When they don’t want to let you go easy.
Shutting down operations to focus on growth is proving difficult
I’ve embarked on a journey to become the best possible writer that I can be about two and a half months ago. Even though I’ve always been driven by growth, only after I attended the Akimbo Freelancer’s Workshop did I realize many of the small lessons that are shared across all disciplines.
One of the major milestones in my strategy for improvement is to create space for growth. This means to stop working temporarily. In the past 4 weeks, I’ve rejected a total of 5 job offers and a few more requests from previous clients.
I’ve also informed all of the current clients of my decision, and a few of them are having a hard time finding a replacement. This is a good thing for me because it shows me that my work is not as “template” as I thought it was.
It’s an eye-opener, to say the least.
Naturally, I want to keep doors open for the future. It’s not my plan to bail and stop writing altogether. I just want to invest some time in my own processes so that I can do my best work.
Another surprising result was that some of my clients offered as much as double for my services going forward. It wasn’t easy saying no to an offer like that, but I have to stay on the course, otherwise, I may never end up where I want to be.
There’s nothing wrong with the work that I’m doing at the moment. In fact, I find it quite enjoyable when everything is going well. That is until I remember that I have many other people waiting on me to fulfill promises made to them.
These promises were made naively, thinking that I could organize my time and effort to actually deliver. But, when a “Yes” person gets overwhelmed with opportunities, so does his or her life.
I am both happy to be appreciated as much as I am. It makes me feel good to discover that I am not as replaceable as I believed before starting this journey.
If I could I would forge this feeling into a medal that says “Zoran — The Freelancer Client’s Hate To Lose.” as a memento. There is no pride to be gained in manipulating other people to get what you want, that’s simply not who I am.
I must take this time to improve my processes, for my sake, and my client’s benefit. If this decision turns out to lead to starvation, I’m prepared to risk that outcome in exchange for a shot at being remarkable.
I will never leave a client hanging. Only after I am certain that their needs will be met by another person, will I feel free to leave.
Working with me is a promise of excellence, and this is the main reason I want to stop, turn back, and finish what I promised I would do.
In the end, I want to be “Zoran, a professional writer that you would be lucky to accept to work with you, because he always delivers” rather than “Zoran, a highly ambitious freelance writer that promises a lot, underdelivers, or is simply late to the party.”
About this blog
Zoran is a professional freelance writer and journalist and pursues many hobbies in graphic design, woodworking, psychology, sports, sales, negotiation, pretty much a bottomless pit of interest.
Right now he is dedicating time to improve his writing to a remarkable level, and for this reason, he stopped accepting new client assignments, focusing only on clearing out the backlog of projects that have accumulated over time.
He’s working on rebranding into a more specific type of writer and is still figuring things out. Join him on his journey as he blogs about it right here on Medium.
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