So when you begin to get congratulatory messages for something you are unaware of, you have to find out why! I figured out a few days ago that I had completed 3 years as a freelancer. Time flies! 3 years since I had broken myself free from the corporate grind or had I?
It was time to retrospect:
- I became too flexible. Is that what I wanted? I travelled wherever I wanted to. Despite bagging myself a decent and an on-going client at the very onset of my freelancing days who adjusted happily to my travel times, he finally gave up on me! The weekly breaks became longer sometimes and there came a point that I even relocated to another country since I could “carry” my job with me. After all, what I wanted was just myself, my laptop and my sound equipment. The relocation brought many side effects along.
- I was never the networking woman. And you can’t freelance/ do a business if you can’t build a network. I continue to have twisted logic and possibly ego hurdles when it comes to network building. Obviously, no networking meant no expansion! I have seen a boutique owner in a mall running behind the mall-visitors talking to them about her boutique and giving her business card to them. Could I ever do this? No. She has done quite well for herself looking at her boutique.
- I could not promote myself. Imagine being in the online world and looking for work and not having any samples on my profile page to show-off ? Or even having a website (when it is so easy and free to create one). Most of the work that I have ever got is through auditions or sending a hurried cut-paste sample of my recent work.
- I didn’t work on the job’s limitations. As a voice-over artist having a professional sound equipment but not a sound booth meant that I could only work when there was silence and that is night time and that too very late (and being at the mercy of airplane sounds, security guards whistles, dog barks and what not!). I could give my clients a studio-like quality and I lost a few more projects like this. ‘Studio-like’ after all is not ‘from a studio’. I never took the thought of getting a studio built seriously. I didn’t think big. I was happy with the ‘jugaad'(hack).
Ashwin Sanghi’s book 13 Steps to Bloody Good Luck was an eye opener. He referred to a thoughtful theory by Seth Godin from his book, The Dip. It tells you to distinguish in which situation you are in :
1.cliff – things that are fine at present but will eventually collapse
2.cul-de-sac – things that look appealing but go no where; you have hit a dead-end
3. dip – temporary setback
So I might have reached a cul-de-sac and applying the reverse gear is not what I am good at (literally!)
(image courtesy: http://freelancefolder.com/wp-content/uploads/freelancing-dreams.jpg)