One of the best things about being a freelancer is the amount of time available for working on my business. In my experience, pursuing job leads, following up on contacts and reaching out to past clients, and checking off my to-do list is essential. Using that time to increase my knowledge and stay current is also a main priority.
For me, that means working through tutorials, even on topics I already know well, checking out help-me boards online, and interacting with other professionals. In addition, attending local business gatherings, going to festivals where there are potential clients and reaching out on social media not only increases my networking base, it gives me the opportunity to pick people’s brains for new information. Even if I know much more than someone about a particular web-tool or marketing app, hearing their perspective, their experience based on their own business is invaluable, and that can help me later with other clients or my own projects. Whether it is using open source software, or participating in community based organizations, I get to be a better professional by just setting my ego aside and listening.
I love worker-owned coops like Firestorm Cafe, locally here in Asheville, and groups like the WNC Advocacy League make me grateful to be a part of this community. I think that keeping my mind and heart open to new ideas is key for success, and not just financially. Never being complacent in my own knowledge and experience keeps me not only competitive, but alive. Don’t stop and rest on your success, and don’t be satisfied with your skill set. We all have room for growth.