Getting Past The Tough Times
by Nikki Royston
It's 9:00 a.m. on Monday morning. You have your cup of coffee and you sit down at your computer. Time to check the email. And it's logging on, and it's checking, and-d-d-d-d, there's nothing. You decide to check again because there's probably something wrong with the server. ------- Still nothing.
You take a deep breath, no email isn't that big of a deal. Time to check the job boards. Board #1-nothing. Board #2-nothing. Board #3-nothing; in fact-there's been nothing new on this board for two months.\
You begin to hyperventilate. This has been the same scenario for weeks now. You're wondering if you can get your old job back. Yes, you called your boss a balding, stupid, lazy idiot-but that was a while ago, maybe he's forgotten. Your friend is quitting her job, maybe you can leap into her space.
Stop. Take another deep breath and begin to think clearly. No one ever said freelancing was going to be easy. All businesses face tough times but you have to be a survivor. Remember all the advice that you've given your clients and remember all the great work that you've created. It's time to put all of your talent into yourself.
First, don't take the set back personally. Everyone is experiencing pains right now and the lack of work has nothing to do with your capabilities.
Secondly, keep working. Whatever you do, do not give up. Do work on commissions, reduced rates or even volunteer. Anything is better than nothing. Your mind will stay active and who knows what other great leads or ideas you may stumble across.
Start reading. Read every trade magazine/journal for your expertise. You'll ensure that you have only the most up-to-date information and these publications can be an incredible source for business leads. You'll know who's expanding, who's shrinking and what new projects are on the horizon.
Touch Base with all of your old clients. Make sure they remember you and the fantastic work that you performed for them. You might hit at just the right time when they could use a little help.
Start cold-calling. Become the salesman that you never wanted to be. Selling yourself can be the most daunting task but you have to become a superstar. Remember, the worst that can happen is you can be told no. We've all heard that word before and it's not that bad.
Expand your skills. Use this time effectively, if you've never built a website, try. If you've never submitted to search engines, do it. If you've never designed a database, give it a shot. The more skills you have the more marketable you become.
Remember, this too shall pass. The economy is based on peaks and valleys and what goes down will come up. Be ready for the next upswing.