This article has previously been published on thoughtcatalog.com
According to the Freelancers Union, in 2014 there were 53 million American independent workers. That is about 34 percent of the population. People are willing to opt out of full time employment and start looking for the flexible job they desire via job sites like Flexjobs.
It is a choice and a serious decision because if you do not get the clients and prove you are great at what you do, there is little chance of success. If you are about to ditch that 9-5 job and switch to a freelancing career, here are 6 life lessons I have learned along the way that can prove resourceful for you.
1. Get Productive
You have to understand the importance of productivity if you want to succeed as a freelance writer. Of course there are productivity apps for this. When you consider the many distractions you may face as a freelancer you should consider how you can get productive and manage your time appropriately.
2. Be prepared
Challenges you will come, be prepared for it. It is your job to look for results. Do what is necessary and don’t make excuses. If you want to be successful at what you do you have to be prepared for unplanned events, but it is your choice or decision to turn this moments to your advantage. Always update your skills so that you don’t fall short of your client’s expectations.
3. Be different
The reality is that there are a lot of freelancers and experts out there. The conventional route may not help you progress fast. Be willing to think out of the box and take risks. An unorthodox strategy works. Even in a competitive market you can succeed by taking a different approach from the usual.
4. Always believe in yourself
For a client to approach you to solve their business problems means they believe in you. And you have to assert such belief by demonstrating confidence in yourself. Never sell yourself short. How much believe you have in yourself could be what distinguishes you from the pack and put you ahead at the end of the day. Let the people you are dealing with know that you are distinct and you are just one of a kind that can deliver the results they want. When I propose or pitch to new clients, I make sure I ooze confidence in the way I reach out to them. Of course you need to have a solid portfolio or recommendation from past clients to affirm your skills.
5. You can’t please everyone
There are bad clients. As a freelancer you would certainly meet those who want to take advantage of your abilities and pay little or nothing for it. Even when you do a great job for them, they will always show discontent. The truth is that you cannot please everyone, so focus on those who are appreciate you for what you do.
While it is hard to turn down work, you should understand that as a freelancer your time is a precious tool. For this, I apply Pareto’s principle and focus on the 20 percent of clients who make every project I take on an awesome experience.
6. Be positive
You don’t really win without a positive attitude. There is no winner who excelled or succeeded with a negative attitude. Your focus should be on seeing the bright side even when it is dark all around you.
Your positivity is a glimmer of hope and it gives you the chance to find a point when you can beat competition or take charge of a situation.
Yes when you are pitching and trying to get results you should be positive about what you can do and how you will address a client’s needs. Don’t be skeptical neither should you make negative comments to your clients. When you can do this clients are assured and would bring more work to you because they can connect with your positive persona.