Employees wait. Freelancers shouldn’t.

In a waiting roomAs an employee of a company, you’ll often turn up for work and then wait to be told what to do.

That’s the nature of being an employee. You have supervisors and managers who draw up lists of what needs to be done, and then you get allocated items from that list.

I have worked with dozens of “newbie freelancers” who find it hard to shake off the habit of waiting.

They put up their website, do some promotion…and then they wait. They wait for someone to call them and offer them work.

Or they wait for a response to a bulk email they have sent out to dozens of prospective clients.

Or they make fifty cold calls, waiting for someone to say yes.

Always waiting…and acting as if they were still in that comfy cubicle.

Can you make a living as a freelancer by putting yourself out there and waiting? Possibly. But I wouldn’t recommend it.

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Monday Spark: Stimulate your mind with a stream of fresh ideas.

fresh ideas for freelancersA lot of freelance businesses are based on a single goal or focus.

For example, a freelancer might set up in business to write web content for companies in the travel industry.

There is nothing wrong with that, so long as you keep coming up with fresh ideas. New ways to market your business, new types of content to offer your clients, different types of clients to approach, new ideas on how to make your website or blog work harder. And so on.

At another level, I know a couple of freelancers who recently came up with a neat idea. Both are freelance writers and copywriters, and both have their own businesses and websites. But they got talking together and had a completely different idea.

Now they have launched a joint website offering a service to companies that want to have a blog, but don’t know how to get started or create compelling posts.

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Monday Spark: Sit down and do the best you can each day [VIDEO]

creative inspirationYour job is to sit at your desk each day and do the best you can.

This applies to managing your time, being productive and, above all, doing your best work, whether that be writing, designing, coding or anything else.

Will the “muse” be with you every single day? In other words, will you be at your most creative every day? Almost certainly not.

But as Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love, says in this video, “I would like the record to reflect that today I turned up for my part of the job.”

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Monday Spark: Yes, you should reinvent the wheel.

Five people play one guitarIt’s easy to sit in a meeting room on a Friday afternoon and say, “I don’t think we need to reinvent the wheel here”.

It’s much harder to say, “It’s going to involve working through the weekend, but let’s step back and see if we can be genuinely creative, and come up with an idea that really is new and interesting.”

In other words, the decision not to reinvent the wheel is the easy way out. It’s the lazy way out. It means you can stop thinking, stop worrying about making a mistake, and grab a “proven process” off the shelf.

It’s also a first-class ticket to mediocrity.

Beware anyone who tempts you with a “proven process” or an easy “success formula”.

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