When you are a freelancer, you work for yourself. That means you get to set your own hours and choose your own clients. However, it also means you have no one else to disappoint except for yourself.
In order to avoid falling into a rut and losing faith in yourself, here are five freelancers on how they stay motivated:
1. Change your routine when work gets stale.
Just because something worked last year does not mean it is going to work this year. You should take a step back and evaluate your work schedule, clients, and output on a weekly basis. If rebranding yourself or altering your schedule would help you get excited about your work again, then go for it.
Jeannine Morris, from Jeannine Morris Media, has said, “The industry has changed so much since I’ve had my own company and I’m constantly reevaluating what I’m doing, if it’s working, if I’m spending my time wisely and if I’m still passionate about it.” Don’t let yourself get trapped in a routine. Change can be a good thing.
2. Stay focused on your long-term dreams.
Freelancing is not easy work. You should only freelance if you are passionate about what you are doing, if you cannot see yourself in any other line of work. Whenever you feel yourself start to get discouraged, remind yourself you would still be working on similar activities as a hobby if it wasn’t your full-time career. Remind yourself you are working toward your dreams.
Lauren West-Rosenthal, from Not So It Girl, has said, “Staying focused on your goals and remembering and holding onto the passion that brought you to the project, to begin with, is key.” You can never forget why you are doing what you are doing. Never allow your passion to burn out.
3. Find other people in your line of work who inspire you.
Some family members and friends are not going to understand the way freelancing works. It will be hard for you to talk to them about your struggles because they have never dealt with similar issues. That is why you should surround yourself with people who own their own businesses, people who will understand your high and low points.
Amy Gorin, from Amy Gorin Nutrition, has said, “Meet other people in your line of work and find one or two really great mentors. Then pay it forward later!” It never hurts to network. You could form a lifelong friend or you could form a lucrative business connection.
4. Do not let your fears get the best of you.
When you work as a freelancer, your paycheck is never guaranteed. It’s scary to work without knowing whether you are going to make enough money to pay the rent — but you cannot get distracted by what ifs. You have to worry about one thing at a time. Worry about creating the best work you can and the rest will come later.
Paul Jarvis has said, “Most reasons to delay are invalid if you get right to the core: no time, no money, no audience. These are all future concerns, which make it hard to start anything. Worry about those things later or not at all. Make small decisions at first, and start moving in a direction that feels right.”
5. Remember why you started freelancing in the first place.
You did not start freelancing in order to earn big paychecks. Paychecks are unpredictable in the freelance world. You chose this path for another reason — because you love what you are doing for a living. When you have work to get done, do not think about the money it will earn you. Think about the spiritual satisfaction it will give you.
Joel Klettke has said, “Don’t freelance to make a living – freelance to make a life. Money is important – but when you hit ruts, work 16 hour days and get that tough feedback, it’s going to be something else that motivates you. You need to remember why you started and keep it in focus.”