Maybe It’s Time For The Company Retreat

Posted: April 9th, 2009

I don’t know if you had a job in the past where maybe once or twice a year, your employer would take you to a remote location for a little R & R over a weekend. What usually happens is that it creates a nice relaxing setting for bonding and to hold a meeting or two on ways to improve company performance.

I’ll admit, I never worked for a company like this and probably most of you never have either. Usually these companies are small enough where they can send everyone on their own dime. The concept of the company retreat, though, is important even to freelancers who work the solo gig.

I recently had a little down time in between projects and decided it was a good timeĀ  to relax and regroup, but more importantly, really give some thought into my freelancing business. It is important to grow your own business as a freelancer but, too often, we are so caught up with our work that we really don’t give this too much thought. Here are some of the things I went over with my own business and recommend that you do with your own:

Write down the things you want to change

Do you want to earn more money? Maybe you would like to find ways to save time on certain tasks such as accounting. Write down a list of these and note the top five you want to change the most.

Write down a plan of action on implementing these changes

For the top five changes you listed above, write down a specific plan of action on how you will act on each change. For instance, dedicate more time to searching job boards or making cold calls to clients if you want to earn more money. Maybe search for services that can ease the workload for other administrative tasks to free up time for your normal work.

Note that keeping the list of changes down to five or less keeps it at a manageable level. Any more and you risk overwhelming yourself to the point where they are not worth tackling at all… and nothing changes.

The key here is to be very specific on what you will do. Create a schedule and pencil in the times you will set aside for these, if you have to. This is very important since we always make lists of what we want to do, but acting on them is becomes another story.

Act on those changes

Now that you have a plan of action, the most important thing is to commit and act on them. Don’t treat these like the annual New Year’s resolutions (unless you always triumph through these). As humans we are naturally resistant to change, but as freelancers, we need change to grow in our careers so keep this in mind.

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While I didn’t quite get away to that remote location. I found at least taking a timeout for a day or two from your work is extremely productive in helping your freelance business grow and prosper. I’d recommend taking a cue from the small companies and do this on some beach or in the middle of the woods though.

More on the author, Johnny Spence
Johnny is the founder of The Freelance Rant and a freelance web programmer with 8 years in the business. Have a visit at his company Oscarrr!web or see what he's up to on Twitter.

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