Growing a freelance business
I used to think gardening was for old people, but I’ve really got into it over the last year or so. I have no idea what I’m doing most of the time. I’m enjoying it though.
I’ve also started to see the similarities with freelance life. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that freelance life is a lot like gardening.
I’ve learnt so much during my first year as a freelancer, just as I’ve learnt to take care of a garden (thanks to Monty).
We’ve used our gardens to help us understand life. There’s got to be a way to apply similar lessons to growing a freelance business.
1. It helps to have a plan
For a garden to look in good shape, a lot of work goes on behind the scenes. Tasks like weeding, pruning and sweeping up.
In a business, that’s like the admin and finance stuff we have to keep on top of. Even though it’s annoying and it takes up more time than we’d like, it’s essential work.
I can’t pretend to be an expert here. I’m a bit scattergun when it comes to planning and organisation. I’m trying to get better. Routine helps.
Amanda Appiagyei, on the other hand, is an expert. She shares 5 mini-tutorials in one blog post here that might actually get you excited about tackling some admin.
Admin is a bit like weeding. It’s a boring job and it needs doing regularly, but things always look and feel a lot better after it’s done.
2. Get the right tools for the job
Gardening can be hard work if you don’t have the right tools. Ever tried to dig a massive hole with only a trowel?
It’s the same in business.
Sometimes it’s worth investing in the right tools for the job, whether that’s specialist software, handy apps or a reliable laptop.
And you get what you pay for. Cheap garden forks don’t last very long. Sometimes paying a bit more will save you money in the long run.
Here’s a list of 25 of the best tools for freelancers, via Creative Boom.
3. Things take time, be patient
Your business isn’t going to grow overnight any more than your garden would. Have patience, good things take time to establish themselves.
You’ll have seasons where things grow quickly and others where it’s time to rest. It’s good to understand which season you’re in so you can make the most of it.
This blog post from Stephanie Pollock explains the idea in more detail: What season of business are you in? (and why it matters).
I hope this is all making sense so far. I’d hate to let Monty down.
Speaking of Monty…
We’re not all him.