told me I gave her precious feedback when I said that I never know which events are the right ones for me- they are organising stuff daily! it’s not clear how one can get involved, especially if it’s a series of events and you need to know if you’re involved in an intermediary step what you can contribute with. It’s a matter of balancing numbers (quantity) with good content (quality), as always. 

Curious about the lab!

Good beginnings!

Haven’t heard about your co-working lab, would like to visit once.

I have also been sometimes challenged by freelancing in the past few years, since I became a freelancer in 2007. It’s not always easy in the beginning, of course, but it’s certainly much better than all that dependence on others.

Freelancing can work much better if there are more freelancers, just like gift economy, which needs more people to be willing to give things / services… when you freelance, you have more time on your disposal, which is a greater value than money, especially in the modern world, where the more it goes the more time you need to generate the same amount of money that you anyway will never have a chance to enjoy to the fullest. What can fit in the free time you have has more value than money. 

Having a co-working space can also give you a good opportunity to share / discuss this kind of topics, even in the working time maybe, which is not the case in “normal” offices, mainly.

I am trying to establish a co-working space in the Yoga hall that hosted the Spot The Future workshop, and on friday we had the first session on flight simulation there, which had a great success. Next week we will start a swap-shop there, which will work probably 2-3 times a week, for a few hours a day, and will be the first one in Yerevan, as far as I know.

You are welcome to pass by, after the working hours if that fits you more, just let me know beforehand when you’d like to come, and we can decide when.

There is another sunny day outside!



1 Like

Hi Vahagn, what a shame I just notice that I have left your message unreplied. I recognize the advances of freelancing that you describe, and for me too they weight more than the challenges. In fact, I am planning to freelance again in a few weeks, so… it’s going to be fun again! (:

And oh yes, let me know when it’s convenient to you, I would love to meet you in our coworking space (:

1 Like


Nevermind, no worries:)

Well there is really a lot to talk about freelancing, we could talk also online, especially because I am not in Armenia now and don’t know exactly when will I get back. I am curious to hear about your freelancing experiences:)

Talk soon:)

Or you could meet in Tbilisi!

@vgratian will you be joining in the futurespotters event? June 24-26?

1 Like

I would love to… but seems job won’t allow. One more reason to freelance :slight_smile:


Shoot, I was hoping you’d be there! Hope there’ll be a next time soon-ish, and stay in touch!

1 Like



The insecurity: not knowing when you get paid what, is def an issue for me. As well as finding the right time to be productive. But it has its good parts as well: at least now I work when I am exactly my most productive: early mornings. With a 9 to 5 job it is difficult to put all your creativity and focus in those hours and you end up spending more time unproductive. Though i really do like the thought of a stable income ;).

1 Like

Inspiring post

Well put, @amusheghyan. I have been a freelance most of my life; I am a bit of a lone wolf, so I actually love to work from my own place. I tried a (good) co-working space in Milano years ago but found it too… social. Nice, but not terribly productive. But that’s just me: I have met many people, especially younger, that feel exactly like you, and I agree this is a challenge to solve as jobs dry up and freelancing becomes a necessity for many people in Europe. 

1 Like