FREELANCE COACHING TIP #1
Acquire The Right Skills (Which Probably Aren’t What You Think).
Imagine you’re on a gameshow. You are standing with the host and looking down a long hall with doors on both sides.
With a wolfish grin and a wink, the host explains the game. Behind each door you will find either a prize or a painful lesson.
A trip to Fiji sounds awfully nice, and you could certainly use a new car. But getting locked into a long project with a startup founder who proves to be a narcissist? What about missing another client’s deadline due to your own poor planning? Ouch.
You can only open one door at a time, so making your way down the long hall requires daily trial and error. Over time, you begin to recognize patterns on the doors themselves. You get smarter. You avoid certain doors altogether.
This is the gameshow of freelancing.
Perfect performance is impossible, and the freelancers and consultants who win aren’t necessarily the most skilled or hardest working.
I’ve seen it happen time and time again. Sandy Sandwich has B- skills, and she sails past Tina Pizza who has demonstrated A+ talent.
Tina is frustrated and confused. She cares deeply about serving her clients. She does high-quality work and delivers positive outcomes.
Yet, Sandy made $40,000 more than her last year, and to make matters worse, Sandy just intercepted a client Tina really wanted.
Tina thinks Sandy’s work is just okay, and she doesn’t think it’s fair that freelancers and agencies who make promises they can’t keep continue to dupe new clients.
Tina is right. It’s not fair.
The question is, what is she going to do about it? What about you?
The fact is, the skills that got you into freelancing aren’t the same as the ones you need to grow your business. Simply getting better at the work itself—refining your skills and methodology—won’t be enough to take you to the next level.
I hate to break it to you, but the most valuable new skills you can acquire tie into marketing and sales (aka, making money). In his book Million Dollar Consulting, legendary consultant Alan Weiss puts a blunt edge on that truth: