Monday Spark: To be happy, work on what you do best.

doing something wellCompetence makes you feel good.

The task can be fairly ordinary, like making coffee. If you are good at making coffee – gourmet coffee, that is – the simple act of brewing a great pot of coffee will make you feel good.

Conversely, if this isn’t something you do well, and your dinner guest are all coffee snobs, the act of making coffee will probably make you feel anxious.

It’s not much different if you are an employee at a company. If you are good at what you do, you will likely enjoy your work. But when a colleague takes a sick day, and you have to take on her tasks, which you are not so good at, that sense of satisfaction quickly evaporates.

All this is a preamble to suggesting that in your freelance life you should pay more attention to what you do best.

Sometimes when I am talking with my coaching clients, and I ask them what they do best, there is an awkward silence over the phone. They are not sure. They haven’t thought about it much.

They have thought about the skills they have learned, and they have a ready answer if I ask them which freelance gigs might attract the most money. But most haven’t framed their work life and skillset around what they do best.

This is a pity, because instead of focusing on their own gift – what they do best – they are distracted a crowd of outside voices which are telling them a bunch of other things they should focus on.

I’m not suggesting you should never listen. Nor am I suggesting that you should ignore the marketplace and what your clients are asking for. But I do recommend that you focus more on what you do best.

As I said – and as numerous psychologists have said before me – competence makes you feel good.

And when you feel good about how you spend your day, and what you do, everything changes.

First, you’ll create a better body of work. How could you not? If you focus on what you do best, you will consistently do great work.

Second, you will build a reputation for doing great work. Again, how could you not?

Third, you’ll get more inquiries from prospective clients. Companies love to work with people who are good at what they do.

Fourth, as you get more work, you’ll be able to charge more.

Finally – of course – if you work on what you do the best, you’ll enjoy your work every single day.

And that brings us back to the beginning: Competence makes you feel good.

Related Resources:

My coaching service for freelancers…

My ebook – Affirmations for Freelancers

About the author: Nick Usborne is an online writer, copywriter, author and coach.



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2 thoughts on “Monday Spark: To be happy, work on what you do best.

  1. Great and inspiring post Nick. Hard to argue against it.

    One point, however. Many of us have tried so many different things, we’re not sure what we do best.

    It’s like when people say “follow your passion”. What if you don’t know what your passion is, or if you don’t have one?

    Any tips on determining what you do best of — ahem — finding your passion.

  2. After reading this:

    I wrote 10 things that I do every day for work, re-creation and what I want or think I should be doing.

    Then I marked the one I was best at. And I picked the top 3 of the 10.

    Pretty simple process. But my #2 was — “write from my heart.” As a writer — and with a penchant for doing and liking to do that, you kinda figure out the things you like to do best.

    I write to myself for therapy. (; I write my blog.

    And you know, recently I started doing more social networking with Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn in self promotion branding. And I’m finding it’s therapeutic — and puts me in touch with who I am — because you gotta/wanta be honest in interactions with people.

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