Why a freelancer should embrace fear


in
Lifestyle & Time out

by blue beanyFreelancing takes courage. No guaranteed pay cheque, no back-up team, no boss to give you guidance, no boss to take the fall. No excuses – the buck stops with you. It took courage to take that first step into the freelance world, whether it was a bold and brazen stride with an armful of clients ready to commit, or a stomach-knotted plunge born of necessity.

**But as Mark Twain said:**
>”Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear.” And at times that fear will come to the fore.

## Fear is good

**It’s the antidote to complacency, a reminder of fragility and the need to fight and compete.**

Most freelancers will have allowed complacency to set in at some point. Regular clients pushing us regular work means we almost forget that we’re not actually receiving the dependable bank deposit our employed friends enjoy. Chances are that most freelancers, during this recession at least, suffered a stutter or two from clients. A drop in their income means a drop in yours.

At first you might shrug it off as a blip. Perhaps a couple of one-off jobs cover the shortfall. Perhaps you had money in reserve. But if the trend continues… oh dear God.

Those regular gigs weren’t a luxury, they were a trap. They massaged your ego, while smoothing out, no, blunting your edge. And now the only edge in sight seems to be at the end of the slope you’re beginning to slip down.

### Good news

The fear is back. And it’s your greatest weapon, your firmest friend. You just need to embrace it, rather than let it grip you.

Fear is a sneaky little sod though. On the one hand it’s pushing you to pick up the phone, to make that first faltering cold call. But on the other hand it’s whispering ‘You’ve not done this in ages. What will you say? Why should they listen? If you were truly different, truly special, the phone would ring and you’d not be making this call…’ Sneaky and cruel.

So sidestep it. If you didn’t make one before, and God knows many of us didn’t, it’s time for a battle plan:

* You need a timetable of attack.
* It’ll take time, but if there’s less work coming your way, you’ve got that time to spare, right?
* So plan that phone call.
* Don’t be afraid to experiment.
* Ask for advice from friends, ex-colleagues, and [online](/forum).

### Plan your targets

* Take the time to revisit ideas that never saw the light of day because of those lovely regular client demands.
* Explore the avenues you never fully investigated:
* the social media portals
* the painfully early breakfast networking meetings
* even the customers whose enquiries never went the distance
* Revisit your marketing material.

And suddenly it’s not fear gripping your heart and choking your confidence, it’s raw excitement coursing through your veins; it’s possibility and potential vying with uncertainty for control of your every waking breath.

#### You’re alive, you’re free, and that’s why you chose this path.
##### Now stop reading, and start planning.

By [Anthony Hewson of AHCopy.co.uk](/author/anthony-hewson)

Image by [blue beany](http://www.flickr.com/photos/alflick_suckley/3674749803/)
  • http://www.freelanceadvisor.co.uk FreelanceAdvisor

    Welcome Anthony (our newest contributor)… publishing this (and choosing the pic) was a lot of fun!
    I've been listing to “Fear” tracks on Spotify all afternoon… got any favourites? Add them here:
    http://open.spotify.com/user/michaelrose/playli

  • http://www.ahcopy.co.uk/thecopywritersblog AHCopywriter

    Thanks Michael – looking forward to hearing people's thoughts.

  • http://blog.ajeva.com/ Issa

    Nicely said. Freelancing is for the fearless, for those who are willing to risk it all for the sake of financial freedom. There are success stories and then, there are those who failed. At the end of the day, it's all about the choice to work without boundaries and having a clear goal that make freelancers survive. It's like extreme sports. Can you handle it?

  • http://twitter.com/Tony_DWM Tony Dimmock

    Superb Article – Freelancing is certainly for the fearless! Feal the fear and do it anyway…

  • http://www.amandalincoln.co.uk/ Amanda Lincoln

    Brilliant article, reading this has encouraged me to contact two possible new clients which I have been putting off for days now and I also called a client who's invoice is outstanding. Many thanks!

  • grantlylynch

    Most people tend to fear change in business as it can appear to bring insecurity, but if you embrace these changes and take control of the new situation you can often use this to your advantage. The only way to survive in business is to change.

  • http://www.freelanceadvisor.co.uk FreelanceAdvisor

    amen!

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