In October 2013 I decided to freelance. I was in a soul sucking job and wanted out. I decided to freelance instead of finding another job because at that time I was convinced that working for other companies meant I would sit in an ugly cubicle all day with a crazy boss. I’ve since come to realize that isn’t true but that’s another blog post.
Today let’s talk about how I became a full time freelancer as fast as I possibly could.
I Focused On Revenue First
When I started freelancing I didn’t worry about the bells and whistles. My first website was very basic and so were the business cards I made. Instead of focusing on flashy marketing or even worrying about my competitors I poured everything I had into my work. I built my portfolio and networked in person. I didn’t even spend a ton of time focusing on what to name my company which is why it used to be Candice Shaw Management. I focused on generating income first because I knew that once my business was profitable I would be able to do everything else I wanted.
I Didn’t Show Fear
This isn’t the same as not being afraid. I was very afraid and I still am sometimes. I just didn’t show any fear to potential clients or even to myself most of the time. Once I made a website, created business cards, and committed myself to networking I knew that I couldn’t show fear of failure. That meant when I spoke to potential clients, or anyone who might help my career grow, I didn’t show fear. When someone asked me if I could take on a project that scared me I said yes, I stayed up until 2am sometimes crying over my fourth cup of coffee and praying for a miracle, and I worked my ass off and proved myself.
I Shamelessly Promoted Myself
If you want to start a business you have to shamelessly promote yourself. I know it’s uncomfortable and we’ve been taught to do the opposite for so long but it’s a necessary evil. One time I was in Starbucks and I heard two men discussing a problem I knew I could solve. I stepped right up to them, apologized for interrupting, said I couldn’t help but overhear their conversation, and then gave them a solution to their problem. They are now clients of mine.
I Didn’t Undersell My Services
I know it’s tempting to do this. I hadn’t been out of college for a full year when I started so I though that no one would take me seriously and I undersold myself to two clients of mine. They were the WORST clients because they weren’t focused on making sure my job was done properly. Instead, they were doing everything in their power to make me work for pennies. It sucked and I don’t work with those them anymore. I actually quoted a client who looked at me shook her head and lectured me on how short I was selling myself. She refused my quote and paid me a higher price. From then on I decided to charge what I’m worth. If someone can’t afford that I understand. Maybe I can work within their budget or I can give them some type of guidance but my time is valuable and I needed to act like it before I could succeed.
I Surround Myself With Amazing People
My number one supporter is my husband. I know everyone doesn’t have a partner but the amazing people you surround yourself with can be family, friends, or other entrepreneurs. I recommend finding a group of business owners who are your peers to rally around you. I created a mastermind group and it has been the best thing I could have ever done for my business. Sometimes my family and friends just don’t understand what I’m going through because they haven’t had to live it but other business owners do. I also have a ton of blogger friends via the internet and they are some of the best supporters. Don’t make it all about you. Return the favor and offer advice to help make someone else’s journey easier.
I Soaked Up Information
I read all the time. I love success stories and stories that inspire me. I love blogs and self help books. I love webinars and seminars and I soak up information like a sponge. Don’t ever think you’re too smart or too good to learn because we never are.
Are you an entrepreneur? Let us know what has helped your business grow the most in the comment section.