By Lin Parkin
May 2, 2011
Do you find it difficult being completely self-reliant in your work?
You're not alone.
It can be tough when you don't receive feedback on your work but that's the reality many freelancers and independent business people face.
Let's explore how successful business people are self-assured and how that key attribute can help freelancers stay motivated and on the road to success.
A couple months ago I attended a conference with many of my colleagues here at Voices.com called Gearing Up For Growth which was presented by TechAlliance. There were three very different and engaging keynote speakers who talked about entrepreneurship.
We listened as Robert Herjavec, star of CBC's Dragons' Den and ABC's Shark Tank, talked about how he immigrated to Canada with his family when he was just a young boy and told us his inspiring journey of courage and opportunity that lead him to financial freedom.
We also heard from Bill Johnson, Chairman, President and CEO of McDonald's Canada, who talked about how he went from flipping burgers as a teen in the 70s to climbing the corporate ladder to get to where he is today.
The last speaker was Sarah Prevette. She owns and operates several successful online communities including Sprouter.com, a website dedicated to business start-ups. Her presentation surprised me; it was rather non-motivational. She talked about how only crazy people become entrepreneurs because there is no way a sane person would quit a job where they receive guaranteed income and regular hours to work 24/7 and never know when the next paycheck is coming in.
I thought her presentation was harsh at first but the reality is being self-employed is harsh! Prevette was just speaking from the heart, being earnest and true, which is why her message sticks out so clearly in my mind even months later.
One key quality that all these successful businesspeople shared was that they were confident in their abilities and approached their work with enthusiasm, drive and determination to succeed. Their attitudes toward business helped them overcome uncertainty.
It takes a strong backbone to be self employed. You don't have to be crazy to go out on your own, well, maybe a little bit, but it does require a special mind-set to make a break from a guaranteed day job to pursue a dream and put everything you've got into your own concepts and talents.
Freelancers often struggle with the uncertainty of their careers and lose hope long before they've put in the time it takes to build a solid client base. It can be a tough road but it's not one you have to travel alone. When there's no feedback to go on, seek it out.
Motivation and encouragement can be found in many places; communities like this one, VO forums, and meet-up groups just to name a few. There are also voice coaches who can give you feedback on your demos, help you improve your performance or develop a new skill.
Some people go into business for themselves, slowly building a client base over time. Others dive right in.
We'd love to hear your thoughts on staying motivated.
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