"Action is the foundational key to all success." - Pablo Picasso
Subconsciously, we all know this. In fact, most of us vehemently espouse the idea of taking action in our daily conversations. However, procrastination hits us at the worst of times and in those times we become "NATO" (No Action Talk Only). It's that much worse when you're a freelancer. There's no pushy boss around to goad work out of you. You aren't even getting appraised at the end of every quarter -- or every year. In fact, as a freelancer, we have all been there: "If this client goes, I can always find another one. The work is too finicky anyway." The thing is as a freelancer, you are or at least should be your own pushy boss.
If you're a freelancer and you're getting a little nostalgic reading this, trust in humankind that you are not alone. It happens to most of us, if not all of us. While a lot can be said about things you need to succeed as a freelancer, here are some traits that you could definitely do without.
#1. The Know-It-All Syndrome
So you've been working as a freelancer for five years now. You think you know everything, even though the new kid on the block seems to be giving you tough competition. It helps that he is good at networking too. But it can never be too late to pick up new skills, be it designing or chatting with complete strangers.
"Mama always said life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get." - Forrest Gump
#2. Staying Organized Is for People With OCD
You were told being a freelancer is all about being your own business owner, which roughly translates to - you can arrange your own schedules; and you are not answerable to anyone. However, we do not live in a utopian world. While we all yearn for it, we do have to face the reality at some point, which is that staying organized and making a schedule helps and is critical for you to succeed. You can use sticky notes to do that, or put your smartphone to good use by installing apps like Trello.
"For every minute spent organizing, an hour is earned." - Benjamin Franklin
#3. Unoriginal Excuses
This one is legitimate. If a bad internet connection or someone falling ill is all you've got for not completing your deadline, you can never make it as a freelancer (pun totally intended). Get creative with your solutions. As a freelance video editor, writer or graphic designer, you're exposed to a lot of storylines or alternative places or ways of working. While you are working through your solutions, make sure you keep your client informed. There is nothing worse than disappearing on your client, even if you have extremely legitimate reasons. .
"The less people know, the more they yell." - Seth Godin
Just saying ...
In a world where the gig economy is fast becoming a reality, you cannot afford to be lax in your attitude. Yes, freelancing does give you the freedom to chalk up your own schedule. However, it is important that you have a schedule in place. Without a plan, nobody ever got anywhere.