The Human Freelancer

Happy and honest self-employment for conscientious newcomers

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Time for an update on my gradual transition from existential crisis to fully operational freelancer.

After churning over the why some odd things began to happen. Once I had the essence of it I felt pretty good. This is nice when you’ve lived as a pessimist in a hole for a long time. For once, I felt like I knew my place in the world. I had drive, and purpose I could work to. I began to see opportunities to put that into action. My mood lifted any my mind was buzzing – often helpfully at 3-4am. 

So the next step is put the why into action. I need to use it as a filter/magnet to find the right kind of work with the right kind of people. I need real-world actions that take me closer to where I want to be.

Knowing what steps to take next is a little overwhelming. I’m loosely following the Key Person of Influence method which, although a little full-on, does has some good advice.

So far I’m in the midst of: 

  • Identifying my niche
  • Defining my ideal clients
  • Reaching out to them
  • Setting some goals
  • Updating my offer (website, bios)

It feels like there’s a lot at stake in picking a niche, and setting out my pitch to be so specific. There’s risk of being exclusive or getting it wrong. But then I’ve been ‘general’ for so long in what I do that it’s time for a change.

Whatever I pick, there’s an exercise in productising it too, so it’s easier to understand for new clients.

A niche can mean many things too, either the group of people you serve, or the service you provide (or both). I’ve tried the former and I think there’s more risk in that than the latter. The latter feels more like me, also your skills probably have value for more than one group of people.

Stagnation is the enemy at the moment. Knowing what to do next. Without a plan, it’s easy to dwell on whether or not the last decision that got you here was the right one. Now that I’m motivated, ideas are washing over me as well – with so much to think about, it’s hard to know where to start doing anything about it all.

I’ve got plenty of candidate answers, the issue is acting on the right ones, and making time to do that. So I’ve been playing with task management tools, to-do lists and other ways to organise and structure my time better.

Then bastard cold came along so I’ve been knocked out with that.  And I’ve just realised it’s been about two weeks since my last post. Rumination and the day-to-day tribulations of life are clearly still an issue.

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