Honestly, there’s a huge part of me that wasn’t going to write a post about this kind of thing, but I know it’s essential. I spend a lot of time writing about how to do things better or make things easier. But one of those important things that can’t really be changed one way or the other is hard truths. In business, there can be a lot of them.
The importance of hard truths
I share these because many are under the impression that professional freelancers somehow have the magical ability to control everything because they’re the boss. While there is a lot of control, to be sure, there are some hard truths that you’ll have to face. Accepting them as they are (instead of making excuses) empowers you to keep on going no matter what. That empowerment, in my opinion, is what actually gives you the power to control everything.
- Someone will always be better than you. They might have a higher level of education, better grasp what a particular customer wants, or simply possess more skill for the task on hand. No matter how hard you work or how good you are, you’ll never be the best freelancer in the world. But, why do you need to be? If you’ve got great customers and you’re making ends meet, why do you actually need to be the best ever out there?
- Sometimes the good customers leave (and it’s not your fault): Just like anyone else who sees a good customer go elsewhere, it’s hard. It’s even harder when you know you haven’t done something wrong. They’ve just gone elsewhere for reasons they haven’t shared. It can be easy to start doubting your skills or even start questioning your level of professionalism (they must hate you, right?)
- Sometimes it’s tough: Hard days will happen. Even when you love your job, and you love making a difference. There will be those days that will threaten to break you, and you’ll need to take a step back and grab a different perspective. It could be an overloaded queue. Or maybe it’s customers asking stupid questions. Or perhaps too many revisions. Or all of these things. And it’s just hard!
Control everything by accepting you have no control
Wait, what? Yeah. When it comes to you as a self-employed professional versus the world, there actually isn’t a whole lot of control. Especially in the hard truths that I listed above. But that’s also what makes it liberating.
- You don’t suck. Someone else is just better
- The good customers don’t hate you. They’ve just changed directions
- Hard days are just individual days that challenge you
The exact same hard truths are reframed as being external. Sounds better, right? That’s what liberation is and why accepting those hard truths is so important! You don’t have to take ownership of them because they are outside of your control. Just accept them as they are, and keep on moving forward.
Next time, I’ll share a few more that are specific to dealing with customers. In the meantime, do you have any of your own that you’d like to put out there?
Kelterss is an experienced freelance business writer and holds a Bachelor of Arts in English with a concentration in Creating Writing. Having served over 3 ,200 customers while maintaining a 4.9/5 star rating, Kelterss is looking to focus her professional services in writing product descriptions and blog posts.