Saturday, May 22, 2010

How Much Could You Earn if You Stepped Outside Your Comfort Zone?

If you’re an experienced freelance writer, when is the last time you learned a new skill? Could learning a new skill help break some earning barriers for you? Is your comfort zone stopping you from earning the sort of money you want?

I took on a new skill area in November. It was one I really had zero desire to tackle. I had given a job lead to a writer I knew. She was a very experienced freelancer and I thought she’d be better suited to handle a query I’d gotten from someone who’d found my website through some of my marketing efforts. In return, she gave me a lead for some regular work in a new area I hadn't yet tried. I almost said, "No thanks" but something told me to step outside of my comfort zone. In April that new work source sent me a cheque for $1,860 for the work I’d made that month and this month it’ll probably result in about $1,500. This is just one of the many baskets of work I now have.

It wasn’t easy to get over my fears of learning to do something I didn’t think I wanted to do. After the first several assignments I was ready to quit. The client was ready to give up on me, too. But one morning I started earlier than usual in a quiet house and I had a breakthrough. I suddenly realized I could do this and discovered why it would benefit me to persevere. This skill could help me help myself as well as help others. When I calculated the hourly rate I’d make at it, it not only seemed like a good option but seemed like a way to buy myself something that I don’t have nearly enough of --- time. By doing more of this type of work I could work fewer hours and maybe achieve more of that balance I talk endlessly about. Hmm.

Soon I discovered that it wasn’t just better paying but it did something a lot of my other writing work didn’t do--- it really challenged me. At the end of each assignment I felt like I’d accomplished something.

I’m not about to put all my eggs into one basket --- after several years of doing this for a living, I know better --- but expanding horizons and stepping outside of my comfort zone has been a great thing for me. Is it something you should consider?

1 comment:

Rodspeed said...

I wholeheartedly agree with you in the sense that I think it is good to step out of one's comfort zone. However, I think the desired result from such an exercise should probably be related in some way to self development- which is almost always a part of the pay off of trying something new. People who venture into unknown territory primarily seeking financial gain right away might be dissuaded from doing so again if it they are unsuccessful financially.

Altogether though a wonderful post Dana. To you!

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