Today is Monday. This is the day that I write my “to do” list of projects. Here’s how it looks for the week:
Draft press release for VoIP provider
Finish eight articles for aquarium parts supplier
Write sales letter for Larry. It’s a barter project as he just snapped a professional headshot for me (www.rubinowest.com).
Draft press release for upcoming networking event
Compile press release distribution stats for Elance customer
Start on text for medical transcription company
Start on text for dental supply company
Send off some new bids and proposals to prospective customers
Work on book
Write daily blog entries
Continue branding project for UC Davis project
This is a typical week, and probably similar to other freelancers’ work lists. I learned early on that you can’t put all your proverbial eggs in one basket when you work for yourself. I found this out the hard way in 2008 when my primary client ( a “green” transportation solutions provider who I would love to name but won’t because I’m trying to be nice for this blog ) at the time decided she still needed work done but didn’t have the money to pay me. She left me scrambling to make up thousands in monthly income, and I vowed then never to be reliant on just one client.
Sure, freelancing can certainly help you to be a multi-tasker. I can write, talk on the phone, and eat a sandwich all at once. But, more importantly, it trains you to be able to juggle a wide variety of people, projects, situations, and deadlines. I’ve taught myself to be able to shift from writing about technology to developing a brand name to pitching a story to a journalist all in the same day. And, this ability is truly a vital part to becoming a successful small business owner.
It’s all about being nimble, flexible, and versatile. I don’t limit myself to working for only a handful of companies. I don’t want to answer to just one client, and I don’t have any desire to work within just one industry. I like the adventure, the randomness, and sometimes, even the chaos of freelancing. It enables me to always be learning, challenging myself, and developing new skills. Have a question about fish tanks, internet phone providers, dental products? I probably have an answer. After several years of doing this, I’ve learned a tremendous amount about a vast number of subjects thanks to my work. …And yes, I’m pretty good at playing Jeopardy, too!