Getting started with a business, even a tiny one-person operation, involves a lot of learning.
Often, you’re making a career switch that puts you in entirely unknown territory.
And there are loads of people out there trying to sell you on their brand of snake oil.
They’re telling you that you need a blog, you need a twitter account, you need to produce video, you need infographics, you need this magical system that will manifest clients with gold-lined pockets.
It’s really easy to get paralyzed by all of the possibilities. It’s really easy to end up doing nothing as a result.
If you want to be a freelancer, you’re going to have to get used to the fact that you are the head of all departments in your business. You’re the marketer, you’re the creative director, you’re the sales manager. Oh, and you also have to do work for clients.
But you don’t have to succumb to the idea that you have to do everysinglethingrightnow.
I want to share with you some things I’ve learned about keeping a cap on the crazy in my work life.
Do One Thing at a Time
The idea that multitasking is productive has been thoroughly demolished. Humans need to concentrate to do something really well. If you’re trying to do more than one thing at a time, your creative energy is definitely leaving out the back door. You’ve got to turn some stuff off.
Pick a Few Marketing Channels, and Forget the Rest
You do not have to be on top of every self-promotion trend. No, really, you don’t. My main channels are email, in-person networking, and the telephone. Yes, these are decidedly old-school. But you know what? They are proven techniques that get me clients. That’s right, I mainly use Twitter to post pictures of my cats.
Find a Work Process that Works for You
Take a really close inventory of your daily rhythms and routines. Note your high-points and low-points. Many of us have been so conditioned by the standard workday, that we have no idea what our natural rhythms are. If you find you are an early bird, don’t try to schedule your work time at midnight, because you’ll too easily ditch it to get to bed. Set yourself up for success instead.
I personally need lots of routine in my life to get anything done. And I’ve set everything up so that my work process supports that need.
Developing a real work process is part of demonstrating to yourself and the world that your work is serious. If you want to get stuff done, start here.
Whittle Down Your Reading to a Trusted Resource List
You have to carefully choose whose advice you’re going to follow. If you try to follow every guru in the blogosphere, you’re going to get stuck. (Trust me on that.) Pick a program and work it. My own trusted advisers are Mary Jaksch of A-List Blogging Bootcamps and Carol Tice of Freelance Writer’s Den. I do read other people, of course, but I don’t really follow other people. Find your trusted resources and stick with them so you get somewhere.
Once you stop the information surplus you’ve been subjecting yourself to, you’ll find some clarity and focus. When you have clarity and focus, you’ll be able to make real progress on your business.
What’s your experience with this? Have you kicked overload’s butt, or are you still struggling? Please share in the comments below.
Photo Credit: Don Foy