Focus, determination and hard work

Posted on: July 26th, 2010

I was in Hyde Park on Saturday with my husband to see the new summer pavilion at the Serpentine Gallery. As we were crossing the road from the Diana Memorial Fountain to the Gallery, cyclists and runners flashed past us. But these weren’t ordinary cyclists or runners.

They all had a limb missing, except one runner who was blind (with a sighted partner to lead them.) They certainly weren’t your average weekend joggers or cyclists. They looked like elite athletes. When I got back home I looked the event up on the internet. I found that we’d been watching the Paratriathlon of the ITU World Championships. There were 42 paratriathletes competing from seven countries.

It got me thinking about the focus and determination an athlete needs to compete at an international level. Not to mention all the hard work they have to put in to meet the demands of their punishing training schedule.

Although I don’t know many freelancers who are also elite athletes, I do know that we, too, need to have focus and determination. And we need to work hard to make a success of our freelance business.

A fair number of my friends say things like this to me:

  • “Oh, I couldn’t be freelance; I just wouldn’t have the self discipline.”
  • “I know I’d spend all day doing stuff around the house when I should be working.”
  • “I wouldn’t know where to start when it comes to finding clients.”
  • “I wouldn’t mind the writing side of things, but I couldn’t be doing with all the admin, accounts, marketing and networking you have to do.”

That’s because they don’t have the focus and determination that we freelancers have. And they’re unwilling to put in the hard graft that we do. Freelancing isn’t an easy option and it certainly doesn’t suit everyone. If you’re thinking about giving up the day job to go freelance, take a long, hard think about whether it’s really for you. If you’re unsure, here are two posts I did recently about the advantages and disadvantages of being freelance.

What sort of things do your friends say about why they could never go freelance?

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