You are a one-person business. You’re your own biggest and best asset. You’re your ONLY asset. And that must mean you’re worth investing in.
Investing in Yourself
You can invest in yourself by:
Nothing ventured, nothing gained – maybe that should be tattooed backwards on the forehead of every freelancer so they see it every time they look in a mirror. The world never stands still, so although you may be perfectly content with the current depth and breadth of your work, it’s work taking a risk.
Try something new or have a go at something you’ve not tried before. A new market? A new kind of work or an additional component? Perhaps you could offer to design that brochure layout as well as supplying the text?
You may hate it. You may not be much good at it. Or you may find you’ve developed a new favourite task or phenomenal talent. Whatever you get from it, you will have gained experience. What you do with that afterwards is up to you.
Gaining Qualifications or Training
I’m always advising freelancers to consider themselves their own boss, and make sure they’re a fair but tough one.
As your own boss, it’s up to you to ensure that employee-you keeps abreast of the latest progress and trends in your field and engages in ongoing professional development. A training day, an online course or a shiny new qualification can give you the chance to learn something new or sharpen your existing skills.
You should ensure you regularly consider training requirements and opportunities.
Equipping Yourself Adequately
Wise business owners know that often, hanging on to old equipment just because it still (in some way or another) ‘works’, is a false economy.
You ARE a business owner. Be wise.
If that desk chair is giving you backache, invest in another. If the storage or desk space you have currently doesn’t work for you, buy something that does. If there’s a host of shiny new software that would make your life easier – but won’t run on that rundown old laptop because it’s still running Windows 98, invest in a new laptop and install away!
Of course, there are budgetary limitations and you should always weigh the pros and cons of any purchase. But you’re worth it; your comfort and the ease with which you can complete your work are a vital part of the business that is little ol’ you.
Splashing the Necessary Cash
There may be tasks that you don’t feel adequately qualified to handle or ones you don’t have time for. Maybe you know your website desperately needs an update and professional makeover, that your bookkeeping is woefully behind or that you never have time to promote yourself on social media.
Your time is money. So why waste that time stressing about these tasks before sacrificing more working time to do them?
A task you could do poorly in three hours may take an expert just an hour to do, with far better results. So, don’t begrudge this kind of investment; outsourcing your web design, social media management or accountancy requirements can make sound financial sense (and take a weight off your mind too).
Remember: there is an I in Invest!