So you’re a new freelancer, heading out into the wonderful wilderness of wild and wonderful experiences, but you don’t really know where to start or how to begin, or better yet, even what your first step should be. Here’s some thoughts:
- Establish yourself (branding) and hammer it home – Before you attempt to help others in a volunteer or a professional capacity, make sure you know who you are, what you stand for, and what you want your brand to be. Be courteous and do what you say you’re going to do. I’m not a freelancer per se, yet, but I do keep a list of all the big ideas I have. I also blog about my observations in the business and technical universe, from the perspective of a husband and triathlete. I get some interesting observations based on my experiences, and fortunately it ties into my brand of “Triathlon Lessons for Winning in Business.” That, and my bike is named Black Beauty, so that totally makes me a professional, right?
- Attack fearlessly and hone your skillset – Leverage the power of “yet” to convey progressiveness and urgency. Setup long term goals for yourself, places you want to be or things you want to accomplish, and always dwell on the idea that they aren’t done yet, but you’re getting there and taking the steps to realize what is needed. Also, don’t forget to remain balanced in all that you do. You need to stay in equilibrium from a physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, work, and family perspective, or you won’t be doing much of anything well. Take well-calculated risks, figure out where you can provide a value that others cannot, and jump in (the deep end) with both feet!
- Take time to question assumptions and understand the process – I’ve said it before, that my job is to extract business requirements from my unsuspecting colleagues. OK, maybe they are suspecting, but it’s often times hard for people to tell you what they really need. The same goes for processes. Most of the time, people are unable to describe a full process to you in great detail, and it’s up to you to decipher. Keep your eye on your freelance strategy, but don’t do it the way everyone thinks you should. Check out this post on the $27,000 cocktail for ways to do business differently. Over my racing career, I’ve had plenty of time to develop and keep these lessons in mind, and apply them to the business world too.
- Bonus – Own your mistakes but rejoice in your accomplishments. I hate admitting when I’m wrong, but in my career so far, it has served me quite well to own my decisions and admit to my mistakes, but I also make sure I am well-equipped or have some kind of plan to propose in order to fix said problems. Also, you MUST rejoice in your accomplishments. I understand you may not always be finishing an IRONMAN (Iron Journey) but you better be taking time to celebrate the big and little wins, or you will burn yourself out. In addition, you probably won’t be having very much fun either :(
According to the dictionary, work is defined as “exertion or effort directed to produce or accomplish something; labor; toil” –or– “productive or operative activity.” Basically, it means putting forth time, effort, creativity, thought, and understanding. And when you’re working that hard creating and understanding, you want to make sure you get reimbursed for your efforts. Invoice2Go is an invoice option that helps small business owners track their cash flow. Did you know 45% of small business owners list “not getting paid on time” as their main problem? That’s powerful stuff, especially considering I work for a company that offers workers’ comp to small businesses. Invoice2Go wants to solve the getting paid on time problem. Take a look at their website, and a huge thanks to them for approaching me about this blog.
Additionally, here are my favorite apps for both personal and professional use: https://russellaaron.wordpress.com/2015/07/03/applications-for-the-modern-era-that-drive-productivity/