Why You’re Not a Better Freelancer

Posted: March 29th, 2010

Photo by Dave Jones (Flickr)

Photo by Dave Jones (Flickr)

These days, with all the information out there to help you with freelancing, it should be no problem at all to become successful in a short period of time.

You would think so at least.

Actually, freelancers are lucky to have a wide range of resources available to them. I’d say you’ve been hiding under a rock if you haven’t visited the massive archives at Freelance Folder or Freelance Switch yet. If you followed all the advice in their posts, you are virtually guaranteed success.

The problem is that freelancers have to work. There is that income thing, you know, and learning doesn’t exactly pay the bills. Working and learning is similar to holding a job while attending night classes. You have to work overtime to get both done and sacrifice your free time and even sleep in the process.

In other words, it’s not easy. But here’s a question for you. Are you putting in that overtime to learn on top of your freelance work?

If  I hear a ‘no’, don’t worry. You’re not alone. In fact, these are the likely scenarios when it comes to improving as a freelancer:

  • No time. You have your project deadlines to worry about or you’re working your butt off looking for clients.
  • You have some “game-changing” articles bookmarked collecting dust, still waiting around to get to them (see above).
  • You’ve tried some of that advice out there, but eventually fall back into your old habits.

The truth is we can balance our work and learning without severely cutting into our our precious free time and sleep. All it takes is a more organized approach in four easy steps.

  1. Realize that you won’t get to everything you read. There is simply too much information out there for a freelancer to use. Plus new information is constantly outdating the old. Just be selective and pick out those articles you want to concentrate on the most.
  2. Pick one or two topics a week you want to work on; something that won’t take more than a few hours a week. Remember, you don’t have all the time in the world to learn everything.
  3. Evaluate what you just learned. Is it working for you and is something that will make you better down the road? Then keep doing it!
  4. Repeat the above with new articles.

Sound simple? Well it is actually. We’re not going to learn everything in a single day, nor week. Just taking baby steps to apply what you read and learn, though, adds up over time. Before you know it, you’ll begin to see results that may surprise you.

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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