As freelancers we all need to invest in our futures by learning.
This means subscribing to some newsletters, listening to podcasts, buying relevant business books, and sometimes investing more heavily in online courses, products or programs.
But before you take the leap and invest a few hundred or thousand dollars in that next program, think carefully about what you are doing, and why.
Many years ago, I remember Jay Abraham and Rich Schefren talking about the difference between opportunity-seekers and entrepreneurs. I can’t even remember now whether they were talking about this in an article, a video or recording.
But the topic really resonated with me.
As a professional freelancer, and a coach, here’s my take on the subject.
Opportunity-seekers are first in line to buy the latest new business in a box. They’re attracted by the promise of an easy win. Just buy this package and fill in the blanks. It’s a proven opportunity!
Sadly, while the system may have worked for the marketer, this easy-win, business-in-a-box approach hardly ever works for anyone else.
Opportunity-seekers also tend to be repeat buyers. They are compulsive. Sometimes they feel desperate and really want and need their next “proven money-maker” to be the big one. But it very rarely is.
Opportunity-seekers don’t have a plan. They don’t have goals beyond, “I want to make a ton of money.”
Professional marketers LOVE this audience because opportunity-seekers buy again and again and again. It’s almost a compulsion. The last business-in-box didn’t work, but maybe the next one will.
Now let’s consider the true online entrepreneur.
This person is an entirely different animal. He or she does have a plan and does have goals.
He or she doesn’t buy products are services compulsively or erratically. Instead, each purchase decision is based on whether that product or service will move them forward directly to achieving a clear goal.
As a freelance writer or copywriter you are an online entrepreneur. You can’t afford to waste time or effort following the latest hot opportunity. You need to keep your eyes clearly focused on your goals.
You should invest only in those products and services that will help you move forward in exactly the right direction.
If you do find yourself being tempted by opportunity-seeker products and services, you need to sit back and ask a simple question: Why?
It may be that you have lost sight of your goals, and that the needle on your compass is wavering from side to side.
If this is the case, sit back and review your goals and plans. Ask yourself tough questions about your goals and why your compass needle is wavering right now.
Or it could be that you are simply feeling desperate for some quick income. The entrepreneurial route is feeling like a long, hard slog. The opportunity to make some fast cash feels almost irresistible.
Again, sit back and analyze what is going on. Maybe speak with a friend, your partner or your coach.
A freelance business is an entrepreneurial business. You should be moving forward in a straight line, give or take a little curve here and there.
My advice is that when you feel tempted by opportunity-seeker products or services you use that as a warning sign.
It’s a sign that you are drifting, that you are off course and losing direction.
At that point always step back. Find out what is going on and what it will take to get you back on course.
If you want help in being more entrepreneurial with your own freelance business, be sure to check out my one-on-one coaching service.