Some People Don't Like Ice Cream Either
This week, I’ve been writing to you about the benefits of working with groups, something many people are reluctant—even fearful—to do. I hope you’ve felt your confidence building this week.
However, there may still be some things holding you back. If you are concerned about losing your individuality, please read Monday’s message. Or, if you think you won’t learn anything, go back to what I wrote on Tuesday. I really want you to overcome these worries. And I think when you understand all the benefits of forming your own mastermind, you’ll be eager to recruit members.
My career was, in a way, launched by meeting with a group. And I still gain from meeting with others. Don’t limit your career just because of fears you’ve built up. Earlier this week, I explained the concept of “resistance fears.” Essentially, you’re resisting doing something, so your mind is making up an excuse—usually irrational—to justify inaction. Today, I want to talk to you about:
Resistance Fear #3 – I don’t work well in groups.
Or more commonly stated, “I work better alone.”
Fact is, you do not work better alone.
Sure, you may be able to think more clearly at times when you’re by yourself. You enjoy the freedom of being “on your own” and not having a boss or coworkers.
But there is a big problem with working solo. One that breaks into our core as humans. If you insist you work alone—keeping yourself from reaching out to others in your field—you become just that. Alone.
We often talk about the great things living the writer’s life can bring—freedom, options in life, the ability to provide for our family and still have time for them. Those truly are great things and I wouldn’t want to trade them for anything …
But it is important to stick your head out of your shell every once in a while. You can do this in a number of ways. In the beginning, it doesn’t even have to be work related. Just find a group you already feel comfortable with and join them for lunch or dinner. Just hearing others talk about current events can stimulate ideas and give you insights into different markets.
Then if you are an “introvert” or “shy” or “live in the middle of nowhere,” that’s no longer an excuse. You can get online or form an email group very easily.
In my article, “The Justice League For Freelance Success – Part Two,” I share several ways to reach out to other people and join groups, especially when you hit those “snags” that every freelancer suffers and you need help.
Now to my three points about why you need groups:
First, groups keep you motivated. Nothing pushes me more than when I know others are keeping me accountable on my work. When I meet with my mastermind group, they’re going to ask me how my week went. They know the major projects I’m working on. They’ve each vested some time into them by brainstorming with me and advising me. Just that keeps me on track. How can I let them down after they’ve actively engaged themselves into my work?
Secondly, groups keep you positive. Even little victories in your career mean so much more when you have a group of peers congratulating you. Again, they’ve become a part of your work, and they will be genuinely excited when you bring back good news.
Possibly more important, they’ll be there for you when something goes wrong. If you lost a big client, or if your last promo bombed, few things keep you looking up more than the encouragement of people who actually understand the gravity of that situation.
Finally, groups keep you moving forward. It’s hard to be writing if you are feeling down. Having a group who knows what I am going through is often just what I need to keep moving. Just having someone to talk to who gets what you do is unbelievably uplifting.
On slump days—or weeks—they’ll be the first to push me a little further. On days where I’m flying high, they’re the ones who keep the momentum rolling. Getting together with a group will be one of the best things you’ve done for your career. And I urge you to follow my advice and get started forming your own group right away. You’ll get to the writer’s life that much faster.
If you have any questions or comments for me, feel free to post them below.
Tomorrow, I’ll hit the last fear many freelancers have—that groups are a waste of time.
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