Monday, May 16, 2005

Why Failure as a Freelancer Can be a Good Thing

"Failure does NOT mean failing to achieve something; it means failing to examine what you can do better to achieve the results you want."

Freelancing teaches lessons in life that few other challenges offer. So, why can failure be the best thing to ever happen to you and your freelance career? Three reasons:

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1. It tests your mindset: Rarely do we succeed the first time we try something. If so, most of us would attempt many more things -- learning a foreign language, running a marathon, skydiving, etc.

When we first try almost anything new, we falter through it for days, weeks, months or years -- depending on what it is. So, why should freelancing be any different?

A lesson learned: I've learned over the years to relax, refigure, retry and reassess. In other words, when I've "failed" at a task, I:

a) first, relax my mind (it's hard to think when you're stressed);

b) refigure (look back over my actions and see what I can do better/differently to get the result I want);

c) retry (put my new plan into action); and

d) reassess (monitor how my new plan is working out).

If you really want to succeed, you will try 1,999 procedures to do so. That's what I mean by testing your mindset!

2. It teaches persistence: This is a variation on the first point. Patience is not about "how long" it takes to get what you want, but about how long you are willing to hang in AND do what it takes to get what you want. Get the difference?

The key part is "do what it takes". Time is going to pass. This has nothing to do with you. BUT, doing what it takes while that time is passing has everything to do with you. So, don't be idle. Always be actively working and reworking a plan.

3. It instills confidence: Finally, there is nothing more powerful than calling the shots -- even when you’ve been rejected time and time again.

There's something about making money under your own steam that makes your stride a little longer, your eyes a little brighter, your intellect a little sharper. Even if you "fail" at freelancing, you will have learned a mountain of lessons that will help you in almost every facet of your life: leadership skills, organization, negotiation, long-range planning, etc.

Most jobs will feel like child's play after you've freelanced for a while, because most of the time you have been everything from the marketing department to the accounting department.

NOW, I dare ya -- tell me you're a failure -- even if freelancing didn't/doesn't work out!****************************************************************************
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