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Five important traits to have as a freelancer

Freelancing can be the most rewarding thing that you can do in your life because not only is it interesting and fulfilling, it also helps you create friends and help your family in material ways.

Nothing beats a lifestyle of flexibility coupled with the success achieved in your work, but you also need to have some special traits in order for you to really do good in your job and overcome obstacles along the way. Here they are:

1. Be very persistent.

When you start your freelancing career, it can be very difficult and the adjustment period can sometimes be very costly. You need to build your portfolio and you need to put yourself in the market for clients who are interested for the kind of work that you do.

This is where you need persistence most of all. It would be easier along the way, but you have to really push hard in the initial stages of your career. And I guess this is true for all kinds of businesses and jobs. The first 5 years are the most crucial. You need to just stay put and keep giving your best.

Most people quit sooner and that’s why they don’t get to reach higher levels of success.

2. Patience is ever a needed virtue in freelancing.

This is “the fuel” of persistence. Clients work closely with the freelancer, and most of the time, clients can become very vague and unsure of what it is that they want to happen. This is the time when you need to pay full attention on what your client is saying. And the amount of compensation is irrelevant here.

Some freelancers attend to customers who are giving them a very big amount for services rendered, but you need to realize that any client is a potential customer for life. And clients always become your gauge if you are doing well in your career or not.

It is better to have 100 small time clients but are consistent and long term, than have two or three big time companies, that might be gone in a few months. Besides, these big companies can be more demanding than the little ones. I’m not saying that they little ones are not demanding—they are. It’s just that you can easily make them as practice units before you can deal with the bigger ones. If you’re not patient with the little, how can you expect to be patient with the bigger?

3. Communication skills spell success or failure.

In any relationship, it’s communication that puts an end to it or makes it thrive for years. You may think that the most talented freelancers get the biggest projects, but that is not the case. Only those who know how to communicate can get the biggest projects in the industry.

Sometimes, it’s not what you give to the clients that really matter, but it’s what they feel and how they react when you communicate with them. Do you make them feel important enough? Do you acknowledge their ideas even though they can be outrageous and weird—without telling them so? When you interact, does he feel your sincerity and friendship?

No matter how much you do your job and you can be the very best, but if you don’t communicate well, you’ll lose them soon enough. So communicate well.

4. Prioritizing over time management

I believe that there should be no talking about time management among freelancers because that is one of the basic things that we need to have in order to really make this career work. And I know that most people or most freelancers do know how to really manage time, but why do they always have back logs and set backs?

I believe that the problem lies in not being able to really prioritize well. If we only know where our priorities lie, we would be able to do things in a flash and not be taken aback when urgent things or just other things come our way. We know which ones to do first.

5. Focus on being the best at something.

There are a lot of people who do freelancing and you can get caught up in the competition. And yes, there are a lot of fields that you can penetrate in order to be in the know. But there will always be someone who is better or lower than you.

So it’s best to be good at one single thing than be just mediocre at everything.

Your thoughts

What do you think about the list? Can you relate to the list and what do you like to add? What other thoughts do you like to add? Did we miss something?

Let us all know in the comments!

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About the Author

Stephen NellasStephen is part of the Software Jewel team, the company behind Clutterpad and BiP. He's also a regular author for BiP.View all posts by Stephen Nellas →