The Art of Superball Freelancing

Sometimes when you have a particularly bad experience, be it a project going awry or an unfortunate client-freelancer match-up, these setbacks can really hurt.

I’ve had a couple of discouraging experiences in the past week, and in light of recent posts discussing how to handle negativity in the day-to-day life of a freelancer, I thought the following few tips would be handy.

Without further ado, here are a few tips on how to be a superball freelancer – bouncing back when tough times hit you hard!

1. Don’t be a dog

I am definitely a dog person. You can ask my wife. I am a huge sucker for all things furry and preferably small.

There are certain aspects of the dog I don’t like, though, one of which being the fact that sometimes a dog has a tendency to eat its own vomit or poop. Author Patrick Lane writes in his book There is a Season that when you look back on your past mistakes and feel bad about the things you’ve done, finding yourself falling into a funk, it’s a lot like a dog returning to eat its own vomit.

Ugh. Of all the sentences I’ve ever written in my life, that might have been one of the toughest on my stomach.

The Adventurous Writer suggests thinking of this whenever you beat yourself up about setbacks and fall into that funk to think of a dog eating its own puke. Unorthodox, maybe, but training your brain against unproductive thinking never hurt anyone in the end!

2. Own your mistakes and make amends

It’s a humbling but necessary experience to make appends with your employer when you make a professional mistake. You can do this!

When you apologize to your employer, it’s a good idea to tell them how you plan to prevent your mistakes for the future. An apology is good, a promise that it won’t happen again is better, but a concrete and executable plan is pretty much the best you can get!

3.  It’s about perspective

If you’ve had any success as a freelancer – meaning you’ve had a few good jobs before this one mistake – step back when you find yourself facing the fallout of a blunder.

I’m an optimist and I’m thinking you’ve had more victories than defeats and at this point, as the smoke’s clearing from that big mistake, you’re not giving yourself enough credit for all the good you’ve done.

Give your successes the most attention. Learn from your mistakes and move along. Let the past mistakes go, but keep the lesson you’ve learned.

How do you bounce back after a big mistake? Leave a comment below! 

Be sure to check out my portfolio and professional site here

Happy freelancing and we’ll talk again next week!

– Adam




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