No clients knocking on your door? Feeling discouraged? Thinking of quitting?
I’ve been there and know what that feels like. It’s no fun. So what can you do to get through the gloom and doom?
Here are a few things I’ve learned along the way.
Things happen – both good and bad. That’s life. Accept the fact that as grim as your present situation is, it will change.
When you catch yourself listening to the voices of gloom and doom nattering in your head, switch channels. Your thoughts are just thoughts. They’re not solid objects. Just let them pass without becoming caught up in them.
Take some time to examine your intentions.
What were your intentions when you started your freelance business? Was it to make a lot of money? Serve your community? Supplement your income?
How have your intentions changed? Do changed intentions require you to re-evaluate your marketing approach? Maybe your intentions are different and you no longer have the same passion that you started with.
Stepping back and examining your intentions may provide a clue to your present dilemma.
Looking at colleagues who are successful can lead to feelings of envy or incompetence. Likewise, identifying with others who are struggling like yourself can be demoralizing. You begin to think, “Why bother? It’s all hopeless.”
The quickest way to spiral into gloom and doom is to compare yourself to others. Avoid comparisons.
Close the door to your office, disconnect from your beeping electronic devices, and indulge in things that bring you real joy. Forget about your business for a couple of weeks. It’ll still be there when you get back.
Returning to your work after a complete break gives you more energy and gives you fresh insights into your business.
We all need support.
Thinking that you can do it all on your own is a recipe for disaster. Make sure you connect with people who can provide practical advice, a shoulder to cry on, and inspiration.
No one said it would be easy establishing a new business. Overnight success rarely happens. Unrealistic expectations about your success will inevitably lead to disappointment and doubt.
Be prepared for the long haul. It’ll take a couple of years of hard work before you begin to see the fruits of your labor. Knowing this will help keep you from despair when times are tough.
Last but not least, laugh more! Some days the old saying “If I didn’t laugh, I’d cry ” sums it up. We need to lighten up. Grim determination and a furrowed brow won’t make work easier.
If you need a quick fix of laughter check this out.
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Photo Credit: The Waterboy