It’s not always easy finding the sweet spot for your freelance business.

Truth in freelancing

I get into conversations with a lot of freelancers, many of them just starting out.

And one thing I notice again and again is that freshly-minted freelancers often struggle to articulate exactly what their specialty should be.

  • B2C or B2B?
  • Which industry niche, if any? Financial, health, industrial, travel, other?
  • What kind of writing specialty, if any… sales copy, email, content marketing, social media writing?

It’s important to have answers to these questions. Without answers, you’ll often feel you have no real foundation. It becomes hard to articulate your position and your value to prospective clients.

In other words, if you aren’t completely clear about where you stand, and what you stand for as a freelancer, you going to have a lot more trouble marketing yourself and finding good work.

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Good news for freelancers: The gig economy is evolving in your favor.

Gig economy for freelancers

The only upside to living a full hour away from my dentist is that I have plenty of time to listen to podcasts in the car.

Two pieces of good news from today’s trip.

First, no cavities.

Second, I listened to an episode of Jacob Morgan’s podcast in which he interviews Steve King.

Jacob Morgan is a best-selling author, speaker and futurist, focusing on the future of work.

Steve King is co-founder of Emergent Research, which tracks the future of small business and independent work.

During the podcast they have a wide-ranging discussion about the state of the gig economy and its future.

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If you don’t believe a new story can dramatically change your future as a freelancer…

People write to me with gentle challenges like, “Hey Nick, I love your enthusiasm for stories. But honestly, I don’t see how simply changing the story I tell can improve my future as a freelancer.”

OK… so you doubt the power of stories to influence your life?

You don’t think stories have the power to create change?

Let’s try a short experiment…

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Don’t blindly accept the popular narratives other people follow.

story of you notepad

We are all exposed to a wide range of narratives that are often accepted as truths.

But for the most part they are not truths. They are opinions. Stories.

And we’d do well to question them.

Let me share a couple of examples I have bumped up against recently.

One from my work life and one from my personal life.

Narrative #1: To get stuff done, you need to focus, distraction-free.

Sounds reasonable, right? I’ve told this story myself.

And then…

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Freelancers: Telling the right story is like unleashing your own superpower.

superpower stories

Some of the most powerful stories we hear are the ones that support the narratives that define the countries we live in.

As I’m Canadian, I’ll use one of the dominant Canadian narratives to illustrate my point.

One of the stories that defines “being Canadian” is that we’re really, really nice.

We’re polite and friendly. We love animals and the environment. We welcome refugees with open arms. We make sure all our citizens have access to health care. We say please and thank you.

Really… we’re just super-nice people.

So goes the story.

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How I found my true self by spending time as someone else.

new story of you coaching gear

In my last post I mentioned that I struggled academically during my earlier years at school.

I was at an English private boarding school from age 8 to 12. Not a fun place to be, particularly if you’re shy and have zero self-confidence.

At that particular school, after the first couple of years, they divided everyone between three academic streams.

At the very top was the scholarship stream, followed by an academically competent stream, and at the bottom was the “don’t even bother to try harder” stream.

I was in that last stream.

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