We’re hustlers. Most days anyway.
Usually, as freelance artists, we’re extremely self-motivated and energized: ready to move mountains and make that cash. But we all have “those days”. (It’s not just me, right?) We’ve been there. Sluggish. Tired. Not sure where to go next in our seemingly meandering freelance lives. The jobs aren’t coming in and the clients aren’t showing up. Free time drags out in front of you like a seemingly endless desert. Being your own boss is amazing, yes, but it’s also difficult when you’re not sure where to go next or what to do. And a day or two of sleeping in is great, but when you’re not accountable to anyone but yourself, it can quickly become a habit you need to break if you want to keep making money as a successful freelancer.
As the boss and the employee, it’s your job to allow yourself some slack when things are rough, but also re-energize and motivate yourself to keep going. So, if you’re in a slump right now, don’t fear, here are a few quick hacks to get you up again.
Keep Your Word.
If you consider yourself to be someone who keeps their word – you would never cancel on your friend or call off a meeting with a client at the last minute, would you? Good. You’re reliable – and that should include keeping your word to yourself. If you say you’ll be at work behind the mic at 9 am tomorrow, get yourself there at 8:58. You don’t have your next job lined up? Don’t panic. Find some auditions. Show up for work anyway and get creative about how you spend your time. Keeping your word makes you a person of integrity, especially to yourself.
Set small goals. Meet them.
Since you’re making promises to yourself a priority, start making some goals that are easy to accomplish. Small goals, not huge ones. You’re building trust with yourself here. Promise you’ll send out five job proposals a day. Or that you’ll record, edit and submit 10 auditions a day, even for things you’re not “right” for, send them anyway just to practice. Meet that goal every day for a week. After that, up the ante. It’ll be easy to send out 10 proposals or 15 auditions a day since you already trust yourself to accomplish the task.
You worked out every day this week? Nice one! You sent out even more job proposals than you said you would? Great job! You exceeded your client deadlines by a day? You’re awesome! And you deserve to reward yourself. Talkspace therapist Jessica DuBois-Maahs tells us that “celebrating small wins is an important way to track incremental achievements and work toward much larger goals. Plus, it makes you feel good more often.” So, take yourself to the movies, put on that facemask and do your nails while you watch your favorite TV show, get yourself a cupcake, or upsize your Starbucks order – you’ve done the work, you deserve to celebrate.
Share your Success!
Did you keep your word to yourself, meet small goals and celebrate your awesomeness? Don’t hold back from a little brag to pat yourself on the back. It’s inspiring to share your wins with others – it helps everyone else too. A quick text to a friend, a short tweet, Facebook post or fun Instagram story lets you share your success with others. The internet can always use more positivity, add yours to the mix
Being accountable to ourselves can be difficult, especially when we work alone most of the time behind a mic saying words into the void. It can be isolating and difficult when things get tough. But if you make a habit of keeping your word, setting small goals and meeting them, rewarding yourself and sharing your success, you will be ready to power through the tough times and enjoy the parts of freelancing we all love – the freedom to pursue your dreams, work on your own terms, take interesting projects and inspire others. Because after all, you’re the best boss and you’re accountable to no one but yourself!
Caroline Turner Cole is a storyteller from Dallas, TX. Find out more at www.carolinecolestories.com or follow her on social media @carolinecolestories on Instagram and @ccolestories on Twitter.