On more than one occasion, in the Human Freelancer book, I make you feel better about yourself by poking fun at all those nitwits out there who are less proficient than you, but still manage to make a living from freelancing. I’d quote myself but I’m not a complete twat. Yet.
This wasn’t just another flippant observation (although there are plenty of them in the book). There’s actually some thought behind this.
Here it is.
It’s that your success (gaining work and sustaining a living) doesn’t exclusively depend on how good your skills are or your experience. There are other much more important and influential factors at play.
And those nitwits do very well for themselves because they’ve either a) cheated their way up (sadly, there will always be room for a flukey bastard) or b) got themselves in the right place at the right time and realised how fundamentally important decent human behaviour is running a business.
What do I mean by decent human behaviour? This:
- Being polite – basic good manners cost nothing, but in Britain we notice when they’re forgotten
- Promptness and reliability – keeping your word because in business trust is everything
- Thoughtfulness – using your emotional intelligence and empathy to read between the lines
- Asking the right questions – when you express genuine interest in someone’s predicament
- Confidence and passion – how you speak about your art and what you love
This should come as reassurance if you’re new to the freelance game and feel like you’re an imposter, or outclassed by your contemporaries. What I’m trying to say is you can plug the gaps in your skills and experience with a healthy smattering of being a good human.
It really works. I’m a bit of a reclusive miserable git and all the above has helped me make a go of it for seven years running now. I’d add the caveat that success for me isn’t about making shit loads of money. It’s about earning enough to live sustainably and having free time to do all the other things I love.
So, what’s the best thing you can do to improve your chances? Get off your fat arse and do something about this freelancing dream of yours.
Now, why are you still here?
LOOK! There's a book full of this shit and more!
Self-help business books perpetuate the myth that success is relentless growth and more of everything means progress. They preach about bookkeeping and market research: things you might need to do of course. But let’s face it they’re fucking boring.
The Human Freelancer book is your antidote: stuffed full of emotional support and insightful advice for vulnerable newbies to self-employment like you.Buy it now