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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.
Once your business has been going for a while, you're likely to find yourself feeling like you're getting in a rut. Those feelings are completely normal, but they are also dangerous because they can make you question your path and distract you from your goals. They can show up regardless of whether your freelance business is successful or struggling and they can sap your motivation. You might not be able to avoid these feelings entirely. But when you start to have them, here are some ways of using them, rather than letting them use you. The good news is that if you've been following this course from the beginning, you already have weapons to fight that urge to quit.
They're in the form of the questionnaires you filled out earlier to prepare your mindset and to define your career goals. If you didn't fill these out yet, stop the video and do it now. The questionnaire where you define career goals is especially useful because you recorded what you wanted to accomplish within the first six months, the first year and the first two years. You're probably just around one of those points when your motivation starts to slow down. When you're feeling the rut, reread your answers on these questionnaires and then ask yourself a few questions.
First, how are you doing in relation to what you wanted? Review your accomplishments and celebrate them. In the day-to-day grind, you spend so much attention just putting one foot in front of the other that often you don't realize just how much road has passed under your feet. Second, how have your goals changed as a result of your freelancing experiences? Maybe a goal turned out to be unrealistic or maybe it wasn't as hard as you thought, and so you accomplished it immediately. In either case, use your real world guidance to set new goals.
Third, how have your goals changed as the result of feelings you've had while freelancing? It's very common to realize that the things you imagine for yourself aren't really what you want. If a goal you had doesn't feel right anymore, just cross it off the list or change it to set a new goal. On the other hand, you may need to rededicate yourself to some of your goals. For example, one of the most common problems at the six-month point is that you're starting to get work, but you're still not making as much money as you want.
If that's you, reiterate and strengthen that goal, but keep in mind that you have limited resources, so a different goal might have to be put off for the moment. Reiterating your goals will also help you determine whether you need to change your focus, increase marketing, or add more human resources to your business. I'll talk about all those options in upcoming videos. It can be tempting to think of such changes as failures. After all you set a goal and then you didn't accomplish it. But I hope you don't think that way, because recognizing that a goal needs to change and adapting to those changes is in itself a productive accomplishment.
Finally, consider taking a break to gain perspective, especially if you've been plugging away non-stop for a while. Take some "Me Time" to understand yourself better, and the answers will come.
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