‘To love what you do and feel that it matters—how could anything be more fun?’ Katherine Graham
Wouldn’t you love freelancing so much more, if only you could get the right type of client? The perfect project? The one that ticks all the right boxes for you?
When you start freelancing, it’s all too easy to simply dive into anything that pays, just to get something going.
You don’t want to turn anyone away, because you figure something – anything – is better than nothing.
Almost as if you’re willing to serve anyone who comes along. Not a very powerful position to be in, is it?
You do have a choice.
You know that saying, “start as you mean to go on.”
So when you start freelancing, it’s the perfect time to decide exactly what you *do* and *don’t* want from your biz.
It means getting very clear on who you are, what you represent and deciding exactly the type of client you’d love to work for.
How to strut your stuff and step up with confidence
I love the approach Rich Litvin author of “The Prosperous Coach” takes to making decisions in life. For him, it boils down to simply a ‘hell yes’ or a ‘hell no’.
It’s an approach anyone can adopt at any age – young or ‘old’.
So what, given the opportunity, would you say a ‘hell yes’ to?
- If you’re stuck in a rut, take a brave leap, quit and look for something new.
- Have a challenge that’s holding you back? Find a coach, a mentor, or an accountability buddy, Resolve to find the support you need to help you move forward.
Whatever that one thing is for you, here are five wondrous ways you confidently act on it today to make it a reality.
1. Define what it is you want and own it
Our dreams for what we want out of life are often at first, too nebulous to act upon.
We need to ask specific questions to define clearly what that dream is and what it means to us.
Here’s how. (You’ll need post-it notes for this one).
- Do a quick review of where you find yourself today.
- Draw a line in the ‘sand’ (any place that you can physically see your line).
- On your post-it notes, start writing down your hell yes’s and hell no’s (remember a hell no can be just as positive as a hell yes).
- Put the stuff that you want above the line.
- Put the stuff that you DON’T want below the line.
- Walk up and down your line, adjusting your post-it notes as necessary.
- One last check to make sure everything sits well with you.
- Pick up your hell yes’s and start to dream.
- Visualise you living your dream.
- Plan how you can make your dream a reality (baby steps or giant leaps of faith – whatever’s good for you. Go for it).
2. Believe in yourself
When you take tangible steps towards your dreams, you naturally strengthen your belief in your ability to get you there.
I like to think of it as an underlying self-belief, almost like a building underpinned by a deep, firm foundation.
A building might suffer damage to its walls. The walls might even come crumbling down, but a firm foundation will remain intact.
Similarly, even if your confidence takes a knock or two, a deep-rooted self-belief in your abilities will remain unshaken. You’ll pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and start again.
Learn through experience, learn from your mistakes, learn from repeated experiments and then learn to trust your gut.
Believe in yourself. If you don’t, who will?
3. Don’t be detracted from your purpose.
In business, there’s the competition.
In life, there’s The Jones’s.
There will always be someone out there, seemingly doing it better than, or just plain differently to you.
Don’t be detracted from your purpose by constantly worrying about it or comparing yourself to others.
If keeping up-to-date with current trends/prices/fees or whatever, is a positive for you and keeps you on your toes, then all well and good.
But if not, don’t look. Literally. Ignore them. Instead, focus on what you do best.
Focus on providing real value – whether it’s in business to your customers, or in your personal life to yourself and your loved ones.
It’s more important that you regularly remind yourself of your vision, your purpose and the goals you’ve set to get you there.
4. Hone Your Skills
You’ll naturally feel more confident if you’re good at what you do.
So take a closer look at some of your skills. What soft skills could you, with training, improve? Could you become a better negotiator, problem solver, or communicator?
What hard skills do you need to get up to speed with, to better grapple with the actual running of your biz.
Why not take an online course so you can practice at your own pace.
Take a class offline. It’s an excellent opportunity to meet like-minded individuals while you learn. Check out what one Work Your Way reader and guest blogger, Annie Manning, had to say about being a mature student cum ‘recycled teenager’.
5. Get out from your coup, network and have fun
“All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”… (and Jill a dull girl).
So make a habit of taking a day off each month, to get out and seek new experiences.
Professionally, that might mean networking or visiting a trade show to keep up to date with what’s happening in your sector. It’s bound to help you bring a fresh perspective to your career.
Socially, keep in touch with supportive family and friends. They remind you of all that’s important about living and loving life.
Over to you! How will you step up to be a more confident you?