Unlike regular employees who get performance reviews every now and then, just how does a freelancer know that s/he’s already inside that ‘zone’ of success? Career growth, achievement or whatever name you want to call it, each one of us aspires to get there. The challenge here is how do we even know that we did our best and achieved the peak of our performance? To get into that freelancing zone means you’ve made a difference. So, we’re left with a question now: Are you a good.. or a great freelancer?
The Mindset of a Successful Freelancer Revealed
Getting there is tough and any seasoned freelancers can share a story about their struggles. You may hear them talk about success in an intellectual context, in monetary gains, or numbers of completed projects. Through countless convo with freelancers who have reached varying degrees of success, I’ve come to classify them as:
Successful freelancers are fierce, no doubt. They are decisive in ensuring that their business is sustainable through the years – whether it’s the business of making each customer happy, the business of continuous improvement of their craft, or the business of chasing their clients for overdue payments. In short, they’re committed to keeping their freelancing biz going for years to come and they’re in for the long run.
You might have encountered this term from this business book by Bob Burg and David Mann. Successful freelancers know that karma is digital these days and they thrive to nurture not only their business, but also their clients and fellow freelancers. That’s why building relationships and getting social comes naturally to them, like air. They simply value trust above anything else and they are willing to help people – minus criticisms, grudges, rants.. and whatever you name it.
Because s/he has experienced many ups and downs in the freelancing business, s/he is smart enough to know when his or her advice is wanted or not. S/he knows the real value of a freelancer and will not compromise his or her worth for the sake of a one-time deal. This sensitivity is a gift learned from careful planning and listening to what clients and prospects want.. and s/he is also smart to say ‘no’ and wastes no time in saying ‘yes’ to projects that will boost his/her brand.
If freelancing were the ‘Hunger Games’, those who are successful know how to look out for him/herself, rather than depend on third parties or agencies to help along the way. S/he will not fear opportunities to source work or pick up bits of work from loyal clients over the years. The word ‘Quit’ is totally non-existent in his/her vocabulary and if something goes wrong, s/he will always find ways to fix the issue before moving on.
What differs great freelancers from good ones is that they don’t pretend to know everything and instead, they learned the art of asking questions and decoding complex answers to make sure that they will deliver what they say they’ll do. Misunderstandings can be a serious time burner and by clarifying what the clients want, they get work done faster than their counterparts. These great ones know that mind reading will never be a skill.
Those who succeed at freelancing are flexible enough to think and act quickly, especially when confronted with dire situations. They are patient and persistent in making things work, in an organized manner. S/he is self-motivated and open to adapting to different conditions, technologies and culture. There are more than a thousand ways to accomplish a goal and they are relentless in pursuing the path to excellence ( with each work they do ).
And the true measure of success when it comes to freelancing is not really about how much you have earned at the end of the day, but how people talk about you and your work. Having a good reputation is the trophy for all the hard work and we all know that good news becomes great with word-of-mouth. There are many self-proclaimed freelancing gurus, no doubt.. but those who are truly successful don’t even have to talk about themselves; they just simply do what they do best.
How About You?
Have you reached your goals as a freelancer? How do you define success?
The Happy Secret to Better Work