Many of the folks I know who have tried freelancing and given up have gotten derailed by the same thing that leads to abandoned exercise goals: They’re not taking it one day at a time.
Perhaps they’re working on an assignment with a difficult client, experienced a schedule conflict between work and family, gotten sick unexpectedly or struggled to pay the bills when a check for a project didn’t show up on time. Whatever has gone wrong has become so overwhelming on that day that they just quit.
Sometimes, these were folks who really wanted to make freelancing work, so in case you are one of them, I’ll share a mindset that has helped me get through discouraging moments and press on these last seven years.
When I was training for the New York City Marathon years ago, I read a book on running where the author recommended thinking of yourself as a lifetime runner. If you viewed yourself that way and you had to miss a day’s workout, it would be easier to pick up the next day where you left off–instead of scrapping your whole training schedule.
Thinking the same way about freelancing can help. If yesterday was really hard and you got derailed, it doesn’t mean today will be the same. You’d be surprised at what you can accomplish by just showing up at your desk one more time and firing up your laptop.