Freelancing can be a minefield of worries, from ‘Will I land this pitch?’ to ‘Will they pay me on time this month, or will I have to send another civil-but-pissy email?’. There are, however, some things you definitely shouldn’t worry about.
You shouldn’t give a shit about..
- ….the negative opinions of anyone who hasn’t run a business before (or a successful one at least). When you first go freelance, you’re going to get a lot of ‘ooh, that won’t give you much security, are you sure that’s a good idea?’ and ‘Don’t you want a real job?’. Ignore them, unless they have your best interests at heart. Most of these comments are rooted in their belief of the old stereotypes of freelancing – that there’s no security, no money and it’s not a viable option to pay the bills. Us freelancers know better, right?
- ….being like everyone else. Seriously, quit it. You’re never going to be just like you’re business idols, and to be honest that would be a bit creepy if you did become their clone. Instead, look at how they made great decisions, and work out whether you’re using the same approach to your business. BUT, make sure it works for you. I love the glossy, pro videos and motivational statements Marie Forleo makes, but it’s really not me. AT ALL. I don’t really do polished. Work out what you’re about, and who you’re selling to, and focus on that rather than chasing after someone else.
- …..not being cool enough. We’re out of school now. Being cool is, frankly, pointles and chasing the concept of it is a massive waste of your time. And some of my favourite freelance women currently making waves in the freelance work are card-carrying dorks. Dorks with really nice shoes, but dorks all the same. Being passionate about what you do as a freelancer is way more important than being cool.Being passionate about what you do as a freelancer is way more important than being cool.@freelance_life
- …..not looking the part. I am not a skinny girl. In fact, during my freelance career I’ve gone from a size 12 to a 16. Despite spending several years writing for a fashion blog about killer heels and beautiful bags, most of my shoes are flats and most of my handbags are designed to be huge and practical so I can carry all my gadgets around with me and
destroy my backalways be connected. I ate kale once by accident, and drink occasional green smoothies, but I’ve also been known to devour a Domino’s pizza. Don’t wait until you fit the mould of what a successful freelancer, because you’ll wait forever. I’ll say it again Don’t wait until you fit the mould of what a successful freelancer is supposed to be, because you’ll wait forever. Passion and hard work are the most important things..
- ….what other people’s goals are. Do your competitors (and I use this term loosely as I’m not a fan of pitching freelancers against each other) want to work from a beach, earn a million quid this year or feature in Forbes? Good. For them. But don’t feel like your goals have to match theirs. If success for you is happily paying the bills while having time with your family and enjoying monthly spa days, then make those your goals. Don’t get caught up in comparing yourself all the time (are you seeing a theme here?)
Next week, we’ll talk about what you really should give a shit about.