It’s not always easy being upbeat on demand. It may even feel a little fake. But…

Upbeat group showing forced positivity

Whether I’m speaking on a stage, giving a live webinar or producing video-based training materials, I often encounter the same criticism…

“Nick, you don’t sound upbeat enough!”

And here’s a quote from a review for one of my courses:

“Lots of good stuff worth thinking about. I did find Nicks voice a bit ‘sleep inducing’ but otherwise clear. Thanks.”

Ouch. That’s not good. Feedback like that I take seriously.

In fact, before recording a lesson or lecture, I usually go through a series of physical, voice and mental exercises… all designed to give me a little more of an upbeat feel when I speak.

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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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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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Monday Spark: It’s good to feel self-doubt.

freelancer feeling self-doubtMany freelancers struggle to grow their business because they doubt themselves and their abilities. They feel they aren’t good enough in some way.

I have come across this numerous times when talking with or working with freelancers. Some are just starting out, while others have been freelancing for some time. But they all doubt themselves and feel they are not yet ready to get started, or not ready to approach larger clients, or not ready to charge more for their services.

If that sounds a little like you, I have some good news. (Or bad news, depending on your perspective.)

If you struggle with insecurity, you’re not alone.

Accomplished people in all walks of life feel self-doubt.

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Monday Spark: In fact, you CAN do it yourself.

learned helplessnessWe just returned from a resort vacation in Jamaica.

Only for a week, but we had a great time.

The resort was divided by a fairly busy road, and the lady in the photo was one of a team who used their stop signs to help visitors get safely from one side of the resort to the other.

The process was fun to watch, because drivers clearly considered stopping to be optional.

Anyway, after a few days I walked to the side of the road, and found that the ladies with their stop signs weren’t there.

Just for a moment I wondered how on earth I was going to cross the road without them.

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The cake baker’s guide to marketing your freelance business.

freelancer cakeLet’s take part in a simple thought experiment…

Imagine we have a mutual friend, called Jane, who wants to start a home-based business…baking cakes.

First she goes to evening school and learns some professional-grade baking skills. Once she feels she has the level of skill she needs, she builds a beautiful website and opens her doors for business.

How do you think Jane will do?

Although we both want her business to thrive, in all honesty she probably won’t have much success. Perhaps she could sell enough cakes to call what she does a hobby, but she almost certainly won’t make a decent living.

How come?

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