Focusing On These Four Moments Helps Win Assignments

Being a freelancer involves a fair amount of rejection. Even after you identify a few good target markets for yourself and develop some solid story ideas, you’ll have to send out something on the order of 10 pitches for every one that gets accepted. Even if you develop a solid base that includes retainer clients (something we recommend), you still live with the constant uncertainty of losing one, and having to start over from close to ground zero.

Needless to say, it helps a lot if you focus on the successes versus the failures; the high spots versus the low moments. One of the freelancers I know best, Cara Trager, told me that there are four great moments in every assignment – more happy moments than in most jobs.

She’s an optimist, and a treasure.

Her great moments:

  1. Getting the assignment
  2. Turning in the assignment
  3. Getting your check
  4. Seeing the byline

There’s plenty of wisdom in there for a $200kfreelancer. The focus here is turning this into a business – and those are all moments in the business cycle of a project. They revolve around money. Do take those assignments that you find personally fulfilling. Write about a cause you believe in or a person you admire. But make sure you find fulfillment, too, in the business side of a freelance career. That’s the key not only to building a successful freelance career, but being happy with it.

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