Thursday, November 13, 2008

Self-Doubt

I was originally going to continue my networking series today, but something happened yesterday that I needed to document on my blog some I'm switching gears a bit.

Yesterday afternoon, I was feeling quite discouraged about the progress I've been making with freelancing. I didn't expect to have an enormous amount of business at this point, but I expected to have some. I've been spending most of my time responding to ads for freelance gigs, networking and e-mailing business professionals in my community in an attempt to drum up some work. So far, I still only have the single client I had when I started.

What was really getting me down yesterday was the search for online gigs. There are a number of sites I check daily for opportunities, and I usually end up responding to at least a few for which I seem to be qualified. I never get any responses from these, but that's not exactly what bothered me. It's just that, periodically, individuals will leave comments on one particular job board to indicate that they've landed a project from one of the postings. When I could tell myself that no one was getting these jobs it didn't seem as bad, but when I had proof that people just like me who were reading the same job postings on the same board were getting them it was very discouraging.

Now it's not that I don't want these individuals to get work. It seems like there's more than enough work to go around, so I'd like to see others succeed. It's just that when I see other people landing work I've been unsuccessful with landing, the inevitable self-doubt starts to emerge. I start to wonder what's wrong with me.

I learned a valuable lesson yesterday about why I need to squash that self-doubt. A few weeks ago when I was at a local business expo, I collected numerous business cards from people and I later followed up with those contacts. One of the individuals I didn't contact is the editor at a local publication. For numerous reasons I can't explain, I didn't think it was worth pursuing, even though I receive the publication and it is very impressive. The bottom line, I think, is that I thought the publication was out of my league.

While I was still reeling from self-doubt yesterday, I began to feel desperate. I finally threw caution to the wind and decided to e-mail her. Of course, with the way my day was going, as soon as I sent the e-mail, I found a typo in it that I thought I'd corrected. I assumed that was the nail in the coffin, but I was wrong.

Two hours later, she sent me an e-mail with an idea for an article. They're going to give me a shot and pay me to write the article. It will mean a little bit of money in the bank, a good clip and some heavy exposure in my community. Now all I have to do is submit a great article.

I'm starting to realize that self-doubt could be my downfall in this endeavor. I can't let that happen.

1 comment:

Mary said...

Yay! Good for you. Contacting local publications has been on my to-do list for a while. But I think the self-doubt thing has kept me from doing it. Thanks for the encouragment. I'm going to write some emails right now!