The job of a freelancer has incredible benefits. The freedom to live your day on your terms and the ability to make more money than you would as an employee are tempting lures.
Millions of people join the gig work world every year, and many will be successful. Those individuals have—or quickly develop— certain essential character traits and habits freelancers need.
If you’re thinking of starting your own self-employed business or you want to make yours more profitable, here are four of the most powerful habits you can have.
1. They Live By Structure
It sounds ironic, but a successful freelancer designs their day as though they were at work. They wake up early and start their morning routine.
Their work schedule is laid out in blocks, with organized to-do lists and reminders in place.
Freelancers know that the way to continue to live on their own terms is to stay structured and disciplined. It’s easy to use the snooze button and lose a few hours of productivity. Just remember, the early bird gets the worm.
With a schedule ready for the next day, you’re not wasting time thinking about what to do next. You have processes in place, procedures automated, and you spend your minutes knocking out goals.
2. They Stay Focused
Distractions are everywhere, especially when you don’t have a task-master looking over your shoulder. How good are you at staying focused when your mind would rather be elsewhere?
Lack of focus is usually labeled a time management problem, yet, it’s actually an attention management issue. When you are interested in a task, you put your focus into it and don’t let little things distract you.
But have you ever noticed that a task that should take five minutes could take half an hour if you don’t want to do it?
As you’re working, you find endless things to take your attention off the task. When you get back to it, you have to restart your thinking to pick up where you were.
The key is to “pay attention to your attention” and plan your schedule wisely. During those times when you know you’re most likely to lose your focus, take away distractions. Turn your phone off and use a focus app on your computer.
Don’t let anything get in the way of your flow, and you’ll be amazed at how quickly your tasks disappear.
3. They Are Confident in Their Work
Freelancers do what they do because they have a skill they know people need. Yet, it’s still common to be uncertain about the work you’re doing, especially if it’s a more complex job or the client could turn into a big one.
Growing your confidence is going to make you successful for multiple reasons.
You’ll know what jobs to take and which ones aren’t worth your time. You’ll have set rates and won’t undersell your services. And you’ll get the work done faster with fewer periods of self-doubt dragging the job out longer.
Once you hit the level of “confident entrepreneur,” you get to spend more time on creativity and less on the business side of the industry.
4. They’re Goal-Oriented
As many career gurus will tell you, no one accidentally ends up successful. It takes hard work, determination, and the “get up and go, even after a failure” mindset.
In fact, this mindset is what separates you from those who are happy in the 9-to-5 daily grind. To get to the success that you are craving, you must have goals in place.
Setting goals is something that has to be strategized, like your business plan. Each goal has a long-term component, short-term milestones, and action steps to get there.
For instance, a goal of financial freedom includes, but isn’t solely, about bills. You’d need to have a plan for things like:
- Accounting and tax prep to maximize deductions
- How to know if your business is floundering or flourishing
- Hiring employees versus outsourcing with independent contractors
- Handling health insurance and other coverage
- Getting the best rates from suppliers
Your definition of success isn’t going to match everyone else’s. No matter what it looks like, though, the only way to get there is by creating a roadmap of goals to follow.
Stepping into the role of a freelancer is an exhilarating feeling. You’re breaking down the boundaries of following the leader and living life by your own rules.
This thrill can continue to grow as long as you’re successful in your new journey. With these four habits, your mindset and determination will ensure that the sky is the limit!