The pressure of delivering a sterling project for a client can really get to a mindful human freelancer. And when stress and anxiety get the better of you you risk missing the bigger picture: that you’re here to solve a problem and that’s sometimes enough to satisfy many clients (for the time being).
That’s because clients sometimes feel content simply knowing they’ve appointed an expert to solve their problem. That way they can tell their people that the problem is under control because they’ve solved the big problem of hiring someone to fix it.
At the beginning of one particularly high-profile project I was often wheeled out in front of stakeholders to prove that a specialist was in place with appropriate credentials to solve the problem. In fact not even that, I think my existence alone was enough to keep my client happy.
Of course, actually solving the problem and delivering something is another matter altogether (which you should always do of course, being a decent human freelancer). To continue my example, I did of course do my very best and produced artefacts the client approved of, but ultimately the overall project I contributed to was delayed for reasons beyond my control, despite my efforts. Perhaps this illustrates a point – that there will always be those projects where the process and politics are more important than the artefacts it produces or the problem it’s supposed to ameliorate. Yet another reason not to let your anxiety get the better of you.
So remember, just by virtue of turning up you go a long way towards satisfying some clients. That’s cause enough to take a bit of pressure off yourself if having satisfied clients is one of your main objectives (it is isn’t it?)
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