Freelancing Lessons From The Avengers
If you’ve had enough of watching The Avengers and the sequels, the interviews, and burnt enough cash on the Marvels Merchandise, it’s time to do something else with it.
Let’s start with this, from IMDB summary of The Avengers:
Earth’s mightiest heroes must come together and learn to fight as a team if they are to stop the mischievous Loki and his alien army from enslaving humanity.
Guess what? There are lessons for everyone from the movie series. That includes hardworking, worried about-that-elusive-paycheck, and industrious freelancers just like you.
If you thought you had nothing more to learn from the likes of the blue evil guys, from the delusional Loki, from the smashingly handsome guy who wields the hammer, The Hulk, The Black Widow, The Iron Man, Captain America, and all others, you are wrong.
You are a freelancer. You are an entrepreneur. You run a business.
You are, in effect, a superhero.
Even superheroes can pick a lesson or two. Here are a few freelancing lessons from The Avengers for you:
You have power. Use it well.
Thor is from another planet with a hammer that only he can lift. Captain America has everything he must have to save America from bad guys. The Iron Man has a suit. You don’t want to mess with the Hulk, and he doesn’t need a suit.
What do you have, you think? To start with, you have guts. You have the tenacity to keep it going with projects, deal with clients (sometimes crappy ones), you pick lessons fast, and you are productive.
You are a wonder freelancer who does marketing, packages, produces, sends out invoices, manages time, manages yourself, and then does some more marketing.
Plus, you have infinite potential to be anyone you want to be and do anything you set your heart to.
Use it wisely. Use it well.
When questioned or when in doubt, you have the answers
Hulk goes off hiding somewhere in Kolakata, India until The Black Widow comes to retrieve him. The Iron man is always questioned for his brash nature and his occasional frivolous nature. Thor temporarily loses his hammer power because his dad deploys a curse. Captain America is unsure of himself when confronted by the absolute disinterest his superhero team shows at some point.
As a freelancer, you’ll hit the bottom of the barrel. You’ll run out of cash with $2 in the bank. You’ll starve. You’ll even cry when no one’s watching.
Yet, you’ll get back to your hustle the next day. You’ll do the hustle. You won’t give up.
You have all the answers you need. You’ll eventually find those answers.
Don’t be at war all the time
You’ll notice that the superheroes aren’t always fighting. They aren’t always at war. They discuss, plan, strategize, and often take a step back only to lurch forward. They get away from the scene to find someone they love, they visit someone important, and they often talk to a mentor. They work as a team. They sometimes vanish altogether.
As a freelancer, you’d think it’s normal to work all days of the week. You’d think it’s almost blasphemous to say “no” to a client. Chances are that you don’t discuss much about work with your family.
Change that. Step back. Wait for the right time, every time, to get back into action.
Know What to Do With the Evil
The Avengers know what to do with their enemies. As a team, they decide the best course of action to take to tackle all sorts of evil their enemies come in — huge, ugly, flying ships? Funny semi-robots? Or just a good guy turned bad thanks to Loki’s spear?
For you, the evil could be clients who have “scope creep” as their middle name, or those that don’t pay you (or on time), or those that question everything you do and act like they own your soul just because they paid that last invoice.
Or, the evil could be all others who suck your time out of the day, your team, other vendors, other businesses, and more.
Don’t get aggressive. Cut your losses. Just be strategic.
What lessons are you going to run with?
Originally published at peerhustle.com on July 29, 2015.