Ah, The ‘F’ Word (No, Not That One)

Failure, the opposite of the “s” word (no, not that one). It comes and goes, bringing you down when you least expect it, complicating your overly drawn-out workday. The only way to overcome this psychologically harmful concept is to free yourself from the fear of failure.

We all fail every day, even when these shortcomings are on a smaller scale. Wake up late for work? That’s a failure. Forget to iron your dress shirt? That’s a failure. Didn’t take into account morning traffic before driving your children to school? That’s a failure.

What’s important is that we learn from our failures, instead of dwelling on them, allowing us to become stronger, both mentally and physically. Failing encourages us to push for a better tomorrow, and, in return, giving us what we need to thrive and work toward more successes.

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And You Are?

Sometimes we get a little ahead of ourselves (damn idiomatic phrases). Receiving a new assignment from a client is always exciting news; it means a bill can be paid. Jumping the gun (another fail) may lead to unnecessary challenges ahead.

This sounds basic, but we must always think about the individual we’re reaching out to when inquiring about a particular topic. Do they know who you are? Do they know the publication you’re working with? Keep your image the same across all platforms to provide the entire story to the interviewee. Think about yourself in their situation: Wouldn’t you be a bit skeptical after receiving an email from someone or a brand you’re not familiar with?

Present the facts in the beginning to ease their worries. Ask them if they have any questions, and be more than willing to answer their concerns. Following this approach will surely limit the chances of any clouds on the horizon (sigh) from arising.

 

NEW Forbes Ebook Available This Month

Many of you may or may not know, but I’ve been working on an eBook about our country’s opioid epidemic. Available at the end of this month on Amazon, “Fighting For A Fix: Reflections of Mothers Who Lost Children To The Opioid Epidemic” retells the stories of mothers who’ve lost children to opioid-related overdoses.

Feedback Is Your Friend

Whether it’s good or bad, feedback is your friend. It should always be taken into consideration before moving onto your next project. Soliciting feedback from both clients and editors will not only bring your writing to another level, but it will help you grow as the leader of your business.

While positive feedback encourages and boots your confidence, negative feedback reinforces the idea of not being perfect and confirms the belief of continuing education. Without both, your writing suffers and keeps you shielded from criticisms from the world around you.

Honesty is the Best Policy

We’ve always been told that honest is the best policy. Simplistic as it may be, this piece of advice is often ignored, especially after years of experience in the professional setting.

Being upfront with a potential client brings the relationship to another level. Not only does it reveal your vulnerability, but it also shows your commitment to a cause, their goals and ambitions.

There are often times where a potential client, or customer, may challenge your true intentions. By being candid about your skills and abilities, you welcome questions and criticisms. You also show that you’re human, and that’s better than being a robot like many of your competitors.

Managing Time: Work Smarter, Not Harder

When you’re working for yourself, you’re the one in charge of your schedule, which, for some, can be a daunting task, depending on your ability to manage time efficiently.

Working from home presents its own challenges: turning off your favorite Netflix show, waiting for the cable guy to fix your Wi-Fi, trying to get others in your household to understand that, yes, you are actually working.

Managing your time as a freelancer isn’t about being the fastest writer. Producing quality work will bring you closer to the connections you’ll need to find ongoing work. Add value to your content and clients will find you.

 

Know Your Worth

When applying for gigs or sitting down with potential clients, know how much you’re worth ahead of time. There’s nothing wrong with negotiating rates, but both parties need to be reasonable about it.

Being underpaid doesn’t benefit you or your client. Don’t be afraid to push when it comes to the value you bring to the table. Not every assignment is right for you, so walk away if that’s what’s best.