There are several things you can do in order to get more exposure, more contracts, more recognition while reducing your workload.
Let’s have a look at the 5 D’s of a successful freelance career. (from my own observations and experience, feel free to add to the list)
1- Decision Making
When you freelance you have to be able to manage many things at once. Your ability to quickly decide what needs to be done right now, to decide how you’ll do it and where, will increase your chance of success, no doubts there.
What is the most important thing you should be doing right now? Why aren’t you doing it? How do you go about deciding what needs to be done and how you’re gonna do it?
- Always think of your deadline, this is the single most important thing. If you’re late, you loose a client.
- Take on projects that pays more, while always keeping in mind your deadlines.
- Do the more simple and easy tasks first, then attack the more difficult ones. (or the other way around, up to you)
- Always schedule, so you don’t necessarily need to decide. :)
2- Delegate Tasks – Decentralize
It can (and will) happen you’ll need a helping hand, depending on what kind of project you’re working on. You have to be able to know when you have “too much on your plate” and delegate tasks to colleagues or business partners. It’s hard to succeed all by yourself, and it’s really ok to ask for favors, which you can return when needed.
3- Dedication And Drive
In order to succeed, not only in your freelance career but in almost anything else, you have to be dedicated, passionate and driven. You cannot succeed if you do not totally enjoy what you do. The more time you put into it, the more you focus (don’t forget to take breaks) and the more dedicated you are, the better are your chances of success.
Ah, nothing like a drink with some friends to celebrate, or simply to decompress from a long day. Working 9 to 5 is something we’re kinda used to, it’s 8 hours a day, but working freelance often means saying hello to 12-14 hours a day. So it’s extremely important to take some time off to decompress.
Stress is bad for your health, but you managed to deliver your project in time, so you truly deserve to take the night off to decompress and relax. Enjoy! :)
5- Discipline (Self-Discipline, I should say)
Yep, the last one, but maybe the most important one, Discipline. You don’t have a boss to tell you when to go on break, what to do and how to do it, and schedule things for you, so you need to actually be your own boss. Being your own boss does not only mean you have more freedom, it also means you have more responsibilities.
In order to get things done and make a living freelancing, you have to be self-disciplined. Just imagine how nice it would be if you could just tell yourself “do it” and actually do it no matter what.
What About You?
Those were my 5 “successful freelance career” tips, what are yours? What are your rules and guidelines for success?