3 Ways to Maintain a Positive Mindset as a Freelancer

Whether you’re an employee or self-employed, maintaining a positive mindset is critical for being productive and effective in your work.

Maintain a Positive Mindset as a Freelancer

Those who are self-employed know the massive lifestyle benefit owning your time is. Of course, with that comes the need for discipline and focus so work gets down and boundaries are maintained.

Beause if you don’t produce work, you don’t get paid.

In that sense, employees have it a bit easier because they’re often compensated for their time regardless of the work they produce (within reason of course).

Which reminds me, Abby posted this amazing tip on her Instagram page for employees who want to become self-employees. She says if you’re not ready to take the leap but you want to prepare ahead of time, shift your attitude and start treating your boss like a client.

When you do this, you’re distancing yourself from the job enough that you can tolerate the ridiculousness of the day job/boss and not let it stress you out.

This helps you stick it out till you can make the leap to self-employed.

Solid advice!

Mindset is everything!

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I’m as competitive as they come, but I learned long ago that if my clients are hiring freelancers, I’m not the only one getting called. If your client is large enough to have brand standards, you and the other freelancers will be swimming in the same pool. A client may need you to pick up art from someone else’s job, or ask you to send native files to another designer so they can use your work as a template. The last thing my clients need is to tiptoe around my ego. In the 20 years I’ve been my own boss, I’ve coordinated with many freelancers—my competitors—and have gotten to know them as colleagues. I consider us on the same team, working for our shared client. My clients appreciate my professionalism and the ease of working with me. (Tip: relationships are key to repeat business; it doesn’t matter how talented you are if you are a pain to work with) A bonus to my open attitude: I’ve gotten major projects from fellow freelancers who needed a partner. I’ve picked up design jobs from writers and writing jobs from designers. I respect their role as lead and I never poach their clients. That last part about treating your boss as a client? It’s how I got through my final year of working in a corporate job while building my freelance business on the side. I was mentally ready to jump ship but financially not there yet. I made the choice to start thinking about my boss as a client and that little shift had a major impact. It allowed me to detach just enough to tolerate what would have pulled me under, and bought me the time I needed to leave on my timetable.

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How to maintain a positive mindset as a freelancer

I used to brush mindset stuff off as woo-woo in favour of focusing on much more practical tasks like setting goals.

But now I know mindset matters. A lot.

Book recommendation: For mindset work check out Thinking Like a Boss by Kate Crocco

Here are three key ways to maintain a positive and productive mindset as a freelancer.

Become financially literate

Decision fatigue is a thing. And most freelance writers don’t have a passion for numbers. So money mindset? Ugh. Too many decisions and too much to think about.

But understanding your personal AND BUSINESS finances is super critical to your success. Take control over your finances! Do the work!

When you understand your true cost of doing business, you have the information to price your work in a responsible way. In a profitable way.

This is a skill you have to learn personally before you develop it professionally, but tackling your debts using the Debt to Success System and other tactics can help you break your bad money habits and get yourself into a healthy financial position.

Money mindset is HUGE for entrepreneurs. Get comfortable talking about money, understand your financial needs so you run your business profitably and follow best practices.

Book recommendation: The Five Money Personalities by Scott and Bethany Palmer is one of those books for couples about money. I didn’t think I was into those. Turns out it was important for my financial literacy

Nail your messaging

Unless you’re trained in journalism or copywriting, the idea of distilling an idea or message down to its core meaning might seem like an impossible task.

But it’s possible and necessary!

Whether you are crafting an elevator pitch for a potential business client or writing a pitch for a magazine editor, shorter is better.

Like, 150 words or less.

Pitch templates free download


Wondering how on earth you craft a pitch? I’ve put together a few templates and they’re available as a free download in my resource library.

To access the library just pop your email address into the form below and I’ll send you the password. Once you’re there navigate to the freelancing section and look for “Pitch Templates.”

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People are BUSY and they don’t know you. Even if they do know you they probably don’t have time to wade through flowerly imagery and roundabout ideas.

Be efficient with your words and get to the point.

Oh, and maybe you don’t get there on your first draft—fine! E-d-i-t your words. Pare them down. Be ruthless.

While this may not be a natural skill, it can be learned. And you will not regret learning how to nail your messaging in as few words as possible.

This will benefit you all over the place, not just pitching. This will help you come up with punchy social media captions and think on your feet during client calls.

You may even find you write faster once you get into practice!

Get comfortable with risk

While 2020 has taught us no job is a sure thing, being self-employed can still feel like you’re operating without a safety net. And to some extent this is true. Salaried employees have certain protections in place entrepreneurs don’t.

And the freelancer experience can be fraught, what with all the unknowns. Clients come and go. Payments come…and also don’t come. People ghost. And as the proprietor, you’re on the hook no matter what.

Some people have a natural tolerance for risk, which may make them better-suited to this type of career. However, even if you’re risk-averse like me, there are strategies for creating at least a semblance of security amist the chaos.

When you understand your finances, for example, you’re empowered to make better decisions about your rates and the type of work you pursue.

Magazine writing, for example, is a long game. Articles are published MONTHS after submission and payment? Upon publication in many cases.

Knowing that ahead of time will help you offset the lack of cashflow in one area by finding clients who will pay a deposit upfront (business clients, for example) or quick turnaround jobs that pay upon delivery.

In order to maintain a positive mindset as a freelancer you have to take control of your business

You make the decisions. You take control. You’re the boss.

You’ve got this.

Whether you're an employee or self-employed, maintaining a positive mindset is critical for being productive and effective in your work. Here are three key ways to maintain a positive and productive mindset as a freelancer.

One more thing. I think you’ll enjoy my free resource library. This is where I keep my files, downloads, ebooks, worksheets and whatever else I manage to create. I love sharing what I learn and want to keep adding to this library so it becomes a wealth of helpful goodness.

This is a free resource but I do require a password to access the library itself. You can get access by popping your email address into the form below.

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