Any freelancer will tell you that they enjoy the benefits of working alone, setting their own schedules, and choosing their projects.
But what they won’t ever tell a soul is that sometimes, it’s hard to motivate yourself.
Most freelancers strike out on their own because they have a passion for what they do and a better way of doing it than any company ever could.
But without the structures of an office and the comforts of a support team, dealing with unruly clients, meeting tight deadlines, and handling everything from finances to a broken coffee machine can make the romantic notion of freelancing become a real chore.
So how can you motivate yourself and your freelance career to improve productivity, renew your enthusiasm, and successfully deal with turbulent clients?
The four tips below can help get you on track and heading in the right direction.
Set Life Goals
This first step is an important step for just about everybody, freelancer or not. A life goal is the very thing that gets us from Monday to Friday without having a meltdown. Life goals are the very things that make us work harder and more efficiently so we can eventually take that week off and fly to the Bahamas, or retire at 50, or buy a brownstone.
As a freelancer, a creative professional that doesn’t get to complain to a boss or hide behind HR, a life goal is a necessity because it will be your shining light when the going gets tough. Write down your goals, tape them to your refrigerator, and let them remind you of why you do what you do when you feel like throwing in the towel.
Set Creative Goals
Just because you’re good at what you do, it doesn’t mean you have to stop there. Just like any decent boss would do at any decent company, you should outline a path for professional growth and creative achievements. Nobody is going to stay happy working the same kind of project for the same kind of client day in and day out.
If you’re in the small leagues now, taking on small to medium sized businesses, set a creative goal to be working with at least one major company by the end of the year. Gear your marketing efforts, networking, and side projects towards meeting that creative goal. Constant upward momentum will be a powerful motivator at even the darkest times.
This step goes hand-in-hand with the previous one. Sharpen your skills and learn new ones at every chance you get. Your freelancing career depends on how many services you offer and how well you perform those services. By offering a wider menu of top-notch packages, you can be expanding your clientele and motivating your own productivity on a daily basis.
Find ways to branch out and excel at related fields. Take classes, learn from experts, and read about your industry every chance you get. This is an essential key to keeping your motivation high and mighty; stunting your growth will only make you despise the work you do and the people you do it for.
Cut Down On Distractions
When all else fails, cut out any and all distractions. Get off the Internet, shut off your phone, get away from the TV, and just do work. Motivation can easily dwindle when there are more enjoyable activities tempting you away. Sometimes, your productivity just needs a chance to get back into the swing of things and your motivation can come back at full speed. Don’t let your skills or your projects suffer because there was a magazine in front of you.
Every aspect of a freelancer’s career depends on the freelancer. Being in charge of your time, your work, and your profit is exactly what you signed up for. But sometimes, it can be hard to make ends meet because of a certain lack of motivation. Don’t let your work fall behind, and your reputation with it. Keep your motivation in tact by setting creative and life goals, continuously learning, and blocking out all distractions. The result? A flourishing and productive freelance career.
Gina Vinnitsky blogs for RumbleLink, a Denver SEO company skilled in motivating its clients to do bigger and better things. Check out the RumbleLink Facebook page to learn more about how they can propel you and your business forward.