I've been reading Company of One by Paul Jarvis recently. I'm very close to the end now. In the latest (and I think last) chapter, he talks about his North Star. This is his set of guiding principles that he tries to align all his decisions with. His North Star was the freedom of working for himself. He loved being able to pick his own hours, go on trips with his wife during the week, even the flexibility to work weekends if he chose.
I don't know what my North Star is, but I know I have some attributes that are on the way to finding my star in the night sky.
In Company of One, Paul talks abut the difficulties most people starting out as a freelancer have to face. They think of only the best parts, but none of the drawbacks and unrelated tasks you have to do. While I was freelancing on the side, I found most of these things satisfying. Granted, there was reduced stress for me; I had a full time job to fall back on, so the work wasn't a necessity for me. Accounting, sales, design, marketing, developing, chasing contracts and invoices.
At a certain point, these became additional stresses not worth the time. Maybe it's worth the time again... time to think more about my North Star.