freelancing

The Importance of Confidence

A few weeks ago I responded to an ad looking for bloggers to review an online confidence course.  At first I was hesitant, I mean, what does confidence have to do with freelance writing? But before I could even finalize my thought, I answered my own question. Confidence has everything to do with freelance writing! As a matter of fact, confidence should be a requirement for freelancing.

For that reason, I decided to review the course and share my review on this blog. It is my firm belief that confidence will not only help you in your personal life, but also in your professional life. When you learn to approach your freelance business with confidence, you can command better rates, and likely, larger amounts of clients. If you aren’t already working on your confidence, I encourage giving this class a try.

Instant Confidence: A 45 minute confidence course

Let me begin by explaining that the instant confidence course will not give you confidence. It’s a 45-minute course for goodness sakes! What it does promise is the tools and knowledge for giving the appearance of confidence.  We could call it fake-it-till-you-make-it 101.

It is set up in short modules with quizzes after each one to make sure you understood the last section. For the most part, the course is simple- 30-50 words of text per slide with attractive attention-grabbing photos, while a  narrator reads it to you. There’s even some interactive exercises on the second half that will engage you while driving in the point. In all, I enjoyed its arrangement, except for having to push next after each screen. Clicking is terribly bothersome for me. The British accent made up for it though.. (I always giggle when I hear the word bum.)

The information in the course is not anything you haven’t heard before … unless perhaps you are not natively a part of Western society. What is valuable about the course is the fact that it is all in one place, logically organized in a 45-minute chunk. I’ve read plenty of self-help books, taken public speaking courses, and consider myself quite the communicator, and I still learned something from the course.  That’s because the beauty isn’t in the ‘what’, it’s in the ‘how’.

The Instant Confidence sells for £19.99 (that’s $31.98 USD), and it is worth it for anyone who wants to improve their communication skills.  They also offer a sample of the course on their website.  For freelance professionals, aside from what it is we sell, confidence in communication skills needs to be on the top of our skillset.

It’s also an obvious win for business owners, entrepreneurs, and sales professionals for which communication skills are directly related to their success.

So try out the course and let me know what you think. I’m curious to find out if anyone enjoyed it as much as I did.

Disclaimer: I received this course in exchange for a  review. I receive no additional compensation for purchases as the result of this post.

Yeah, I do that, too….

I sent my resume out a few times this past week. It was kind of a strange thing for me, because since I started writing online, I haven’t needed to send out a resume very often. Most of the time I send potential clients my samples, they watch my profile interview, or they read reviews from past and current clients. But there always is the rare occasion when I have to attach the one page resume, which is becoming increasingly more difficult to keep short.

What I noticed as I updated my resume, is that I have done a lot of things. It’s not necessarily because I have a problem with commitment, it’s more because I have a lot of interests. So when this article showed up in my inbox it definitely felt close to home.

For this Sunday’s Re-Blog, I am sharing:

The Rise of the ‘Hyphenates’: How Freelancers Are Adapting to Become Multi-Skilled Wonders,

an article by Gary M Stern in The Freelancer, by Contently

It’s a very short, yet informative read that gives so much insight into why I have trouble defining what it is exactly that I do.

http://contently.net/2014/10/02/stories/rise-hyphenates-freelancers-adapting-become-multi-skilled-wonders/

I’ll write your brochure, report on your grand opening and still have time to watch Game of Thrones

It’s October- Yay! Although fall began a little while ago, I can’t help but feel like I am entering a new season in my career. It feels like a season of change-the preparation for the long winter before the eventual bounty of the spring. I can say; I welcome this change, because I know it leads to something good.

What changes have begun for me? Well, first of all I began working as a part time ESL conversation teacher. There aren’t many better ways to gain an appreciation of your language, than to try and teach it to foreign speaker. I admire my students. They are dedicated to learn English and try very hard to pronounce the words I frequently take for granted. I mean, seriously, why don’t we pronounce it “Die-Ah-Bee-Tez”?

I’ve also had the opportunity to go back to my writing roots this week, as I took some journalism assignments. In case you didn’t read my bio I started as a news reporter. Actually, it was a freak occurrence that writing professionally even crossed my mind. A daughter of a business consultant, I had been writing pamphlets, brochures, flyers and newsletters since I was 12. My father did not know how to operate the DOS computer sitting in our spare room and my mother was too busy teaching school. So I became the go-to person for my dad’s freelance business career-reluctantly typing up promotional materials my dad had scribbled and drew on a scratch sheet of paper.

After a few years of being an unpaid typist, I began to understand the logic behind his writing. But I also began to detest it. In my 14 year old brain, I swore I’d never write anything for a business again.

Take a moment to reflect on the obvious irony.

Well, just like I eventually gravitated back to what I knew with copywriting, journalism reared its head. With its attractive package it dragged behind it, long hours, OCD moments of scribbling on notepads in the middle of the night and the overwhelming urge to ask a lot of questions. Don’t get me wrong, I love being a reporter. But for the seven pieces I am working on this week, I have already spent 15+ hours researching and interviewing. I haven’t even started writing yet! It’s hard, time consuming and many times, without profit. It’s a love-hate relationship that I wouldn’t trade for the world- $1,000,000,000 maybe – but not the world.

So I quit my day job…..

So this is my first week as a dedicated freelance writer since 2000. I have to say it is exciting yet terrifying at the same time. Why the sudden change? Well, let’s just say that my body doesn’t respond to a time-clock very well. .. As I have hinted in previous posts, my health is, well, interesting. I knew that I might have challenges going into my full time job, and for years I balanced the rigors of a 9-5; 6-3 and 2-11 shift… It actually came as no surprise that my body won in the end. I was tired and I wasn’t having fun- not that work needs to always be fun- but c’mon why spend your life doing something that makes you unhappy if you don’t have to.

So when my health came into question, and I started to show more and more signs of fatigue. I started to wonder if my day job was doing more harm than help. Could I possibly better manage my health by going into business for myself?

When human resources told me that my inability to hide my discomfort was costing them money, and they couldn’t afford to wait for me to get better, I knew I had my answer. It was time to move on and take the step that I had known for so long I would need to take. I needed to go into business for myself.

I am sure other people have their reasons for going into business. For me it has always been health. There is something about corporate America that I seem to be allergic to. Perhaps its my upbringing. Being the daughter of a small business consultant, I grew up learning the basics of entrepreneurship and had real life successful business owners to judge success by. Sure,  I knew a few successful corporate professionals- my grandfather retired from IBM- but that list was significantly shorter than those with their own businesses. Working for myself was written into my DNA, and every time I tried to do otherwise, my body would flare up in retaliation like I had drank poison.

So was I surprised when climbing the corporate ladder sent me down a rapid free fall faster than my daughter in a room full of dog hair…

(She has allergies.)

I was not.

So while I pick myself up and reorganize my work schedule to fit the needs of my business, I am encouraged by the possibilities in front of me. Much of what is needed for a successful business is time- and I now have a lot of that to go around.