A freelance life is what allows many of us to work from home. Writer David Hochman is one of those people who lives the freelance life very well. He occupies that space between writing like a fiend and napping at 11am with grace, intelligence and wit. His work regularly gets published The New York Times, Forbes, Esquire and O:The Oprah Magazine. He also runs UPOD, an online community of freelancers. This is the first in a series of tips from David on how to make a freelancer life run more smoothly. Cerentha
1. Stop Being Paranoid.
People aren’t stealing your ideas, they don’t hate you, they’re not being passive aggressive. And if any of these things actually are true, move on. Life’s too short and brutish to be eaten up by pettiness and small-minded paranoia.
2. Set fake deadlines and meet them.
The editor wants the story December 15. Great. Your deadline is now December 12.
3. It’s about relationships, stupid.
Good pitches will get you assignments. If you want an actual career, work on nurturing and building your relationships with editors instead.
4. Lose the Emoticons
Rid your emails of the following: your smiley faces, your inspirational quotes, the websites of your 15 different businesses. It makes you look flaky.
5. Be nice
Why would YOU want to work with someone who’s cold, whiney, hard to reach on the phone, sloppy with the facts, defensive or a drama queen. Exactly. Editors don’t either.
6. Go back to school
Specialize in something that will give you an advantage over everyone else in your field. Afterwards, you might decide to go for that career full-time and bag freelancing permanently.
7. Have a kid or buy a house
Adding big incentives to making money will force you to behave responsibly and meet your financial goals in ways child-free, mortgage-free people can’t quite imagine.
Every morning. For at least a half hour. Doesn’t matter which god or non-god or spaceship you pray to. Just do it for 30 days and see what happens.
9. Ixnay the naysayers
By 5 pm today, remove or block all the negative grumps on your Facebook and Twitter lists; make an appointment to see one person who’s been really supportive of your work; whenever good or positive thoughts or people emerge, think of ways to sustain, develop, nurture, augment and encourage them.
10. Put others first
Say thank you. Do things without expecting thanks. Surprise people with your generosity. Give more money than you expected this end-of-year tax season. Do things for free even though you don’t think you can afford to. Say yes when people ask for your support and help.