I’m still waiting for you to complete that statement, if you have an answer that is; because I don’t. While meeting with other people who do the same thing as you (or within the same niche), invariably, comparison rears its ugly head, and thoughts such as this begin to come into your mind:
“Maybe they’re better than me…”
“Gosh, if only I was as organized as Peter!”
“How does Ralia get it all done? Does she even sleep?!”
And then it ends with…
“I need to step up my game”
While I’m all for stepping up your game, it is vital to ask yourself what the inspiration behind doing so is. Are you inspired to get better because you know you can do better, or because you want to keep up with the Joneses? I hope it’s not because of the latter, because even the Joneses can no longer keep up with themselves. Last I heard, they were all in different areas of the world and their lives have become too fast-paced for one another! Okay, my point is that if you’re into freelance because you’ve compared yourself to someone else and think that you also can perform like the person, you might end up on the lane of frustration sooner than later. Heck, you might already be there. So here is a couple of tips to get you up and running, once again.
1. Why are you into freelancing?
There comes a point in everyone’s life where the desire to take stock of one’s steps and accomplishments are high on the individual’s mind. You start to ask yourself valid questions about what you’re doing, and why you’re doing it. Along the line, some people get depressed and are unable to continue this valid process of stock taking. When it comes to knowing the purpose of what you’re engaged in (freelance in particular), I suggest that you take time out to evaluate the reason you’re into it. Let’s take the case scenario of two guys, Fola and James who are into freelance graphic designing. Fola is deeply passionate about crafting designs, while James is well, just interested in making a lot of cash and from what he’s heard, he can make a lot of cool cash from this craft. While they both cite that they are passionate while pitching for jobs, each of them knows the truth. During a dry spell, they are both discouraged but James is the one who bails out of graphic designing as he looks for ‘greener pastures’. Fola on the other hand, still works at becoming better at what he does, while in search of other opportunities as well. Clearly, his passion was what helped him stay in the business in spite of all.
2. Are you in the right niche?
Still on the case scenario, months after, James is still on his search for ‘greener pastures’ while Fola has been able to grow, get more clients and is honing his skills on a daily basis. Complicated designs are his forte these days. James visits him and asks him how he has been able to overcome the issues which they’d both faced only a couple of months ago and from their discussion, Fola’s passion for his craft is more than evident and suddenly, it hit James: he had not discovered what he really loved to do, and this was why he was jumping from freelance designing, to freelance writing/editing, to freelance photography and hadn’t still ‘blown’. He goes home, engages himself in a session of deep brainstorming and finally realizes that what he truly loves is freelance writing. By this, he is one step closer to the life of his dreams.
From this brief case scenario, you must have learnt that knowing what you love and keeping at it is important for growth in any industry. It doesn’t pay to jump from one career to another without being definitive. Focus, is key.
Meanwhile, some others might be able to work effectively on so many projects at the same time; most of us know that one person who has a 9-5, a side hustle, has 3 small kids to take care of and is still the youth pastor of their church. It’s okay if you’re not that person. I just wanted to let you know it’s okay to be you, dear freelancer! Don’t forget to constantly work on your own means of expression, your voice.
Meanwhile, if you truly know in which area comparison seems to help freelancers, do let