Things I've Learned About Freelancing This Week
Or… “When common sense loses to short term memory, you better remember for the third time around.”
1. Work harder when others do better
As a naturally competitive person I can’t help but get a pang of envy when I hear that one of my peers is making a big step with their business. But it’s what you do with that feeling that makes you who you are. Sure, it’s easiest to throw hands up in the air, declare to no one in particular that there’s no point in continuing because you’ll never be that good, and go eat a fist full of cheese. Fast forward 20 years to a grumpy old never-was with a heart condition and indigestion. Or, take that envy and resulting feeling of self doubt, and get serious. Make your stuff happen quicker by putting a beady little laser eye on the fewest, most meaningful actions that will get your business the furthest ahead. So next time, you’ll be talking about what you’ve done rather than what you were thinking about doing.
2. Things will go pear shaped before they go right
There are so many moving parts in a business, tasks and people to keep a handle on, that there are going to be (many) times when at least 1 or 2 things are going to head off on a tangent you weren’t expecting. Or you had a feeling was going to go arse up but carried on regardless, hoping your gut was wrong (and just full of cheese). Fix it, move on. Learn from it but don’t dwell on it. There is always another way to get it done.
3. Be crystal clear on what you want and what’s in it for them
Last week I learned that sharing with friends is great for confidence when starting a new project. This week I learned (and not the first time) that when you ask someone to meet, you should treat both your own time and theirs as golden. Everyone has their own thing going on. The goal for me should be to make my thing feel like theirs, so they’re itching to be a part of it. And the main purpose of a pitch meeting (whether to become part of your team or to become a client) is to illustrate to that person what they are going to get out of it. What’s going to switch their brain from “It’s so nice to take a break from my busy life to have a chat,” to “No brainer. Count me the fuck in”. The sales mantra Whats In It For Me (WIIFM) just turned into What’s In It For Them (WIIFT). Yep, Whiffit.
Asynchronous is a wanky word but I love it.