The opposing team came from a low-income part of the city. Our team’s coach warned our players not to be fooled by the fact that the other guys didn’t have nice uniforms or fancy equipment. If I remember correctly, he told our team, “If they beat you, it will be because they have greater mental toughness.”
I don’t even remember who won that game. And I think it was a generalization to suggest that all kids from low-income families necessarily have more mental toughness than kids from middle-class families.
But his point was a good one, and I tucked it away in the library of my mind. Because mental toughness matters.
In fact, I think mental toughness is a freelancer’s best friend.
It helps you keep your eyes on a better future when the present doesn’t look so good. It enables you to keep going while others give up. Freelancers with mental toughness know that their career won’t all be plain sailing. They know they’ll have some unlucky breaks. They know that life isn’t fair.
But they keep marching forward.
This matters because we are all of us deluged with messages that suggest freelancing is somehow easy. If we follow a proven path, or take these three simple steps, somehow success will fall at our feet.
But it’s not like that. Having a freelance business is no different from owning any other kind of small business. You have to work hard. You have to take some knocks. When you fall down, you have to stand back up. If this week’s marketing approach doesn’t work, then you need to tweak it and try again. And so on.
Does this sound a little daunting? Depressing even?
I hope not. Because I don’t see it that way at all.
To succeed in any kind of business you have to tackle challenges with energy and a positive mindset. You have to push through the barriers and obstacles.
To me, this is what being truly entrepreneurial is all about. You face a challenge with your eyes wide open and you push. This means being focused and being stubborn.
It also means knowing where you are going, and being determined to get there.
And yes, it calls for a certain amount of mental toughness, because you are going to take some knocks along the way.
That toughness is your friend because its absence will knock out a lot of your competitors. Plenty of freelancers give up after a while, unwilling to accept that the path to success isn’t always easy.
So how about you? Do you have mental toughness?
About the author: Nick Usborne is an online writer, copywriter, author and coach. Read more…
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