The Justice League for Freelance Success – Part Two
In part one of this series, “The Justice League for Freelance Success – Part One", I warned you of six potential pitfalls of working solo as a freelance professional.
Those six pitfalls are:
- You get idea shortages
- You hit the knowledge ceiling
- You experience a crisis of confidence
- You get too confident
- You get production blinders
- You get overwhelmed
I also urged you to follow the example of the old comic book superhero group, the Justice League, and join with others to accelerate your success.
Alone, each member of the Justice League – Superman, Green Lantern, etc. — had a hard time taking out a villain. If they tried going it alone … they usually ended up in trouble. So they worked together.
How does that apply to you in the real world?
As a freelancer, you need your own Justice League. Other people to bounce ideas off of, assist with projects, generate new ideas, and the like.
With this group (or several different groups, each for a different purpose) by your side, you’ll easily avoid the pitfalls I mentioned above and in my last article.
- When you get idea shortages – Join a community. You can do this in real life or you can do this online through a group of like-minded people like those you would find in the Professional Writers’ Alliance or a LinkedIn group. These conversations typically work best when they are spontaneous. But you can also form a group with a steady membership that meets regularly.
- When you hit the knowledge ceiling – You need to meet regularly with a group of people who can feed you one idea after another. One of the best and most proven ways to get new ideas is to listen to the ideas of others. You can do this through industry seminars or non-credit courses at the local community college. Another resource is SCORE. SCORE is a non-profit organization of retired executives you can pair up with to discuss your business ideas and challenges. It’s not right for everyone but might be worth checking out.
- When you experience a crisis of confidence – Email a colleague. You need to have a support team of freelance professionals that you can fire off an email to. But a word of warning: don’t save your emails for downtimes. Send good news too. That way, people will be inspired by your success and in turn they are likely to share their success stories with you – usually right when you need it most.
- When you get too confident – This one is tough. You need a real friend. Someone who’s not afraid to take you down a notch … or two. This could be a spouse, a brother or sister, even an old friend from school. Someone who knows you and can tell when you “get a little too big for your britches,” as we say here in the south. You’ll want to give them permission – and ask them to commit to this task – because it won’t be easy for them to do. Let them know it’s vitally important to your career and that you promise to react in a rational manner – eventually.
- When you get production blinders – Again, this is when you need a good list of emails or a strong online community forum where you can post your ideas for critique. You can also form a peer group whose entire purpose is meeting to evaluate each other’s work.
- When you get overwhelmed –Your peer group can help you navigate these tough times. They’ve probably been there and can suggest ways to be more productive, prioritize, etc. But sometimes you just need to get away from the office and do anything but think about work. So you can even find a group that isn’t work related. Maybe a cycling group, yoga, knitting … whatever you are into.
However you decide to get out of your office – and out of your own head – for a while is up to you. But it has to be done if you want a career lasting more than a few short years.
You can’t go it totally alone and hope to be successful.
Just like Superman needs friends, so do you. Start now. Today.
The bottom line is that if you want to really see the potential of your freelance business, you will at some point need the help and encouragement of others.
The Professional Writers’ Alliance
At last, a professional organization that caters to the needs of direct-response industry writers. Find out how membership can change the course of your career. Learn More »