If you’ve read your fair share of articles about how to succeed as an online freelancer, you’d have learned by now that while there are bajillions of successful freelancers, there are just as many who failed miserably — maybe even more.
Of course, none of us wants to end up becoming the latter. I know I wouldn’t. I hope you feel the same way too.
After having helped several online freelancers take their career to the next level, I now have a better idea of what made some of them fail, and what made others succeed.
The good news is, I’m going to share with you the kind of limiting beliefs that the freelancers who failed had, so you can peg them to kind of self talk that you have. Should you uncover that some of these limiting beliefs are inside you, you can then do whatever it is that you need to do to get rid of them.
* Note – Be honest when assessing yourself, otherwise, you’ll just undermine your success. Remember that we aren’t just here for mental exercise. Our goal here is to help you truly succeed at becoming an online freelancer.
Let’s hop right in.
1. I’m not good enough.
For the past 4 – 5 years, I’ve been taking the time to read/study almost everyday to hone my craft. I’m doing this because I know exactly where I stand. Not only is English my second language, but I didn’t graduate as an English major as well. In fact, the course I took up way back in college has a lot to do with machine design and metal fabrication — in short, I didn’t learn much about the English subject when I was still studying.
Look. I’ve been doing my due diligence to study and improve my craft for the past 4 – 5 years, yet I still feel that I’m not good enough. And quite frankly, if the other writers are going to be honest with you, I’d bet that a good number of them feel the same way as I do.
What I’m trying to drive at here is that feeling of not being good enough will never disappear.
You need to learn how to live with it.
You need to accept it as something that you’d probably have to wrestle with almost everyday.
However, you also need to realize that it isn’t always true.
Instead of allowing this self talk to ruin your career, use it as a means to fuel your hunger to succeed.
Here’s a tip. Instead of telling yourself that you aren’t good enough, why not let your clients judge that for you?
Just give them your best. Proofread your piece 5 – 10 times if need be. Whatever you do, stop lingering on the idea of you not being good enough. Just do what you need to do. And give it your all.
2. I should always do what pleases my clients.
Don’t get me wrong, I am all for pleasing my clients. I am all for making them feel that I value them, and over delivering to blow their minds off.
However, there are times when the client’s requests are unreasonable. In situations like these, you need to be professional enough to tell them about it, and possibly decline the project (or request) if you feel that you won’t be compensated enough for the task.
Here’s the thing, if you’ll just suck it up and do the task even if you feel like you’re not getting enough value from it, you are bound to feel burned out and “used”.
You need to realize that for you and your client to have a successful working relationship, you both need to feel happy about the collaboration. You need to feel that you are respected and compensated enough, and he/she should feel that he’s getting enough value from what he/she is paying you.
3. Never turn down a project.
Don’t treat your online freelancing career with an eat-all-you-can-buffet-like approach. You need to learn to refuse projects, otherwise, you’ll end up getting spread out to thin.
Assess yourself. Are you still able to operate effectively with the amount of projects you’re working on? Or are you having to compromise on the quality of your work for the sake of meeting all the deadlines?
If you’ve been doing the latter, then I urge you to revisit the idea of letting go of some of your clients.
There are 3 things that I’d like to point out when declining projects, or letting go of some of your clients:
- Continue to nurture your relationship with your clients. Do not simply let go and forget about them. Remember that it is more costly to win new clients, than to have your existing clients to order from you.
- Be honest. Tell them that you’d like to decline the project for now since there’s just too much on your plate. I always make it a point to tell my would-be clients that I wouldn’t want to give them a half-baked output so I’d rather decline for now. Be sure to end your conversation with them in a positive note.
- Give them an idea of when you’ll be available. Ask them if they’d like you to leave a slot open once you have several openings available.
While I’m telling you to decline some of the projects that are headed your way if you can no longer manage them effectively, there is also another route that you can take — outsource the task.
Should you decide to outsource some of your tasks, be sure to tell your clients about it.
Remember that your clients are hiring you based on the quality of work that you produce. If the quality of work they’ll get is very different from the sample output that you’ve shown them, it can cause all sorts of problems between you and them.
What are some of the limiting beliefs that you’ve been struggling with right now?
Please take the time to share them in the comments section below. Cheers!