Once upon a time…
I’m joking, I’m not sure that there is such a thing as a freelance story. There is YOUR freelance story and MY freelance story but I would be surprised if they are the same!
The month of May is ‘Tell a Story Month’ and without exception we will all have a story about what led us to become Freelancers and the successes and challenges we face along the way. Kate and I started freelancing at similar time but our stories and motivations were different. Of course, there are as freelancers commonalities in our experiences and challenges that we have faced from tendering, pricing, securing work, working with multiple clients, motivation, learning juggling all the other roles to deliver a business of finance, admin, legals, etc. etc. A list that I am sure that other freelancers can relate to?
Freelance networks (not just Freelance Fundamentals of course, but also other ones geared to specific sectors of freelancing) are brilliant for sharing and learning the stories of others in approaching these challenges as you can bet that even if you haven’t trod that path before then another freelancer has and they have experience you can tap into.
Despite thirteen years of freelancing, we are still learning and these networks are helping us identify areas of our work or delivery that we can develop. A word of caution however –
‘Don’t get sidetracked into developing or adopting a new practice just because there is some noise from fellow freelancers about it!’
It is unproductive to spend time adopting new practices that aren’t going to help you achieve your goals. Take the experience and learning which works for you and your aims.
In my freelance role I often work with organisations to improve their services, drawing on evidence from elsewhere but recognising that no two services are the same and that this evidence has to be tailored to suit the particular service and outcomes they are trying to achieve. Often clients feel that their service needs to incorporate a particular function or process just because it is being pushed politically or because their competitors have that service. We can also be in danger of this as freelancers.
So, our feelings this Friday are to …
- Celebrate your own unique freelance story
- Use the networks to share and learn from the experience of others
- Keep your eye on YOUR goal, taking the learning and implementing what will be productive for YOU to achieve them.
- Don’t suffer from ‘FOMO’ or ‘Keeping up with Jones’ – be confident in YOUR story and DON’T COMPARE YOUR ACHIEVEMENTS TO OTHERS