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Freelancing Fundamentals

Defining career goals


From:

Freelancing Fundamentals

with Tom Geller

Video: Defining career goals

A key to staying motivated is being able to see and measure your progress toward that goal. Let's take a few minutes to figure out what success is to you because it's not the same for everybody. I prepared a worksheet to help you. It's named Goals in the exercise files. It's broken into two parts. The first is a list of common reasons for freelancing. I gave 12 among them; to make more money, to work fewer hours, to do a bigger variety of work, to be able to work wherever you are, and so forth. I also included a few spaces for you to add your own goals.
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  1. 10m 50s
    1. Welcome
      1m 53s
    2. What is freelancing?
      2m 53s
    3. How freelancing and employment differ
      2m 33s
    4. Preparing your mindset
      3m 31s
  2. 9m 24s
    1. Defining career goals
      2m 48s
    2. Sharpening your market focus
      3m 18s
    3. Transitioning to freelancing
      3m 18s
  3. 16m 11s
    1. Preparing your portfolio
      3m 11s
    2. Estimating costs
      3m 10s
    3. Funding your startup
      2m 42s
    4. Establishing your workspace
      3m 35s
    5. Building your professional network
      3m 33s
  4. 8m 51s
    1. Getting licenses, permits, and insurance
      2m 15s
    2. Creating contracts
      4m 23s
    3. Finding professional service vendors
      2m 13s
  5. 12m 54s
    1. Setting prices
      3m 13s
    2. Establishing payment systems
      1m 36s
    3. Invoicing and getting paid
      3m 50s
    4. Keeping the books
      2m 32s
    5. Managing taxes
      1m 43s
  6. 14m 41s
    1. Announcing your availability
      3m 16s
    2. Finding work through agencies
      2m 2s
    3. Onboarding clients
      2m 59s
    4. Avoiding scams
      3m 25s
    5. Choosing assignments
      2m 59s
  7. 11m 27s
    1. Interacting with clients
      2m 11s
    2. Delivering quality work
      2m 28s
    3. Getting referrals and recommendations
      2m 34s
    4. Losing and firing clients
      4m 14s
  8. 10m 48s
    1. Deconstructing big jobs
      3m 34s
    2. Adopting time-management tools
      2m 35s
    3. Creating schedules
      2m 30s
    4. Turning off the clock for "me time"
      2m 9s
  9. 20m 6s
    1. Staying motivated
      3m 3s
    2. Increasing your rates
      2m 52s
    3. Marketing beyond your professional network
      2m 56s
    4. Growing through hires and partnerships
      3m 30s
    5. Building passive income
      3m 48s
    6. Changing focus
      3m 57s
  10. 4m 52s
    1. Case study: Publishing a book
      2m 47s
    2. Next steps
      2m 5s
  11. 12m 42s
    1. Freelancing Q&A
      12m 42s

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Freelancing Fundamentals
2h 12m Appropriate for all Jan 30, 2013 Updated Mar 20, 2013

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

In this course, author and seasoned freelancer Tom Geller shows you how to prepare for a transition to freelancing. Begin by taking a look at your career goals, the systems that will support you, and proper ways to plan for success. Find out how to marshal your resources, refine your portfolio for presentation to clients, and estimate your costs to avoid any surprises on the financial front. Plus, discover how to create invoices, manage your books and taxes, expand your client base with marketing, and grow your business.

A bonus chapter covers common questions freelancers have when entering the field.

Topics include:
  • What is freelancing?
  • Defining your career goals
  • Funding your startup
  • Getting licenses, permits, and insurance
  • Setting prices
  • Finding work through agencies
  • Getting referrals
  • Working with time and project management tools
  • Increasing your rates
Subjects:
Business Productivity Project Management Business Skills Freelancing
Author:
Tom Geller

Defining career goals

A key to staying motivated is being able to see and measure your progress toward that goal. Let's take a few minutes to figure out what success is to you because it's not the same for everybody. I prepared a worksheet to help you. It's named Goals in the exercise files. It's broken into two parts. The first is a list of common reasons for freelancing. I gave 12 among them; to make more money, to work fewer hours, to do a bigger variety of work, to be able to work wherever you are, and so forth. I also included a few spaces for you to add your own goals.

Start by ranking at least the top three. My main goal was to be free to travel and to work wherever I was. Having a greater variety of work was also important to me, as was having a flexible schedule. When you're done filling it out according to your goals, the things you'll have ranked are still just dreams--that is, vague wishes about the future. The difference between dreams and goals is that goals are specific. So, now we'll move down to the bottom section of the worksheet to make our progress toward those goals measurable.

First, write down today's date. Then figure out the date six months, a year, and two years from now, and write those down too. My number one goal was to be able to travel, and to work from wherever I was. Well, what's needed for that? First, I'd need clients who didn't require me to be in a specific place. Second, I need equipment to work from the road. For me that's a laptop and mobile Internet. I also had one more requirement; to prove to myself that it would all work as expected both in my city and in two other locations.

Altogether, these seem like achievable goals for the first six months, but they're going to take real action to make happen. I might need to buy a new laptop for example, or sign up for a better phone plan. Then I'll need to test it out under conditions that fit in with my travel goals. These are things you might not actually think to do if you don't write them down. But by doing so, you'll be able to make it happen, and you'll get great satisfaction looking back six months from now. The next steps of course would be to fill in the slots for your next two high-ranking goals.

For example, if money is important to you, specify how much you want to make every month starting six months from now. If you want recognition, give examples that would satisfy you. Once you've finalized your six-month goals, repeat the exercise with higher ambitions for a year later and then for two years. Speaking of which, right after writing down all your goals, go to your calendar, and make notes to check in on those dates. And above all, don't be afraid to dream big or that your answers will somehow be wrong.

It's only for your own guidance, so you'll be sure you're on the right track as your career progresses.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about Freelancing Fundamentals.


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Q: This course was updated on 3/20/2013. What changed?
A: We added a bonus chapter that covers common questions freelancers have when entering the field, such as "How do I use Craigslist or other job boards to grow my freelance business?" and "How do I find clients?"
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