If you know me in real-life, you probably already know that I love my dog, Abby, more than anything. She is a member of our family and truly is “man’s best friend.” Well, the other day, I was thinking about just how amazing Abby is (as I often think about) and I realize I have actually learned a lot from her and her simple lifestyle. She has taught me many life lessons on how to be content as well as a loving person. I took those life lessons she taught me and realized they go hand in hand to being successful in the freelance world. It may be a first to compare a dog’s lifestyle to freelancing but I think after you read each lesson, you will agree, dogs really do exhibit the ways to rule at freelancing. Day 2 of this two part series will cover lessons 6-10. See part 1 of the series here.
Disclaimer: Poor/cheesy puns will be throughout the lessons! Watch out! ;) haha
Lesson 6) Rest often
If our family ever needs to find Abby in the morning or evening, we go to the usual suspects: the couch, the ottoman, or the hallway. You could say she is a master at sleeping! This lesson is more for the health of the freelancer. I know too many freelancers that stay up all night and day working (even I have been guilty of this before) but to have a healthy mind and focus on your work, you need to be physically rested. Never under estimate the power of a good night’s rest before a long day of work.
Lesson 7) Forgive and forget
All dog owners have accidently stepped on their dog’s paw or accidently nudged there dog with a door. It’s bound to happen but, unlike evil (lame) cats, dogs forgive and forget. Clients will come and clients will go, you can’t take this personally in the freelance world. You have to learn to roll with the punches when it comes to clients. Don’t get too hung-up on a potential client if they decide to not use you for their project. There will always be more clients, but a reputation has to last. If you are known for being an asshole to potential clients that will do a lot more damage in the long run.
Lesson 8) Don’t let the Invisible Fence ‘zap’ you again (learn from your mistakes)
It only took Abby (my dog) about 2 or 3 ‘zaps’ before she realized she shouldn’t cross the invisible fence line. A big part of freelancing is growing after every project. You should always look back after a project is finished and make a list of things you could have improved on. If you are not improving your work ethic, you are not improving as a freelancer. You need to learn from mistakes so you don’t make them again.
Lesson 9) Dig for new ideas
Dogs like to dig, sometimes to bury something or sometimes to find something. As a freelancer, you need to constantly be “digging” for new ideas and inspiration. Inspiration as a freelancer keeps your soul happy and healthy! If you don’t search for new innovative ideas or inspiration you will get burnt out fast.
Lesson 10) Be loyal & unconditionally love your family/friends
Dogs know how to do this better than anyone. That is why this is probably the biggest and most important lesson I can tell you about freelancing. No matter how hard freelancing can get, if you have a support system of friends and family, it will always be better than without it. Family/friends can keep you sane, happy and your head in check. They are great for feedback and even better when you just need someone to vent to. I can’t stress enough how much family and friends will help you not go crazy as a freelancer.
BONUS Lesson 11) Bite the mail carrier
Okay, okay, okay, I know this isn’t a lesson to take seriously but I figure I would throw this in here just for laughs! ;) Biting your mail carrier is probably not a good idea, even for a dog! haha
Don’t forget, every dog has it’s day and if you play your cards right as a freelancer, you will too!
One last cute picture of the awesome Abby! ;)
Leave a comment of your freelance pro-tip!