Being a freelancer usually means a lot of work, discipline and determination. In previous blog articles, I talked about planning a career as a freelancer in Freelancing I, followed by 10 crucial tips to remember in Freelancing II. This third publication about keeping a positive attitude might seem negligible at first glance, but it is not; without it, only failure awaits you at the end of the road. During my first year working as a full-time freelancer and entrepreneur, I learned the hard way the value of optimism. And I am ready to share with you my findings.
Negativism will drag you and your work down
We all have our moments when we feel “like crap”. It could be when encountering a particularly difficult problem, or when having to face our flaws. It’s perfectly normal to feel inadequate sometimes; we are human, imperfect. However it’s the way you will decide to handle those emotions that will determine if you are walking on the road to success or failure.
It’s easy to let ourselves be overwhelmed by a negative emotion. We dwell on a problem, on our incapability to solve it. And soon enough, this attitude imprints on other aspects of our life, tainting everything else. We feel like we suck… at everything. The key to success is to be able to recognize these feelings and to get out of this all-consuming cloud of negativity as soon as possible. Failing to acknowledge the situation and to snap out of it will result not only into a depressed state but also into botched work and clients fleeing you. Acting like a loser will make of you a loser.
Freelance problem solving 101
Once you’ve recognized your state (that’s usually you, being pledged with negativity), take a step back and locate the source of your malaise. Negativity is just like cancer; it affects the other cells around but it did originate somewhere. Isolate that source, the problem, and solve it. Do you feel like your work is not good enough? Working hard on improving on a daily basis ensures that your issue will be resolved soon enough. Do you lack the knowledge or skills to solve a particular problem? Learn new skills and ask for help to other professionals around you in order to advance faster (you can also sub-contract). Are your finances looking bad? Find out why you’re not making enough money and actively look for new clients and/or raise your hourly rate if it’s too low.
99% of the problems freelancers face have a simple solution. And more often than not, it’s something you can do yourself. The application of that solution isn’t always easy, I concede, but if you want to succeed you will need to keep going forward without the weight of your emotional issues slowing you down.
Keep that smile on your face
Freelancers work with clients on a regular basis; they bring the food to our table and pay the bills. And just as most humans tend to agglomerate around people who have a positive attitude, clients are no different; they will stick by you if you shine. Having a positive attitude and maintaining a good image will make you look successful (even if you are not yet as rich or renown as you would like to be) and grounded. Just acting as if you were successful breeds success.
So keep a smile on that face. When you are down because of your work, isolate the problem, find a solution and work hard on applying it. Move on, advance. Embrace the future and its possibilities. Keep faith that after a storm, the sun will come out… because it does.