Imposters Syndrome – The Steps After the First
My first blog post here talked about having the confidence to take that first step. That, for me was easy. Making decisions whilst fired up on adrenaline is great, but what do you do when that adrenaline disappears?
Previously, I talked about how losing my job pushed me to step into freelance. I spoke of confidence and reckless abandon and balancing that with thoughtful planning.
That post was then deleted.
The adrenaline of deciding to freelance had left me and I was left with no professional support network, no income, and no clients. I backed out, took a temp job when offered, and stepped into a monotony of unskilled data entry with no career prospects.
Ultimately, fear is what has pushed me back into freelance. Not the healthiest of motivators, but a motivator none-the-less. This too is not sustainable. Fear will become overwhelming, and without structure I'll give up again.
What is sustainable is a collection of habits.
The first thing I've done is joined a support network for freelancers.
There are plenty of resources that list various support networks. I suggest you take to an internet search and find a group local to your area or specific to your niche.
The second thing I've done is to create a daily checklist.
In a dedicated KeepNote account, free from the clutter of my personal KeepNote, I have two pinned notes. These are daily schedules that are the bare minimum of achievable tasks to orientate myself at the beginning of the day.
Not only are they achievable, but they are meaningful. Yes, making a coffee and having a good morning ritual maybe helpful for your mind, but a ritualistic approach to morning business tasks is important too. These five task in my daily schedule will have a direct impact on meeting my business objectives. In five tasks first thing in the morning I ensure the first thing I do is productive.
The third change I have made is dedicating hours to training.
There is plenty of organisation offering training in copyediting and proofreading. They offer a way to sharpen your skills as well as assure your clients that you will be providing them with quality work. Furthermore, investing money into your professional development gives you a financial incentive to stick at it through the dry patches.
I use the Chartered Institute of Editing and Proofreading as the source for my training. When you look into training yourself, ensure it is sources from an accredited and respected organisation.
For many freelancers, the instability and lack of clear path is a source of great stress. The habits outlined in this blog should support you in creating a stress-free path to a healthy business.