Home > Freelancers > 4 ways to be the best most successful eLearning freelancer EVER!

4 ways to be the best most successful eLearning freelancer EVER!

I find myself repeating all or some of these points on a variety of forum threads. One thing I learned at Oracle was if something can be repeated, it can probably be automated, so here goes for a distillation of everything I know in terms of advice to make you the best and most successful freelancer EVER!

  1. There is no “best”. If there was – we’d all be doing it.
    1. There is only “best” as defined by you. Creating lists for blogs is currently seen as one of the “best” ways to get readers, so I followed current advice, but it will change. “Best” is fleeting.
  2. “Successful” is subjective.
    1. For example – your definition of “financially successful” may be defined by me as “I wouldn’t get out of bed for that”.
    2. Decide what your measure of success is, and measure yourself against it. Periodically – measure how well you are doing against that and change as needed.
  3. The 4 Guiding Principles. Everyone likes an acronym, so here is another new one – BITS, (Business, Interests, Tools and Social). As a freelancer, you will need to learn, engage, and practice each one of these in equal measure. Get them out of balance and your business is likely to fail.
    1. Business – Selling, Marketing, Financials, Customers, Entrepreneurs. Buy books about these. Read Web articles. Join forums and ask questions, start discussions based on facts that you know will generate debate, use knowledge to defuse arguments. lecture, blog and grow.
    2. Interests – when you become a freelancer, you may soon find that the “fun” of your work dissipates. Late nights, clients that do not pay and rejection of your work will do that to you. Find ways to keep developing, happy and engaged, both in and out of the “work” environment. Everyone does this in different ways. My “fun” comes from doing paid work that is “fun”, and I can justify this to anyone who asks why.
    3. Tools – this is “the stuff you need to know to do your job”. That may be a software tool, or other skill. It is just assumed that you learn, develop and keep up to date in your chosen work area.
    4. Social – work network, family, work-life balance and social network presence. There are no rules here. My version of “work-life balance” (completely accepted and loved by my family) is that I can work as much as I like, but still be here close for them. That may not be yours. Your concept you have of work-life balance before you are a freelancer may well change when you actually become one.
  4. You need to do things rather than talking about it. This is the hard one. Actually deciding to do something and doing it are different things. Doing is easy, (you just do it, or do not do it….); what stops things getting done is the crap that gets in the way, (fear, guilt, worry, a need for certainty etc.) Here’s my model for “doing”.
    1. I spend all the spare time I can find for about 2 weeks researching the positives and negatives of my subject. Do not just research areas that support your existing position.
    2. I run a hot bath, and sit in it with a glass of single malt whisky (one ice cube), and either classical or jazz music on, no words allowed. Your unconscious will have been processing and ordering the research done in step 1, now is the time to let it out. Reflect on these 4 questions:

Do I WANT to do this new thing? Yes/No.
Do I HAVE the skills to do this, or KNOW WHERE TO GO to get the skills and assistance when needed? Yes/No
Will I be able to SELL this thing? Yes/No

Actually – I usually just go with the first question, and if it is a “Yes” I get going and start doing something, ANYTHING, and work the rest out as I go along.  🙂

So that is it – the model for freelance success, the model for being the best freelancer, EVER, in your chosen field.

So – no more questions required, unless they are about things that you are doing to move towards the goal. If you are stationary – you should probably consider a safer career. However…if you are showing good solid results, taking risks in your thinking, and actually moving forward – I will help you every step of the way, if I can. If I can’t, we can work to find people who can.

Good luck.

  1. May 11, 2014 at 3:13 pm

    Good kick-in-the-butt summary Bruce… Thanks!


  2. May 12, 2014 at 7:35 am

    Bruce, why on earth would you dilude your whisky with an icecube? Great article. This makes absolute sense to me!


    • May 12, 2014 at 7:51 am

      The reason I put an ice cube in it is to form a beautiful sensory disparity between the hot bath, and the cold drink. In terms of dilution…have no fear, as I make up for this by making it a triple measure 🙂


  3. May 13, 2014 at 11:36 am

    I’m with Jeff. All of this is great advice and makes perfect sense. Plus I would never hesitate to hire the professional problem solver who understands the nuanced art of balancing one’s drink with one’s environment. Well done, Bruce!


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