Is there some aspect of freelancing that you are not very good at?
Is there some part of this life that you dread, that you avoid like poison ivy?
Something that you know you should be doing much better or more often? Something you suck at?
Yeah, me too. I have a bunch of those.
My advice: Forget those parts for now.
Quit stewing about them. Quit promising yourself to ‘work on your weak points.’ Quit the guilt.
Even if you are ‘slightly below average’ in those departments, you will be okay. (Just so you aren’t catastrophically inept.)
Instead, shift your attention. (This is where you can leap ahead. And have much more fun. We are renegade freelancers here. We get to decide, not some boss.)
Think about what you do effortlessly and naturally well. Without even trying.
What part of your work is so ridiculously easy that you wonder why everyone can’t do it? (Even if it seems trivial or unimportant.)
What tasks can you perform while falling out of bed, with a hangover, and one arm dead numb asleep?
Do you have an inborn, unexplained knack for something you have to do every day? Is there a part of your business that you look forward to? Some aspect of freelancing that you feel instinctively in your bones? Like you were born to do that? (Even if it’s not the sexy part, or the part that most people like.)
Here’s what to do. At dawn tomorrow.
Go hit that hard.
Lean on that. Savor that. Get even freakin’ better.
Spend 97% of your emotional energy on practicing that, thinking about it, perfecting it. Getting unreachably, impossibly advanced in that realm. Devoting one extra hour to your thing will pay off ten times more than spending an hour on some supposed ‘weak point’, something you already hate.
Leverage the hell out of what you accidentally or naturally or unknowingly do well. Or what you are fascinated by, drawn to, or obsessed about beyond all reason.
You are already, by luck, by nature, by preference, 100 meters ahead.
Now capitalize on that. Get a kilometer ahead. Ten kilometers.
They will never catch up. Because for you, it’s like running downhill.
I’m thinking of all the freelancers and independents I know. And the people I see doing enviable things out there. (Even in obscure crafts.)
All of them are riding high and happy on the One Big Thing that they do better than anyone in their business, their trade.
Not just 2x better. But 10x better.
Maybe they are natural-born networkers. (They have more clients than they can handle.) Maybe they are the best in the world at some arcane or ‘impossible’ aspect of their craft. (Translating legal contracts from French to German. Medical animations and illustrating. Articles on psychology.) Maybe all they do is brand identities, databases. Maybe they are irritating detail freaks who live to make lists and schedules. (Who end up project-managing impossible IT implementations. For huge dollars.)
Start with what you’re good at. Then get better. Skip the rest, for now.
You will have an unfair advantage.