The first advantage of being a freelancer is the flexible hours. You have to work just as hard as the next guy, but you can do it your way. You can get your work done at the crack of dawn or sleep in, take off in the afternoon to go exercise or meet a friend for lunch. You work when it's best for you and make time for your favorite activities. Your work revolves around your schedule instead of the other way around. You can also schedule around unexpected, but important events as they happen. Your kid's play at school, your friend's birthday dinner, a wedding in Hawaii. Whatever it is freelancers are beginning to enjoy life first and work second, even if it hurts their paycheck a little bit. You can work virtually from anywhere in the world with popular online sites like Elance. Elance is used by half a million businesses worldwide with 2 million registered freelance professionals. Just by working from home the average freelancer is saving at least an hour per day that they don't have to waste commuting. Online jobs are becoming a normal hiring practice, so much so that job sites like We Work Remotely only post jobs that can be done 100% online.
The true value of wealth is that you have time to do what you want, not material possessions. As more people realize that rich people are no more happy than the middle class they wonder why the things they wish they had don't provide nearly as much joy as you would expect. Do you ever look at your old phone as you're getting rid of it? Do you remember how much you loved that phone when you got it a couple years ago? Probably not, after the first bugs started kicking in a few months in you quickly start thinking about the next phone you're going to get with all the awesome new features. Material possessions do bring happiness, but it's for a short amount of time, like a sugar rush and you are quickly hungry again for the next thing.
Freelancers are leading the way in this new era. Working hard and working smart is still very important, but you no longer have to give up your life for 40 years for a corporation. You can start enjoying life now for this blink of time we will be around and have your work revolve around your schedule not the other way around.