Posted by: faultlessfinish | October 3, 2011

Results, please. Now!

Want a hot meal? You got it, two minutes. Instant access to friends and colleagues around the world? Yep. I have nothing against technology and personally don’t know where I or my business would be without it, but it has created a society where we expect to see results immediately. Then we get discouraged when we don’t. (Romantic comedies anyone? People fall in love in montage!)

I’ve come to a point in my freelance career where I’m just now seeing the results of work I put in a year ago. A successful business is partially the result of patience and a series of small but consistent efforts over a period of time. Here are a few ways I’ve found useful to keep me on track and motivated when I’m not seeing immediate rewards:

1) Make a client list and nurture it: current clients, potential clients, and past clients. Every few months, go through your potential clients (people you’ve met casually, people who have expressed an interest, or people who have no idea who you are) and send them emails. The email doesn’t need to be pushy. Just say hi and remind the person (or let him or her know) of the services you offer. If he or she responds and expresses an interest but is not currently looking, send another email a few months down the road. You just may be surprised at who pops up as a client in the future. Similarly, look at your past clients and send an email to say hello every once in a while. Having a list of your current clients will help you stay organized and will give you a better idea of how much more work you can take on.

2) Look back over past goals. It’s very easy to lose track of how far you’ve come. While I read my goals every day, I tend to get discouraged if I’m not seeing them fulfilled immediately. Sometimes I’ve even forgotten or abandoned certain goals and am pleasantly surprised when I come across them in an old notebook and see that they’ve been achieved. Patience, patience, patience. Stay on top of goals, old and new, and reward yourself when they’re seen through, no matter how long it takes.

3) Constantly build relationships. I’m sure you’ve heard this a million times, but word-of-mouth and referral business is key. You just never know who might be looking for the services you offer. Along those lines, one of the greatest skills I’ve learned as a freelancer is how to talk to people – and not just about work. We have our friends, our families, and our jobs, which comprise our daily routines. But it can be extremely liberating and refreshing to get out the comfort zone and connect with new people. Talk about ideas, share goals and aspirations – build a network of “great people” rather than “business connections.” For me, relationships are what life is all about.

Above all, don’t get discouraged. Live with passion, cultivate patience, and celebrate successes, even the small ones. Results will come.

Namaste 🙂

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Responses

  1. Hands down, my most tried and true mantra that I work to remind myself of constantly:

    Your business (and life for that matter) is a marathon, not a race

    Let go of the panic, let go of the urgency, it’s going to be OKAY!!!!

  2. I know I have that written down somewhere from one of our sessions – great mantra!

  3. Everything in life is like a pot of chicken soup. It tastes better when you cook it slowly.

  4. Agreed 🙂

  5. Great post!

  6. I love your take on networking and an emphasis on “great people” over “business connections”. It rings true for me and I think it’s also a huge comfort to people who shy away from networking, as they perceive it. You can tell people about whawt you’re up to and foster relationships in multiple ways without becoming a social pariah or hard seller. I suspect it’s more satisfying as well!

  7. Thanks, Rose. Definitely more satisfying! I am not a sales person by nature, so the marketing aspect of freelancing was very daunting at first. “Fostering relationships” has a much better ring than “networking.”

  8. Thanks for the reminder (and encouragement to follow-up with people without being pushy). I definitely need to start being more proactive. Great post!

  9. Thanks for reading, Carrie!


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