Take total responsibility for your freelance career.

No excuses for freelancers.The life of a freelancer isn’t always easy.

We have our ups and downs.

Maybe we lose a big client. Or that big prospect we thought was in the bag slips out of our grasp at the last moment.

Meanwhile we’re complaining about all the new freelancers entering the market, and pushing prices down.

Or we’re moaning about how the companies we’d really like to work with don’t seem to be hiring freelancers.

And then there’s that client who wants to renegotiate our fees, downwards.

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Follow your own dreams, not someone else’s. (And be sure it’s an amazing dream.)

Follow your dreams.I have written about this before, but as it’s early in the year I wanted to tackle the subject again.

As the New Year gathers steam, we feel inspired to set new goals, maybe move forward in new directions, and take on fresh and interesting projects.

That’s all good.

But there is a caveat.

Don’t be lured into taking on someone else’s goals, directions and projects. They may be a perfect fit for that person, but not so much for you.

Let me explain.

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Choose clients that inspire your very best work.

want more message on signIf you look back over the work you have done as a freelance writer or copywriter over the last year, you can probably identify one or two jobs that stand out from the rest.

These were jobs that brought out the best in you.

They tapped into your core skills.

They allowed you to shine in ways that just didn’t happen with most other projects.

You probably loved the product or service you were promoting.

You respected the company you were working with.

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Freelancers – Do you give yourself time to sit back and think?

Sitting by a lake and thinkingAs freelancers we like to keep busy.

In fact, if we’re not busy we start to feel nervous. After all, “empty” time is unbillable time.

Beyond that, sitting around and doing nothing is something we have always been told is bad.

Staring out of the window and daydreaming at school was bad.

Failing to keep your head down and looking busy as an employee was bad.

From an early age we have been conditioned to believe that during our work hours we should always keep busy. To do otherwise brands us as slackers.

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The broadcast medium formerly known as social media.

Being social at a partyBefore it became commercial, the web was social.

By the late 1990s it was definitely more commercial than social.

Then, with the fast growth of dedicated social media channels like Facebook and Twitter, it became seriously social again.

The arrival of the smartphone in 2007 made the web even more social. Smartphones are, by definition, social devices. And many of the most popular apps for these devices are hard-core social.

And then…

And then social media became a commercial broadcast channel.

OK, that’s the short version.

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Curiosity didn’t kill the cat. It fed the cat.

A curious catI’m a pain in the behind when I first start working with a new company.

I have a zillion questions I want to ask about their business and their marketing. And most of my questions reach out way beyond the scope of the project they want me to work on.

Why do I ask all these questions? Is it part of some cunning plan or process I use?

Nope. I ask them because I’m curious by nature. Business fascinates me. Marketing fascinates me. Business people and entrepreneurs fascinate me.

I read books about business and entrepreneurship.

I invite business people to lunch so I can find out what they are doing and what they are thinking.

It’s not about working smarter. It’s not about prospecting.

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