You don’t know me. Well, maybe you do. But the way you know me is because your previous client asked you to email me some files because they are my new client. So when I got your email with unusable files and the snarky message, I was a little surprised. I mean, it seems like you’re angry at me for some reason. Again, we’ve never interacted before this. You had a lot to say about the client. You had a lot to say about me. And now I have a few things to say.
So remember when I said that I needed to find reasons to brush my teeth and leave my home office more often? Well, I wasn’t just writing that so I could tell you about a three year old’s bad breath. I was serious about getting out and about. I started with a lecture with CreativeMornings Austin.
Now that I’m in Austin and back to full time freelancing, I guess I’ve been taking advantage of alone time I can get now. My world consists of my bedroom, my office, the mailbox, and the playground down the street. It was so needed after the constant interactions I had to deal with in NYC. I’ve been reveling in it, actually.
But maybe too much.
So a while back, I made a decision to socialize more in person with my various communities than online. It easy for the computer savvy geek in me to limit my interactions to tweets, posts, and likes. But I also believe that forgoing in person connections makes PJ a dull girl. So I push myself to make public appearances when I can.
Note: Yes, I made up the word “un-quit.” So what? I like it. I think I’ll use it more often.
Networking isn’t that simple. If it were, every business would succeed wildly. While it’s true the right individual can get you what you need, actually contacting this person in the first place can be a bit of a challenge. Here are a few ways to make it much easier so you can work on improving and expanding your business.
You don’t want to limit yourself as a business owner. You got into the freelance world because you like to play by your own rules and don’t want to conform to anyone else’s standards. It’s part of your passion to make your own way.
Throughout history, authors have kept journals, written letters and dashed off occasional broadsides on the issues of the day. Normally, though, the best of such spontaneous writings got published after the author’s death. They weren’t themselves considered the author’s body of work or judged as indicative of his or her talent.
So I’ve got big news. I’ve made it to the big league.
Pop quiz, hotshot! If someone were to come up to you today and ask you very specific details about your freelance business, do you think you could hand them over? Do you have a real grasp on the details of your company or are you flying by the seat of your pants?
I have good news and bad news. The good news is that my business is getting bigger. Big enough that I have to subcontract some work out and I may be doing that more and more over the next couple of months. The bad news is that I have to hire a bunch of subcontractors to do some work for me, which really isn’t all that fun because I’m still in charge of what goes wrong.
You like to think your business is pitch perfect – after all, who wants to think that the mighty ship they’re steering has a few leaks in it? You need to believe that the job you’re doing is the best you can possibly do, or you’ll start to doubt yourself.
So it’s my freelancaversary and I have to admit that feels good to be still here pounding the pavement and collecting checks about 12 years after I sold my first freelance piece. (Whoa, don’t get too excited there. I’ve only been freelancing full-time for something like six years.)
I’ve been stiffed by exactly three clients in my five years of freelancing, but the sad thing is that I probably could have avoided all three incidences if I’d listened to my instincts. Before you’re tempted to do what I did and let a client walk away with the money they owe you, look for these warning signs.