You’re faced with a task or a subject or an app that you’ve never heard of before. Panic-time, right?
Everyone knows that it’s important to be knowledgeable in your field. Generally speaking, the more knowledge that you have mastered the more that you have to offer to your client.
But, did you know that what you don’t know can also benefit your freelancing business? It seems counter-intuitive, but it’s true. If you approach what you don’t know with the right attitude, it can provide new opportunities for you and for your freelancing business.
In this post, we’ll discuss five surprising ways to leverage what you don’t know to the advantage of your business.
1. A Learning Opportunity
What you don’t know provides you with a chance to learn and grow your skills. When you encounter something unfamiliar, whether it is an unfamiliar subject or a new app, tackle it head on. Read everything that you can find about it. Take time to process what you read.
If you think you will need this knowledge frequently, buy a book or invest in a class. Even if you can’t bill for the time that you spend learning, your business will benefit in the long run.
2. A Networking Opportunity
Okay, so you don’t have time to learn a new skill. You’re absolutely swamped with work. Besides, you don’t think that you’ll use this new information very often.
Even if you decide not to master the unknown, your freelancing business can still benefit from the way that you approach the unfamiliar. Find a colleague, or even someone outside of your field, who is an expert in the part of your project that you don’t understand. You may be able to subcontract out that piece of the project to them, and in the process gain a valuable addition to your professional network.
3. An Opportunity for Improvement
If you find that you are frequently faced with things that you don’t understand it may be time to re-evaluate your business. What are your strengths and what are your weaknesses? What skills are you lacking, and more importantly, how can you get them?
Take this opportunity to revamp and revitalize both your business and your skill set.
4. An Opportunity to Share
If you took the time to learn and mastered what you didn’t know, you now have a new opportunity. You have the opportunity to share what you just learned.
Chances are that you’re not the only freelancer in your industry who has faced this challenge. Through sharing and the dialog that goes along with sharing, you’ll learn even more.
If you have a blog, you can post about the problem and how you solved it. Even if you don’t have a blog, you can create an article and submit it to a professional site. Or, you could start a thread about the topic in a professional forum. Sharing your knowledge can help build your reputation in your specialty.
5. An Opportunity to Shine
How you approach a difficult challenge and your attitude as you face it is your opportunity to shine.
Are you open and willing to learn new things? Or, are you stuck in rut and closed to new ways of doing things?
You’ll really stand out to your clients as someone who is adaptable and competent if you go the extra mile and master the special skills and extra knowledge that is needed for their project. Your attitude will set you apart from other freelancers.
Another Plus to What You Don’t Know
If you’re open to exploring unfamiliar topics, it’s less likely that trends will pass you by. Maybe you’ll even be able to get in on the ground floor of an emerging technology. Tomorrow’s standards are being created today.
What Do You Think?
Have you ever faced a difficult or unfamiliar challenge in a project? What did you do?
Share your experiences in the comments.
Image by carbonnyc