The “Forrest Gump” Hack
This week we’ve been talking about simple hacks or tricks to fast-track your way into a successful freelance business.
Especially when you’re trying to make the leap from a full-time job to freelancing.
Today’s hack is very simple. But it’s had a profound impact on my business.
I call it the “Forrest Gump” technique.
We “Know” Too Much!
Before I describe it, let me first give you some context.
Most of us tend to over-analyze our goals and challenges. We over-think things. As a result, we tell ourselves that prospecting is hard. Or, that we’ll never get great clients. Or, that we don’t have what it takes to write winning copy.
After all, look at the folks who are doing well. They’re so smart, gifted, creative and brave! They have the right background and experience, right?
Wrong! None of that is true.
When I hear these excuses from fellow freelancers, I’m reminded of the movie Forrest Gump. In that movie, Tom Hanks plays Forrest Gump, a simple man with a low IQ.
Despite his supposedly low level of intelligence, Forrest goes on to win war medals, start a table-tennis craze, create a famous shrimp fishing fleet, jog cross-country (four times), write the lyrics to a hit song and meet a number of U.S. presidents.
Far more than most of us ever accomplish in life.
Trouble is, Forrest is too “stupid” to realize the significance of his actions and accomplishments.
And therein lies the rub.
Ignorance Is Bliss
You see, being “ignorant” about the freelance writing business saved me. I knew just enough to go out there and try to make it happen.
I didn’t have time to listen to the naysayers. I wasn’t on Facebook, LinkedIn and forums all day long soaking up the negativity and fear. (Heck, there was no Facebook yet!)
I had a demanding day job. A young child. A family to support. A business to build.
So, I just went for it!
Little did I know at the time that it was supposed to be “hard.”
Don’t get me wrong, it was challenging. I worked long hours. But I didn’t succumb to the fear and anxiety that plagues so many new and aspiring freelancers. Especially those who “know” too much.
Not because I was so smart. (I’m really not — more about that on Friday.) But because I was so “dumb.”
So, here’s your action item for today: Ignore the doomsayers!
Be on the lookout for negative, fearful or anxious discussions. And when you sense any negativity in an article, a forum post, a conversation with a fellow freelancer … walk away from it.
Turn it off. And remind yourself that this kind of “knowledge” is toxic.
Can you think of an example from your business or personal life where being “ignorant” actually helped you? Let me know in the comments area. I’d love to hear it!
Tomorrow I’m going to share yet another simple but incredibly powerful hack. In fact, it’s something that every successful freelancer I know has used. Yet few of them ever talk about it.
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