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?