Friday, January 13, 2012

What Freelancers Can Learn from Mark Cuban

As freelancers, we don’t have anyone but ourselves to be accountable for. If I don’t roll out of bed until 10 am, I have no one to blame but myself. If I don’t make time to really look into what Google+ can do (or can’t do) for me, it’s my own fault.

When you work in an office environment, you have coworkers, bosses, and assistants to help you with your job. When you are a freelancer, you have to do everything from getting insurance to buying computer equipment, to calling clients who are late on their payments. It can be overwhelming at times, but when you worry about only pleasing yourself at the end of the day, it can be pretty great.
Below are some quotes from Mark Cuban’s new book, How to Win at the Sport of Business, that I found in an article on and what I took away from them:
In sports, the only thing a player can truly control is effort. The same applies to business. The only thing any entrepreneur, salesperson or anyone in any position can control is their effort.
If you’ve ever played a sport, you know that even when you lose a game, knowing you played the hardest you could play, makes the losing result a bit easier to swallow. There will always be someone out there better than you. Someone who is wittier, a better writer, better photographer, and a more creative designer.
When you pitch a story or design to a client for a project, and you put 100% of your talent and effort into it, then still get turned down, you know you did the best you can do. Ask for constructive criticism on why your idea didn’t get chosen and learn from it. You may pick up some new tricks to use in your next proposal.
I had to kick myself in the ass and recommit to getting up early, staying up late and consuming everything I possibly could to get an edge. I had to commit to making the effort to be as productive as I possibly could. It meant making sure that every hour of the day that I could contact a customer was selling time, and when customers were sleeping, I was doing things that prepared me to make more sales and to make my company better.
Being efficient and productive as a freelancer is crucial. There’s only one of you and you can only do so much work in a day. If taking on a new client means you have to work overtime to get the job done, do it!

Use business hours for business related things, like calling your clients when they’re at work, too. If you’re waiting on payment for a job or to hear about a proposal you’ve submitted, you aren’t going to get much attention if you keep leaving messages on their voicemail after hours.
Effort is measured by setting goals and getting results. What did I need to do to close this account? What did I need to do to win this segment of business? What did I need to do to understand this technology or that business better than anyone?
Making goals is a great way to gauge your effort and success. It’s also a great way to organize your day, week, month, and year. Sit down and really think about what you want to accomplish over the next 6 months and what it is going to take to get you there. Perhaps there is a certain client you’re dying to work for or a new program you have been wanting to learn. Write down a strategic plan and stick to it.
When you are a freelancer you only have to answer to yourself. Take advantage of having no boss and be the best freelancer you can be.

View the original article here


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