the Power of Goals to Enhance Your Freelance Life
by Chris King
free agents, independent professionals, and freelancers, we are always
searching for new opportunities or being offered a variety of projects.
Karen O'Connor (in Lee Silber's fine book Career
Management for the Creative Person) writes, "I used to be
scattered, taking on any project that sounded fun, but never working toward
any real, meaningful goals. I wasted a lot of time on projects that I
thought were fun but not very rewarding.
All that changed when I wrote
a mission statement. It was the best thing I ever did. Now I make decisions
based on my mission. It also reminds me to pay attention to my mental,
spiritual, and relationship goals as well as my career." Do you have
a mission statement and/or goals? In this article I am going to focus
on goals - advantages, techniques, ideas, the how and the why.
Having a specific goal, with a deadline, is the key to success. This has been stated over and over again by top speakers, by top leaders,
by those who have achieved amazing feats, happiness, health and almost
anything one might desire. And yet, so many of us don't take the time
to consider what it is we really want, write it down, and take the action
steps to get it. We don't have to be rigid about our goal setting. It
is OK to have more than one goal - there are people who have written down
more than 100 goals for their lives and have achieved them. And, if you
are working toward a specific goal and discover it actually isn't the
goal you desire, it is OK to change it. But it is important to have a
goal or goals.
You ask, "I understand the importance of setting a goal or goal,
but what if I don't know what I want?" This is an excellent question
and you are not alone. I have been teaching a popular workshop for years
called How to Discover Your Core Passion that is filled with others
who are trying to find out what they want. I believe and tell my students
that deep down they do know what they want, but subconsciously realize
that once they admit it to themselves and actually put it on paper, they
will have to do it. And, what keeps us from doing this? FEAR! Fear of
failure, fear of criticism, fear of the unknown, fear of loss, fear of
change, and a whole host of other fears. My question to you is, "What
would you do if you had no limitations and knew that you could not fail?"
Take some time to sit down and write a wish list, thinking of all of the
changes you would like to have happen in your life and your career.
Why and how do goals work? First of all, a goal must have certain
qualities. It must be specific enough that you can visualize it. It is
an advantage to set a deadline and a way to measure the outcome. For example,
if you decide to lose weight, you would specify the number of pounds and
when you would reach your ideal weight, visualizing how you will look
and feel. Any goal should offer a challenge, but not be impossible or
unreasonable. And, the most important part is that you believe you can
reach it. Earl Nightingale shared his greatest secret, "We become
what we think about all day long." And that is the power of goal
setting, because as we think about our goals, the most amazing circumstances
start to take place. We meet the people who can help us. We just happen
to hear or learn exactly what we need to know to get to the next step.
Life becomes more exciting and interesting. You will wake up in the morning
looking forward to the day and filled with anticipation. Sound a bit overwhelming?
I suggest setting some short-term goals to focus on, and as you reach
those, the bigger goals will seem much more reachable.
You say, "I am generally satisfied with my life, so should I still
set goals and what kind of goals?" I hear exactly what you are
saying. I love my life. It is busy and filled with the work and play I
enjoy. I find, however, that there is always a new risk to take, a new
and enriching endeavor to tackle, and a subject or skill to learn. In
this fast changing world, there is something new happening everyday. I
am not suggesting joining the frenetic pace, but how about trying something
you have always wanted to do? I am a storyteller and a couple of years
ago decided I wanted to enhance my telling by adding a drum beat to certain
stories. I set a goal to learn how to drum and the minute I did, I received
a community bulletin offering a continuing education class in African
drumming. What fun I had! I am not a professional drummer by any stretch
of the imagination, but I do have a Djembe and know enough to use it with
pizzazz during certain tales. What I am attempting to stress here is that
goals don't have to be heavy and rigid or overwhelming. They can and should
add joy and delight to your life.
All right. Goals are powerful. But how can they enhance my freelance
life and career? Even if the goals you set are not directly related
to your career situation, every goal you reach will strengthen your confidence
and self-esteem, both of which add to your presence with clients and when
networking. Every goal that forces you to take risks will help you take
more risks as a freelancer, therefore giving you a unique and special
style of your own. The freelancer with confidence and style is the freelancer
who will be hired in today's tough job market. The free agent who takes
risks will help clients take risks. And the independent professional who
sets goals will accomplish everything he or she desires.
Remember, there is one more important part of goal setting. Goals that
are set without taking action on them are the beginning of delusion. Goals
with action are the beginning of miracles. So set some goals, get busy,
and let me
know how you're doing!
A brand new FREE eclectic e-newsletter, Handling a Portfolio Career,
is in the works! I will be in touch with former subscribers to Portfolio Potpourri and to all who have taken the Portfolio Career Self Test. Watch for the announcement.
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Contact Chris King
or at: 36250 Lakeshore Blvd.
Eastlake, Ohio 44095
Phone: (440) 918-1313
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