Freelancers: Why Ted Lasso is your spirit animal

Ted Lasso is 2021’s TV favourite, the opposite of a brooding superhero and just the dose of wholesome goodness the world needs.

I’m a fan, and if you are an adult human who currently feels the need to take a break from freaking out about COVID, climate change and whatever the hell is going on with nuclear submarines, you should be too. 

After binge-watching all the way up to season three, I couldn’t help but feel like Ted Lasso could be the poster boy for freelancers and anybody attempting to survive in the gig economy. 

Here’s why:

Freelancers have to adapt to new situations

Freelancers constantly have to evolve to meet the needs of their clients. This is definitely the case for Ted, who finds himself out of his comfort zone and coaching football in England despite having no knowledge of how the game works.

For Ted though, being out of his comfort zone is the point.

He says, “Taking on a challenge is a lot like riding a horse, isn’t it? If you’re comfortable while you’re doing it, you’re probably doing it wrong.”

Ted embraces challenges and confronts them head on. Freelancers have to do the same. As a freelancer, you’re going to be out of your comfort zone a lot, especially in the early days. Be like Ted; enjoy the challenge and take advantage of the way every new experience gives you an opportunity to learn.

We are eternal students, but you do get to apply what you learn… just like Ted.

Freelancers have to focus their talent

Ted is unabashed by what he doesn’t know and supremely confident in what he does.

As he says, “You could fill two internets with what I don’t know about football.

He may not know football, but he knows coaching.

If you’re freelancing it is because you have a skill. Like Ted, you need to let that skill be your focus. Work to your strengths and the rest will fall into place. 

Freelancers have to make other people look good

Ted’s job is to apply his skills to help the team perform. His true talent is getting the best out of others. Being around him makes people want to be better. It takes him longer to get to some people (hello Jamie Tartt) but he finds a way.

More importantly, Ted knows that it’s not about him.

He takes pleasure in making others look good.

This is the freelancer’s goal too. A lot of the time, we do the work but they (the clients) get the glory. And that’s ok (so long as you get paid…. Don’t forget about that). Like Ted, we have to get satisfaction from our clients’ success.

Remember to ask your clients for feedback when you do make them look good. You can use it to grow your business. 

Freelancers always have naysayers

Just like the journalist Trent Crimm (from The Independent), Ted always has people questioning his motives. But he has the answers and can explain the methods behind his madness.

And he doesn’t let it get to him. He knows that what he is doing is right.

When we have experience behind us and a clear vision of what we are trying to achieve, we can respond to naysayers who may question our methods.

Freelancers need a level head and perseverance

“There’s two buttons I never like to hit: that’s panic and snooze.”

Be like Ted, don’t panic and don’t falter. Get up and get on with it. Most stumbling blocks can be overcome with a phone call to work things out, or a few minutes away from your desk so you can clear your head. 

And try to smile while you’re doing it (at least during work hours)!

As Ted once said, “As the man once said, the harder you work, the luckier you get.”

Freelancers dust off their disappointments and keep going

Ted has a lot of setbacks but he overcomes them.

You know what the happiest animal on earth is? It’s a goldfish. You know why? It’s got a 10-second memory.” Ted shares this wisdom with a young Nigerian player, Sam (and PS… we need to talk about Sam).

What he means is, forget about the hard times and move on. We can’t be unhappy about past setbacks, we just have to embrace the next challenge. As freelancers, there are always setbacks so try to be a goldfish about it. 

Freelancers have to put on a brave face (Don’t read if you haven’t watched season three)

Your clients don’t need to know what’s going on behind the scenes. They just want somebody who gets the job done on time, and well. 

However, like Ted, (SPOILER ALERT), you may be hiding some demons and smiling through challenges that begin to feel too large.

And just like Coach Lasso, you should get help if you need it.

As usual, Ted hits the nail on the head by saying, “I promise you there is something worse out there than being sad, and that’s being alone and being sad.

Even relentlessly positive Ted has his bad days. There’s no shame in it. Reach out for help if things aren’t going well. Sometimes a short conversation is enough. 

Freelancers need their support crew

If you care about someone, and you got a little love in your heart, there ain’t nothing you can’t get through together.

The team and staff at AFC Richmond have Ted’s back (mostly) and you need people to support you as well. 


Join the Free Six Figure Freelancer Facebook Group to find a like-minded bunch who are working towards the same goals as you. 


Ted Lasso is now streaming on Apple TV


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