When I was still in the process of moving into freelancing and hadn’t figured out where to go yet, I already had a clear understanding of where not to go.
The idea was pretty simple: earn, don’t spend. Many may argue that spending doesn’t always mean wasting and that sometimes it means investing. Well, fuck it – I had nothing to invest anyway.
1) I never waited for someone to teach me how to do the job searching, how to land myself a gig, how to talk to prospects or how to talk to them more efficiently. Hey, school’s out – I’m already supposed to know that, so it’s time to act, not to learn how to act (especially from self-proclaimed “gurus”, “coaches”, and “entrepreneurs”). I just move on further and further, whether I’m sure I’m doing things right or not. I’d rather learn from my mistakes than from someone else’s (probably fictional) success.
2) I never paid for anything relevant to my job. I never bought job board subscriptions, never paid for “special programs”, “conferences”, tests or certifications etc. Whoever I talked to – in whatever situations, I’d stop listening to them right at the moment there was a slightest sign of an attempt to sell me something. For God’s sake, I’m here in this business to make money, not to part with them.
3) I never worked for free, no matter how prospects tried to justify their reluctance to pay on the first assignment – usually there’s no second one in such cases. Also, I don’t want to contribute to the development of situations like this one.