Find Your Forgotten Treasure

Everyone loves a treasure hunt!

Movies, stories, and even games have been created around the concept of hidden treasure. The attraction is simple–somewhere that nobody expects something very valuable is hidden.

It can be fun to watch a movie about a treasure hunt or to take part in a scavenger hunt, but did you know that you may be overlooking things of value to your freelancing business?

In this post, I’ll list some freelancing treasures that you may have forgotten about. I’ll also explain how you can discover some of these hidden freelancing treasures for yourself. Some of them may be hiding right under your very nose!

7 Hidden Freelancing Treasures

Here are seven freelancing “treasures” you may have forgotten about:

  1. Old clients. It’s easy to forget about former clients once a project is done, but former clients may need your services again. Are you in regular communication with your old clients?
  2. Books purchased, but never used. If you’re like me, you love to purchase books and e-books about your field–but then you get busy. The book gets put to the side and sometimes is never read.
  3. Old leads. Do you know where you found your first client? Have you been looking for clients at that source lately? Returning to an old lead may help you to generate new business.
  4. Freebies. Naturally a lot of what is given away for free (online and otherwise) is worth what you pay for it. :) But, some of those freebies are real gems. Are you taking full advantage of quality freebies?
  5. Unused Software. Do you own software that you aren’t using? Maybe you purchased and installed a package, but you just haven’t the time to learn how to use it.
  6. Undiscovered blogs and websites. There’s a lot of good material online. Some of it is to be found on high quality blogs. There are also websites devoted to sharing good information and tools.
  7. Local groups. Frequently, freelancers ignore their local economy, but clients found through local networking can be some of your most loyal customers.

These are just a few sources for hidden freelancing “treasure.” You may be able to think of others. In the next section we’ll look at some methods you can use to uncover your forgotten freelancing treasures.

Where Could That Treasure Be Hiding?

I once read about a man who lived in a house that had thousands of dollars in coins hidden between the walls of his house. Unfortunately, the man didn’t know about the hidden treasure inside of his walls, so he went about his life and eventually died in poverty despite the fact that there was wealth hidden all around him. After the man died, the house was purchased by someone else, who knocked the walls down for a remodeling project and found the treasure.

I don’t know if the story above is true, or not. But it could be. I’m convinced that we all routinely overlook things that potentially could help us. Here are some tips to find your own hidden treasure:

  • Don’t always be in a rush. We often lose or overlook things because we are hurrying. Naturally, freelancers hurry to meet their deadlines on time, but if you’re always rushing around you may be missing out on a lot. Take the time to slow down once in a while.
  • Stay organized. Many hidden freelancing treasures could be buried in a messy office. Straighten things up and you may find some books and tools you didn’t realize that you had. Besides, it’s just more efficient to be organized.
  • Go through your past receipts. Do you keep a good list of every application, book, and other resource that you have purchased for your freelancing business? If you don’t, it may be worthwhile to go through your receipts and make such a list.
  • Do some homework. One way to find good resources is by doing thorough research. Find out what organizations meet locally. Discover what free apps are worth installing. Learn which freelancing blogs provide the most helpful information.
  • Be creative. Even if you are making full use of all of your resources, you may be underutilizing some of them. When you have time, take a thoughtful look at your software and other tools to see if they can be used in ways that you have not thought about before.

Your Turn

While most of us probably don’t have gold coins hidden in our walls, most of us have probably forgotten about something of value.

I remember one time when I put my hands into the pocket of jacket I hadn’t worn in a long while and found a five dollar bill. Even though it wasn’t a lot of money, I was thrilled. Found money can feel like a treat.

Did you ever rediscover something of value that you thought you had lost? Have you found any forgotten treasures that will help your freelancing business?

Share your experiences in the comments.

Image by mc559