“As freelancers, sometimes, we can become so consumed with running a business and going through the motions day to day that we can let the feeling of isolation and `is it just me?` consume us.”
This was a common theme from one of our most recent workshops hosted by self-employed Digital Learning and Content Designer at Unlikely Genius Ltd. and Co-founder of environmental initiative Be The Future, Helen Hill, who looked at how and why we should master the self-employed mindset.
Helen believes that when we focus our thinking and change our mindset to reflect our values, we can become more successful and happier in our working lives.
And we couldn’t agree more.
By having the right mindset, you can create a set of principles/values that guide you and influence how you approach work, business, and relationships.
As freelancers, establishing good working practices is vital in maintaining a positive outlook and achieving success, whatever success looks like to you.
Our top 5 take-aways from Helen’s session on `Mastering the Self-employed Mindset` include:
1. Define values to support growth. It’s essential that you define your values early on. Values that ultimately underpin and guide your business. Of course, these may change as you grow, but it’s important to establish what motivates you to do what you do. What gives you energy and lights your fire. Why do these mean something to you, and how will they feed into your work, the clients you take on, etc.
2. Understand what makes you tick. Establishing boundaries is still one of the biggest challenges for freelancers, especially if you’re a people pleaser. However, being aware of what makes you tick and what is and isn’t acceptable is when you can make the right changes for you and your business. Be assertive. Be proactive. Say yes to the things you want to do and no to those you don’t. Think about how you will fit in self-care.
3. Embrace you – stop comparing yourself to others. It’s important to remember that online life isn’t always real, and it isn’t always the entire picture. It’s our flaws that make us real. This also ties into understanding what success means to you. Success is not about where you “should” be in life; success is what you define it to be. This leads us on to……
4. Remember you know you! When are you most creative – when do you feel most motivated? We often feel guilty not working 9-5, but why? You can do amazing work at times that best suit you. You don’t have to second guess yourself. Instead, find a safe space to be yourself, i.e., freelance heroes., where you can let your personality shine through. Remember, people buy from people.
5. Check in with others. As freelancers, we all, at some point, suffer from imposter syndrome, doubting our ability with feelings of inadequacy, which is why it is essential to remember to reach out to others. To check in and ask how they’re doing with no ulterior motive. To join and be part of communities with like-minded people who can help you get through, celebrate the good and bad moments, share tips, learn from, refer each other for work, and more. Remember: The more you give, and the more honest you are, the more you will get out of networks and communities.
By being aware of your mindset and setting clear boundaries, defining values, and stopping comparing yourself to others, you can take a different, more positive approach to your freelance business.