Freelancing is a journey that is unique to each traveler. The idea of living life your way is one of the biggest motivations to choose this path. With that being said, it is not always a cakewalk either. We come across roadblocks and face endless challenges along the way. Hence, we end up making some mistakes as well.
I am not saying that you should not make any mistakes, you should, because mistakes mean you are trying. Trying to grab a new opportunity, a better way of living, and you are growing.
“The most valuable thing you can make is a mistake — you can’t learn anything from being perfect.”
– Adam Osborne
Congratulations, you’re making mistakes! Now you might think this looks contradictory — I am writing a blog on mistakes to avoid yet telling you to commit them. It is because mistakes are a part of life, and no one can completely eliminate them. However, a smarter approach is to learn from other’s mistakes and not commit them yourself. That is what this blog tells you about.
I am going to list the top five mistakes that freelancers often make and how to avoid them.
Not Saying No. While you have the liberty to grab each project that comes your way, saying no, often, goes a long way. To give you an inspiring validation — successful people say no more than they say yes. One thing you should avoid is the jack of all trades and master of none. This means that you can be picky about the projects. Over a year, I have realised saying no does more good than harm. It saves you from projects that do not look at your growth aspect. Consequently, focus on projects that challenge you, inspire you, and make the best use of your skills. So as long as you are testing the waters, it’s okay to get hands-on experience across niches and types of work. But, once you know what you are not good at, learn to say no. It’s a win-win approach.
Not Valuing Yourself Enough. Any human would have a day or two or self-doubt, and it is very, very natural. But this does not mean that it has to occupy your peace of mind. Not at all! You will fail, you will learn, and you will eventually grow. But you have to first believe in yourself. That you are capable of more significant opportunities and that you can grab them. If you value yourself, only then will other people do. It is like confidence. Radiate as much confidence as you can because you are worth it.
Hesitating from Marketing and Networking. Although these two terms are entirely separate skills, they hold high significance in any freelancer’s life. You have to be in front of people you want to work with, and for that to happen, you have to market your services! Also, keep in touch with people in your industry, it will facilitate your growth and provide you with peer support. If this sounds intimidating, then start small, get accustomed, and grow.
Neglecting Management. Don’t let the 11 letter word scare you. Learning to manage your time, finances, work, and productivity will help you tremendously. When you’re working solo, your core job is not the only thing, but all of those mentioned above should also fall into place. Although you will learn this eventually, I wanted to put this across. The sooner you learn to manage things, the easier this life will be for you.
Not Upgrading. Lastly, do not forget to update your skill sets. Your skillset is one in the world that does not fall, no matter how long your stack! Therefore, increase your proficiency and keep learning. Observation and constant learning are your friends, keep them really close to your heart. If you are writing, strive to write better each and every single day.
At the end of the day, do not forget to look after your mental and physical well being. It is the one that is going to stay with you forever. Do not overlook the importance of timely breaks. Life as a freelancer is fantastic!
There is something new almost every other day. You learn so much about yourself and get a chance to live life the way you wish. Yes, it might not be the ideal sitting-from-beach-working. But it is the best way to craft your own life. So avoid the above-stated mistakes, and for the rest of the part, just go with the breeze.