Working for yourself is rife with emotional challenges.
One of the big ones is understanding and being consistent (with yourself) about your own worth.
From setting your rates, to putting out good work, it can be hard to retain your worth consistently.
So how can you do that?
Confidence. Say it three times and that’s you confident for life.
Nope. That’s not how it works. You can’t force confidence, some days are better than others, life ain’t like that.
For me, the best investment I made was hiring a life coach. Sometimes not attainable, cost, fear, finding one that you gel with — it’s not an easy thing and so it shouldn’t be, as it has to be the right balance. The great thing about my coach is we work well together, she’s flexible and she really knows her stuff.
What she taught me…
How to say no
As a people pleaser I struggled in the early days to say no to people, freelancing was new to me, I wanted to do well and earn money, my boundaries were crossable.
Sadly, some people take advantage of that which can have the reverse affect on your confidence.
I ended up doing more work than I was being paid for, having to take someone to small claims court; which I lost, not recognising the signs of a bad client, doing things that didn’t sit well with me morally, and burning myself out several times.
Learning how to say no seems like a relatively easy thing, looking back it was consistently not an easy thing for me with all things in life, which is why I sometimes ended up in situations I didn’t want to be in.
So you don’t need to be a freelancer to get the benefits of saying no — it’s empowering, it’s you saying that you have a set of rules that you follow, and the boundaries won’t be crossed.
Alas, learning how to get the balance right for me is something I needed a life coach to help me with as you can go too far the other way.
Stick to your truth
Or phrased less hippy-like, go with your gut.
One of the most asked questions I see in the freelance groups I’m in is ‘should I do this’. The only person that can answer that question is you — the people who have experiences of their own can only answer what they would do, so when you feel yourself wanting to ask this, ask yourself — does it feel like the right thing to do? What is your gut saying?
Whilst talking about what happens when you grow apart from people (including clients), a friend on Twitter Ben Leach wisely said ‘you have to do what feels right for you as a business/individual, if there is an obstacle that will interfere with your direction, its time to bid them goodbye’.
This is an excellent example of the struggles you have as a freelancer, those sorts of decisions are tough, so using your gut to guide you will help.
This has been my journey towards finding mine but knowing your own worth is a personal journey, finding your own ways of getting it and sustaining it, especially in times of real uncertainty is probably one of the most powerful things you’ll accomplish.
Hello, I’m Nik , I specialise in Marketing & Brand Design for start-ups and small businesses. I also enjoy writing about authenticity, emotional + experience based thoughts and positive outcomes.
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