A successful freelancer requires far more than just the requisite talents for the task they conduct. The mindset of a successful freelancer is one of freedom. Everything, including your working style, ,the Effectiveness of the Freelance Mentality and attitude about your task. It’s about locating a secure haven amidst the chaos.
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What is the Freelance Mindset?
First, let’s clarify what the freelance mindset is. The freelancing mindset, in my opinion, is all about independence and self-motivation. It entails being willing to take chances, flexible, and at ease with ambiguity. It also entails being accountable to oneself, maintaining a strong work ethic, and being adaptable in your customer interactions.
I’ve worked as a freelance production manager for numerous independent TV production firms, and each time I had to adjust my methods to fit in with the infrastructure and procedures of the new employer.
Not only do successful freelancers have these qualities, but they also constantly work to better themselves. As my successful colleague Marc Silk, a freelance voice actor, puts it,
Most of us know how to work on and are familiar with the getting good portion. Telling them you’re an excellent freelancer is far more difficult. It just doesn’t come naturally for some reason. Selling oneself is a very different task than selling the company’s products or services, according to even the most seasoned and senior marketers I’ve met who have gone independent.
It can also be challenging to “keep being good” when you work for yourself. You are responsible for determining what you need to learn to advance your career as there is no formal training offered on the job. Furthermore, the things that are most likely to present that next opportunity are not always the most intriguing or evident ones.
Human nature pushes us to improve the things we currently enjoy and are skilled at. Refocusing our thinking and putting a lot of effort into improving the areas we perform poorly at—and that are frequently outside of our comfort zones—will, nevertheless, help us become better freelancers.
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How to be a successful freelancer
What does a successful freelancing career require? The mindset of a successful freelancer reminds me a lot of a three-legged stool. Sitting on it is only pleasant when all three legs are equally weighted. Every leg symbolizes a crucial element of freelancing, and you want to be the one smiling and securely perched on the stool as a freelancer.
SKILLS makes up the first leg. To fulfill your client’s needs, you must possess the necessary talents. You won’t be able to perform well if you don’t. The stool topples and the client becomes irate.
The financial leg is the second. Money matters, or more precisely, having the financial will to support yourself while working as a freelancer is important.
It’s simply a hobby if you lack the financial motivation to make a career from this profession. To be clear, there is nothing wrong with having interests. I don’t expect my excellent activities to cover my expenses, though. Once more, without financial motivation, the stool topples.
DESIRES makes up the last leg. Your enthusiasm or drive to spread the word about your message. You cannot be booked for freelance work if others are unaware that you are available for it. The stool topples once again. Your freelancing career abruptly ends, frequently never ever getting off the ground.
You will be more effective and long-lasting if you focus on your thinking across all three legs of the stool and cultivate a broader mentality.
The Effectiveness of the Freelance Mentality:
However, where do you even begin? Starting a freelancing profession can seem quite difficult and like there are a lot of challenges to overcome. The method you choose will vary depending on whether you are an employee and have greater time constraints, or whether you are self-employed and have a full schedule and can work from home with little money. Each has benefits and drawbacks.
It all comes back to the three-legged stool for me. It’s crucial to think about why organizations might want to hire you in addition to determining what capabilities you can offer the market.
You still have bills to pay, food to eat, and a life to lead, so you need to figure out what you need to survive on. Determining your worth in the market goes hand in hand with determining what you need to survive. To cover all of your living expenses for a year, you must figure out how much work, at your rate, you would need to complete.
I also need to keep in mind to account for taxes (income tax and national insurance in the UK). I most likely based my rates on pre-tax income and my living expenses on post-tax income.
If I work for pay for only 24 to 30 weeks a year, then I won’t experience complete fear if I have a few calm days or weeks. It does, however, require me to monitor my financial flow and make sure I don’t spend every penny as soon as it arrives.
How to sell yourself as a freelancer
When you first start out, the “desires” leg of the stool can be the most intimidating because it requires you to sell yourself and have genuine conversations with actual people. This doesn’t have to entail showing up at a networking gathering, approaching a large number of strangers, and trying to get them to buy from you.
Is it appropriate for you to go about your daily life and inform others that you are looking for work? Yes, without a doubt. Having said that, I like to start with those who are already in my network. First of all, since we already know one another, setting up a meeting isn’t daunting. So as I refine my pitch and my freelance offer, they probably won’t be harsh.
Furthermore, they frequently have brilliant suggestions for how or where my services could be useful—ways that I had never thought of. Furthermore, everyone you know has a network, so if they believe you have a strong product, they could be able to recommend you to others who could benefit from your services. This is an excellent approach to expand your network in a user-friendly way.
Making your freelancing career work for you
When your freelancing career is just getting started, time is a challenge. If you’re still employed, the challenge is finding the time to focus on your freelance business while working on your job. After doing the math, you can determine if you can work less hours so that you have more time to advance your freelance business.
However, time can actually go extremely slowly if you are starting from a clean diary. This is the moment to activate your inner fortitude. It will also help you in the long run when you go freelance. Your brain will convince you that no one will require your services and that you will never acquire employment while you are trying to establish your freelance career. It’s difficult.
Nevertheless, it takes time for any new endeavor to gain traction. Every action you take and every discussion you have increases the number of people who are aware that you are available for freelance employment. Thus, treat oneself with kindness. Seize the chance to take a leisurely stroll in the middle of the afternoon, visit the gym at a calm period, or simply curl up on the couch and read a book. You will miss the hectic days at work! In the same way, you must continue refining your freelance services, expanding your clientele, and working hard at your freelance business.
You’ll need resilience in hectic times as well; it doesn’t just happen in peaceful moments. When you’re peaceful, busy times can seem like paradise, but they also provide their own set of difficulties. What your customers anticipate
For a short while, you probably can, but not in the long run. You risk burnout in the long run, and you don’t want to damage your relationships with clients by taking on too much.
As a freelancer, you have to take care of yourself. Nobody else will. You should put on your own oxygen mask first, as they say in the in-flight safety briefing, as my colleague Sarah McCaffrey from Solas Mind so eloquently puts it. Taking care of oneself will enable you to take care of your consumers.
Why I love the freelance life
Working as a freelancer can seem like a lot, and to be honest, it does require more effort than being an employee, but the office politics and bureaucracy are not there!
The advantages, in my opinion, exceed the disadvantages. I am able to work whenever and from anyplace. I am independent and self-sufficient. Each day is unique, as is every project. My job is valued by my clients, and I am free to pursue my interests.
Changing your perspective to include working both “in” and “on” your freelance employment is essential for success.