Why is Freelancing called Freelancing

The term “freelance” dates back to the 1800s when a “free lance” referred to a medieval mercenary who would fight for whichever nation or person paid them the most. The term “lance” referred to the long weapon that knights on horseback used to knock opponents off of their horses (think jousting)

Over time, the term continued to mean “independent” but left the battlefield to be applied to politics and finally work of any kind.

How does freelancing work

Freelancers accept payment in return for providing some sort of service. That agreement is generally part-time or short term.

For example, if I hired a photographer to take new headshots for me, I could pay a freelancer for that session and that would be the end of it.

Sometimes people pay freelancers to work a set number of hours per week or per month. That arrangement is often referred to as a “retainer.”

A retainer refers to when you retain the services or right to someone’s time. A lot of legal professionals work on retainer. Every month, they bill a set amount of time to the client, regardless of whether that full time is used or not.

It’s really one of the simplest and most pure forms of entrepreneurship: the freelancer provides a specific service or outcome, and the buyer pays them a fee directly.

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