Hi SOTGC community,
Did you know that the “rules” of being a freelancer aren’t all that different than those of dating? Hear me out. If you haven’t heard of The Rules book for relationships that tells you exactly what you should and should not do, then you have probably have at least heard it referenced on “Sex and the City.”
When I decided to become a freelance writer full-time, I had to take a leap of faith. I had a plan in place that would increase my likelihood of success, but if we’re really being honest, I had to just close my eyes and jump into it. Not so different when diving into the world of dating.
There is a lot on the line.
As the end of my first year being a freelancer comes to an end, I’ve realized just how much learning comes from working for yourself. There have been times when I’ve become frustrated not knowing what the “rules” are meant to be. Here are some of the rules I’ve navigated through:
Rule #1: The obligatory three-day follow-up.
They say that a person is supposed to wait three days to follow-up with someone for a date after getting their number. But three days in the freelance world is a long time! It gets me to thinking: What if my email accidentally went to spam? What if they forgot to respond to my email just like I delay responding to so many of mine due to a busy schedule? If I want an answer, shouldn’t I just send another email?! Is this the point where I become needy?
Rule #2: So, you’re saying there’s a chance.
I’ve noticed that often when I reach out to someone about a potential writing opportunity, I don’t always get a “yes” or “no.” Sometimes I receive no response at all (see Rule #1) or sometimes I will go months and then receive a response out of nowhere. Is the lack of response supposed to be mean I should hold out hope? Or, should I believe that just like dating, if they’re not calling or emailing…they’re just not that into you?
Rule #3: Selling myself short.
No one is more critical of myself than me. Instead of working hard to “prove myself” I’ve realized I need to be more confident in my work and the experience I have to offer. In short, be myself. Same as with dating, our confidence can be on edge not knowing that everything that makes us great are the things we don’t have to “try” at, it’s the things that just are.
There are questions that come into play when you’re deciding if you are the right for someone whether it’s in your career or in a relationship. All you can do is better yourself and be truly you. The biggest rule I’ve learned is to find my own way and make up my rules along the way. What works for one person may not work for the other.
My general rules are short and sweet:
- Do work you’re proud of.
- Don’t depend on other people to validate you.
- Do find something new and exciting in each day.
- Don’t forget to celebrate the rewards.
Oh, and be nice!
What rules have you made for yourself during your career? Share your words of wisdom with me on Twitter at @mscourtneybeth!