Are Your Current Freelancing Practices Too Boxed In?

You’re doing a great job of following all the freelancing advice you can find─to the letter!

You’re managing your time very well. You’re charging the right rate for your services. You’ve even selected a freelancing specialty.

You’re doing everything right, but something is very wrong! What it could be?

I’ll tell you what it could be. You may have allowed yourself to become so boxed in with advice that you’re failing to enjoy the freedom that drew you to freelancing in the first place.

Advice is great, but enough is enough. In this post, we’ll discuss the importance of sometimes thinking and acting outside of the box.

When Rules and Processes Become Just Too Much

It’s great to learn all that you can and put the very best freelancing advice you can find into practice. Most of the time following good advice is very good for your freelancing business. Good advice can help your freelancing business get ahead and keep you from making costly mistakes. (We wouldn’t be offering so much advice if we didn’t think it was helpful…)

However, sometimes too much advice can be overwhelming. Especially, if that advice is followed too strictly. In fact, trying to follow too much advice too closely can even become overwhelming. The fact is, that many freelancers are far more strict with themselves than any employer would ever be.

Sometimes sticking to the advice is just too much. It’s just too stressful to rigidly follow the same routine. It can make you feel stifled, and in the end it can actually hurt your business.

Innovation Is Often Outside the Box

Innovation a key part of any business, including freelance businesses.

Your business needs to grow and evolve to stay competitive. You need fresh ideas to stay on top of your field. New ideas are also what makes your freelancing work interesting.

The trouble is, innovations are usually developed by those individuals who are willing to step out of the box and try new things. I guarantee you that the industry leaders in your field, those who you look up to, didn’t get where they are today by doing the same old thing over and over again.

Rather, those successful leaders were willing to step outside of the box once in a while. They were willing to try something new (even when they knew that some of those new things that they tried wouldn’t be successful).

Doing the same thing the same way every time may make you more efficient in the short term, but in the long run it won’t help you come up with new ideas or better ways of doing things.

Are You Willing to Step Out of the Box?

Chances are that you become a freelancer because you wanted to be able to do things differently than the average business. Maybe you wanted to provide more personal service to your clients. Maybe you wanted to tackle more challenging or more creative projects. Maybe you wanted the freedom to choose your own projects.

The point is, you stepped out of the box once and broke with the traditional means of earning a living. Now might be the right time to examine your freelancing business to see if you’re too boxed in with your business practices.

Why not try something a little bit different and see what happens? It’s okay to step out of the box.

Sure, your fresh new idea might fail. You might fall flat on your face. That’s a risk that you will be taking if you try something new. But, on the other hand, you might not fail. Your new idea or new way of doing things might be a fabulous success─and wouldn’t that be terrific for you and for your business?

My Advice to You

So, what’s a freelancer to do?

Should they follow the proven advice or should they strike out on their own?

I would say, both.

Go ahead and learn all that you can from the best sources that you can find. Put those ideas and practices that seem most useful to work in your business.

But, at the same time, constantly be re-evaluating your business practices. Stay open to new ideas. Once in a while, try something a little bit differently just to see what happens.

What About You?

What innovations and new ideas have you come up with in your freelancing business lately? Maybe we can inspire each other.

Share your successes in the comments.

Image by Steve Keys