Getting Ready to Catch the Firefly

In yesterday’s article I wrote about luck, and how it shares qualities with a firefly. There for you to grasp, but only if you’re ready, and move fast.

Today we’re going to look at preparation.

In other words, how can you be sure you’re ready? How can you prepare yourself in ways that help you recognize and grasp good luck when it appears?

There are two elements here.

To get lucky you need to have a strong outer game and a strong inner game.

Let’s start with the outer game.

First of all, luck only happens if you DO something.

If you’re simply an observer or just sit around waiting for luck to happen, it won’t. It’s like trying to catch that firefly without getting up from the couch. Step one is to open the door and get outside!

In the last article I talked about how Shelley Jacobson flew down to Bootcamp. That was an act of getting ready.

She then raised her hand and asked to talk with me. There she was grasping the moment.

There are two main things you should do. (I’m taking these from my own past. From key moments where I saw an opportunity and grasped it.)

#1 – Focus on networking with people who are in a position to help you.

Almost everyone “networks” these days. But how valuable is your own network? If it’s comprised of a lot of other people like you, it’s probably not that valuable. I do very little networking with other freelancers. Instead, I network with connectors, influencers and prospects.

Connectors are people who are connected with the movers and shakers in our business. For example, I’m a connector myself. I know a ton of senior people in the business, and am constantly introducing people to each other.

Influencers are people who have influence and reach. For example, one of my biggest lucky breaks came about through knowing one of the founders of a major online marketing blog. (Influencers are often connectors as well.)

Prospects are the people who can give you work. These are the owners of small businesses and the marketing folks at larger businesses.

Reaching out to these people, getting to know them and keeping in touch with them has been my number one strategy for “getting lucky” for the past 35 years.

#2 – Present the best version of yourself.

You wouldn’t go to a job interview in a dirty t-shirt and track pants, would you?

But that’s how many freelancers present themselves to prospective clients.

Part of getting ready is getting dressed up for the interview. For us, as freelancers, that means having a website that’s well-designed and looks professional. A photo that wasn’t taken by your spouse, or at Walmart. A set of services that’s clearly presented, and not a jumble of “I’ll do anything.”

These are the two major elements in the outer game:

  • Network with people who can really help you.
  • Look your best and make a good impression.

As for the inner game, that’s the topic for the next article in this series.

And believe me, the inner game is as important, if not more important, than the outer game.

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Published: February 3, 2015

13 Responses to “Getting Ready to Catch the Firefly”

  1. I have been approached by one of the top players in the business to join their team. Sounds goods but I am also affiliated with LPP and they have 2/3 of what the major player is offering for 1/3 the price. Should I join this are be reticent and look deeper?

    motivator1letsgoFebruary 3, 2015 at 1:24 pm

  2. Any suggestions for reaching out to the connectors and influencers? How best to connect? Respecting the person's time and energy while still making a meaningful, useful connection?

    ColetteFebruary 3, 2015 at 4:40 pm

  3. Hi Nick Usborne

    How are you? I really inspired by this article and invoking me to take action. I have no contacts with connectors and Influencers. Any suggestion that how can we reach them and keeping in touch with them. is it through social media network or email etc?

    Guest (Kannan)February 3, 2015 at 11:52 pm

  4. Dear Nick

    Thank you for your wonderful article. I have been networking with people like me (not yet connectors and shakers). Now I am dusting my shoes to walk towards where my luck sits.

    KamoFebruary 4, 2015 at 12:27 am

  5. Hallo, Nick.

    Is a free blog good enough to start off with or should I pay for one? Which one do you recommend? I know blogspot, wix and wordpress. I hate the advert popups, but these blogs' setups are relatively easy to customize.

    Kind regards Christa

    Guest (Christa Coetser)February 4, 2015 at 3:31 am

  6. So, before I can hang out my shingle, I will need to have my website spit and polished and all of these connections? If I am not working/experienced as a copywriter yet, how do you let customers know what you are capable of doing via your website?

    VickieFebruary 4, 2015 at 6:59 pm

  7. Hi Nick,

    Thanks good stuff.

    I find by focusing on my strengths, and the goodness that surrounds me, more than the negative and weaknesses, I am able see more clearly, more objectively. Finding the good ways in front of me, becomes simpler.

    A wise sage once said, "A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way. John C. Maxwell"

    You clearly are doing these things Nick.

    David B Justiss February 12, 2015 at 4:14 pm

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