Is running your own business the pinnacle of modern-day success?
Done well, business ownership affords you freedoms and riches. It enables you to beat the game of life, to live on your own terms.
I have moved in and out of self-employed several times over the past 15 years. Whenever I have found myself tethered to somebody else's desk for too long, a restlessness would set in. I’d feel a compulsion to forge my own path.
It is only within the last couple of years, however, that I can look at my achievements and smile. Like you, I am on…
I have a chequered history in the freelancing business. I started freelancing in 2009 with just one client project worth a tiny £700. That was barely enough to cover one month’s rent. But I realised that it wasn’t the money that I struggled with, it was:
I bounced from one client to the next, one contract role to another, before deciding to go back into full-time employment. At least there, I knew what I was supposed to do.
I’ve met a lot…
Every one of us lands somewhere on the spectrum between functional and strategic in our work.
Functional people are skilled, but their work is mostly directed by someone else (hint: that someone is the strategic person).
Functional people are task-oriented and adept at getting stuff done. Strategic people have their head above the trees to see the wider picture. They concern themselves with the bigger problems, the vision. The functional person does the heavy-lifting to bring the vision to life.
For years into my career I found myself in functional roles, but inside me was the restless mind of a…
You don’t have to look far for tricks and tactics for winning new clients.
But the problem is that “tricks and tactics” will only get you so far. Sooner or later, you’ll get found out.
To win is to imply that someone has to lose, but the strangest thing about this aggressive language is that every one of us loses far more often than we win. So why go to war?
There is a better way. An approach to work that will free you from this ugly way of thinking, that will help you create a permanent ceasefire.
There are two types of luck:
Most people confuse the two.
Both might describe themselves as “lucky” to have met their partner, but the route to each is different. It requires a different type of luck.
Fortuitous luck happens with little or no investment from you. Luck that you make for yourself takes work and patience.
Here are some ways in which you can…
9 years ago I was in an unhappy relationship with my job. The boss didn’t have much work for me to do, so I often felt surplus to requirement.
I hated the feeling that I was wasting my time. But I wasn’t motivated to change my situation. So I looked for ways to make my days go quicker.
Tempest, an epic track by Bob Dylan, runs for 14 minutes. I figured that if I listened to that song four times in a row, an hour would have passed. …
What’s the difference between a professional writer and an amateur?
An amateur writer can be astonishingly creative, but often we think of them as lacking talent. In reality, they simply lack process. Professionals, by contrast, use frameworks to add form to their creativity.
The best writers produce huge volumes of content without a drop in quality by following a series of steps each time they write.
Good writing is formulaic, but don’t be fooled into thinking you can simply follow the…
As a freelancer, you probably don’t have what you would call “a business”, at least not in the traditional sense. You work with clients of various shapes and sizes. You’re always the gun for hire, the one on the outside they can blame if things go wrong after you leave.
The freelance lifestyle is, almost by definition, transient.
You move between projects like a specter. If you’re lucky, somebody might remember your name.
In early 2020 I wrote my first book. I work as a web developer for non-profits, and published The Digital Charity in February of that year.
The charity sector is notorious for lagging behind with technology, so I wanted to do what I could to empower those organisations to up their game.
Little did I know that push would come to shove only a month later in the form of a global pandemic. This forced many charities to adapt or die. The need for non-profits to “be more digital” became urgent, so my book was published at the perfect time…
During the first meeting with a potential new client, most freelancers oversell themselves.
They furiously scribble down notes, attempting to capture everything the prospect is saying, before trying to impress by rattling off answers to questions that haven’t even been asked.
Then, with an overzealous tone, they say “I’ll have a proposal to you by the end of the day!”
There is a certain desperation about working in this way. Clients can smell it. Enthusiasm is great, but if you’re too keen, they might assume you’re short on work. …