Have you ever felt that you’re in the wrong game? That maybe you’re an imposter, thinking you can be successful as a freelancer.
What was I thinking?! How stupid am I to think that I could possibly run a successful freelancing business… I’m giving up, I’m done.
Does this sound anything like you? God I hope it does, because otherwise I’m swimming in a very small pool, LOL!
This was my EXACT line of thinking when I hit my first major hurdle as a freelancer — when a client I’d done work for decided NOT to pay me (worth $1000!!). Because, you know, clients can do that! Um, no they can’t… if you’ve got your business set up right with contracts, right guys?!
Anyway, I digress. How often have you felt like quitting, like giving up? In my first 12 months as a freelancer, this was a daily thought. I’d often throw my hands up in the air or stomp around my apartment, frustrated and lost, not really sure if this freelancing gig was really it for me.
Of course, I didn’t quit! And neither should you…
Feel Like Quitting? Do This:
Take a deep breath and stop. Actually stop what you’re doing, put your pen down, walk away from your computer and just breathe. In and out, in and out, slowing your breath down until the panic subsides.
Ok, now that you’ve calmed down, you can be objective. Not quite there yet? We’ll wait a few more minutes…
... ok now that you're not freaking out (ok, maybe you're still freaking out), let's look at what you should do, rather than throw the towel in and give up on yourself.
Ask yourself these questions:
- Are you going to worry about whatever is going on in 2 years time?
- Are you actually going to remember what the issue is in a few months?
- Will you lose sleep over this in 6 months, 12 months, 24 months?
If your answer to these questions is no... then it doesn't matter. It's no big deal. It's just business.
Are you screaming at your computer screen right now? I'm sorry, but the reality is, if you're not actually going to be worrying or stressing about whatever it is you're facing right now, then it doesn't matter. Why are you wasting emotion on something that can be dealt with — and it can be dealt with, if you stop, take a breath and just deal with it, rather than running through all the emotions and drama.
Easier said than done, I know. I'm the queen of dramatics in our house, LOL! But when it comes to my freelancing business, I now understand that shit happens, and that almost all issues you're gonna face can be dealt with.
- Just had a freelancer quit on you? Find another one!
- Your computer broke down? Head to the library and use one of theirs!
- You missed a deadline (because you were confused about it), just finish it now!
- Can't balance your business accounts? Hire a bookkeeper!
If you stop, take a breath and just figure it out, things are never as bad as they seem.
When you think you can’t do it? You can.
When you want to throw in the towel? Don’t.
When you tell yourself you’re not smart enough? Savvy enough? Creative enough? YOU ARE!
Business is hard, and it can feel like war at times. But it's also about perseverance. If you can handle the shit thrown your way, you'll come out stronger, happier and wealthier than if you stayed in your day job.
Learn from the mistakes.
When the shit hits the fan, look for the opportunity in the mess. Look for the positive vs. the negative...
- Take a step back and reframe the situation; what are the positives or the opportunities hidden in this little gem?
- Remind yourself of your purpose — why are you doing this instead of working for someone else?
- Pick yourself up, dust yourself off and get back in the game!
Because, dammit, if you wanna be successful as a freelancer, you've got to learn to play the game, win the war, ride the elephant in the room — you've gotta do whatever it takes to keep moving forward. And if you do this, I guarantee you'll have more success than you ever could have imagined... don't quit. You're not a quitter!
If you're still unsure, or are a little scared, then I have something else that might help! A while back, I worked on a book with another entrepreneur friend of mine, called "Free Your Fear: Making the Leap to Six Figures". Inside you will discover inspiring stories from other entrepreneurs that may sound just like you... except they are now on the other side of their fear. You'll find renewed inspiration and the courage to keep going instead of quitting. Use them to propel you to move beyond your current fear and realize your dreams really are possible.
There is freedom on the other side of fear.
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