What do you think of, when you look back on 2017?
Do you despair at other people’s progress and feel anxious about your own success? Do you feel overwhelmed about your inadequacies?
Or do you think of what you learned and discovered about your own success?
Let’s look at My Freelance Business in 2017
I must confess, I’m a little jealous.
I have read about newbie freelancers who made an average of over $1,000 in their first month of freelancing. That’s one thousand dollars in the first month. Their web traffic and email list is growing, and here I am delighted with writing for my first client.
It took me a year to make my first $20. Am serious twenty dollars.
I know part of my problem; lack of confidence and dancing around the idea of finding a perfect niche.
For a whole year, I worried about my weaknesses
I’m not a good writer. I don’t have a perfect niche. Who would hire me? I am not creative. I’m a slow writer. My English is not perfect.
I thought the only solution was to enroll in many courses. And many promised enormous results in a short period of time. So, I enrolled the more.
While these courses are valuable, I wasted time reading without writing. One fact I ignored…No one will pay me a dime, by reading about copywriting without practice. I hid behind courses to cover up my lack of confidence.
I suffered information overload but I never wrote anything. A grave mistake. Remember, people reward you for your output, not effort. It was like chasing wind.
But, I’ve learned to turn each weakness into a strength.
Instead of worrying about my incompetence, I read more and seek feedback. I find people to emulate. I practice how they write. Am learning to accept that, I don’t have to be perfect from the onset. Perfection comes with time and practice. There is no end to learning. Even the best of them all was once an amateur.
Slowly, I built up the confidence to write and share what I write. Embrace your weaknesses and work to work on them. You will never learn unless you practice.
When learning a skill, there is no fixed destination. Think about your best singer, they still find weaknesses in their singing. To improve, they still practice. They still want to get better. So should you.
Finding Inner Peace in Chaos and the Mini-breakthrough
Starting the freelance business was like walking around in the jungle. Without a clear direction. The website is full of information about everything. This course and that niche. All promising a successful career at the end. The newbie dilemma. And so, I was cough up in analyzing them.
Lack of confidence and analysis paralysis got me chained like a dog.
But what surprised me most is how much I have learned about myself. About setting my own boundaries, navigating my own route and when to find the right balance.
To start off, I had to stop reading and finding the perfect niche. I started to write and write more. Every day I write at least 500 words on any topic. Whether for myself or a client, I must write. I practice on various things such as; crafting headlines, opening paragraphs, conclusions or about types of writing.
That is about writing. But what about the question of finding a niche?
You might expect me to say defining a niche is better than being general.
But am not sure.
You will agree with me, finding a niche can be one of the frustrating exercises, especially for a newbie. I got stuck trying to define my perfect niche. I spent hours, days and months gloating over “the perfect niche syndrome”. I dismissed each suggestion as soon as I wrote it down. I went round in cycles, like a cat trying to catch its own tail. Frustrating right?
Don’t waste time trying to figure it out. If you are like me who gets bogged down in over analysis and perfectionist syndrome. Start writing about anything. It is the only way to discover what you like. Consider your niche a work in progress and move on. Your niche will evolve over time. Only then you will choose between money and passion.
I haven’t found my niche yet, but I have decided to embrace any opportunity. Whether am competent of not. According to Richard Branson;
Take advantage of the opportunities. Start.
And by the way, I landed my first client when I allowed myself to be open-minded. More than before, I have decided to take advantage of all opportunities. So, allow yourself to discover, to explore and to learn.
The world will tell you what you should do
The world will tell you what to do and should be.
But the truth is inside of us. You must define it yourself.
To find yourself, you must try various things. It is a trial and error. There is no perfect niche, no perfect pitch or proposal. I tried to emulate other people’s templates, I never landed any job. I landed my first client when I drafted a proposal in my own way. I discovered my own way after trying failing many times. Do not be afraid to fail. Some lessons are best learned in failure.
Find the courage to listen and accept yourself. Step by Step, you’ll find your way.
Every Newbie Needs a pair of blinkers
Blinkers are the black eye patches that horses wear so they don’t get distracted by traffic. Because of those blinkers, the horses are focused on moving ahead.
Every newbie needs to get a pair of blinkers, too. To help stay on course. To avoid being distracted by shiny objects; new courses and niches. To stop trying to find the perfect blueprint. Life has no guarantees.
Don’t make the same mistakes. Put your blinkers on. Get your work done. And be proud of your efforts.
What would you love to do in 2018? What is that silent voice, your inner child telling you?
wish you happy holidays and 2018 full of insight, inspiration, and creativity.