When I became a freelance writer and virtual assistant, I had no idea really of what I was doing. Back then I would have never admitted that, or for that matter imagined that five years later it would be a career. To say the least, it has been an uphill battle.
Somewhere along the way I seemed to have lost what my goal was for the future, however. I started to work as a freelancer because I liked to write and I wanted to promote my other creative projects. Once I got hooked on the money, mainly because changes in my life required me to generate it, I became a hardcore freelancer. You know, one of those people addicted to the next gig.
This new mindset really affected my ability to be more productive. Sure, I got work done, but the work was generic and I wasn’t really invested in it. This was no longer my idea of a dream job. Then recently, I decided to look at it all in a bit of a different way. Now I am no longer a freelancer, I am a creative entrepreneur.
What’s a creative entrepreneur? Well, instead of looking for the next payday you look at the work you have as an opportunity to be creative while connecting and collaborating with those that you are working with. If you are trying to be more productive, tapping into your creative side is one of the best thing you can do.
When you think like an entrepreneur you know that you can use your creative skills to do just about anything. The need to always be looking for the next gig takes on new meaning. You are not just working for the next paycheck you are are creating opportunities for yourself.
Think about it like this: creative entrepreneurs think in terms of creating their own opportunities, producing quality results and making profits that are both financial and progressive. This leads them to create systems, relationships and businesses that generate wealth and free up their time for their next big idea, unlike when you freelance and are always looking for the next big pay check.
When you think like this, you can focus your goals and use your time not only to generate an income, which most people need, but to build yourself up for future success. It’s not easy, but if you just organize your goals to work more productively you can be successful.
Become a Brand
Be professional, be outgoing, be spot-on, be consistent, and always put yourself out there like businesses use a brand. One example of this can be creating a website for your creative work, such as graphic design, and create a brand name. Share your creative work with the world under your brand name. This way if it takes off and becomes a sensation, you have the option of selling it.
Thinking of yourself and your work in terms of a brand rather than “just me” also instills a sense of pride and encourages you to be more productive and to protect that brand name. This can be a great motivator for making sure that you always do your best work instead of “phoning it in”.
Use the Internet the Right Way
Take advantage of the world wide web and build relationships. Start a mailing list for your brand and communicate and engage your subscribers. Build your own community. Share what you love.
On your “brand” page feature what you love as well as your professional work. If you love photography, for instance, then you can feature brilliant images for followers to enjoy. Showcase yourself as a creative source rather than just a stock writer.
Create Digital Products to Generate Income
If you have been a successful writer in the past then you could offer an e-Course that will help others just starting out. Love photography? Create a course to teach others how to take great pictures and charge a fee for the downloads. It’s not hard to do, and once you have a following it will be easier to get others to want to hear what you have to say.
We all have a passion that can create an income if we just look hard enough. You might be addicted to entering HTML all day, but draw epic cartoons on the weekend. Share that, sell it, and create your own stream of income with it.
It is not going to be easy but when you start working for yourself as a creative entrepreneur, especially when you have to put food in the fridge and you have to put clients first for much of your week. However, starting slow and investing just a few hours in yourself each week will increase your job satisfaction, lead you to be more productive, and give you motivation to invest in yourself even more.
This will allow you to become invested in your future rather than just working for a paycheck. Use your freelance work to create your life vision. Just think about the Google engineers who spend 20% of their time on personal projects. The company encourages them to use 20% of their work time each week to concentrate on things other than “work”. This is because it encourages creativity, creates happier workers and fosters new opportunities. So take that 20% to heart, get to work and become the next big creative entrepreneur.