trust the process
The best piece of advice I got before going freelance, I’d already heard. I just didn’t understand it.
And there’s this interesting thing that happens in your brain when you get a piece of advice you don’t understand – you resist.
The piece of advice I got? It was to trust the process.
And that goes hand in hand with my piece of advice – trust the people you respect, who are doing what you want to do.
If they’re telling you something that doesn’t make sense, hold on to it and know that it’ll make sense when it needs to. That there’s a reason they’re giving you this particular advice, and it’s not to make you (or them) look stupid.
There are a lot of times where I’d do basic things like outreach to grow my business… and then I’d stop when I didn’t see traction quickly enough. Or I’d write some articles and authority pieces to get my name out there… and then stop when I didn’t get immediately flooded with “OMG SHUT UP AND TAKE MY MONEY” requests.
I didn’t trust the process.
I didn’t have faith that even though I couldn’t SEE it working, it was working in the background, with every tiny step forward I made.
I learned this the hard way, by doing even though I wasn’t seeing immediate results.
And it was my first ever client earned by cold emailing that taught me what this really meant.
So my first year as a freelance writer, I was getting a bit desperate… I’d left my job in Dec. 2016, done 5 figures in Jan, and then was slowly drying up through the spring of 2017. So I started outreach at the end of Feb (because I’d stupidly ignored it while delivering on the January contracts). I got some decent replies into March but no hot prospects.
One told me he loved my style and my email. He mentioned they were slammed but to reach out again mid-April.
I put it in my calendar so I wouldn’t forget, kept prospecting.
Mid-April rolled around, I reached out.
Two days later we were on the phone.
The next week I signed a retainer deal.
ALLLLLLL of that was happening in the background. He read my email. He got it. He liked it. He had a need, but it wasn’t immediate.
And if I hadn’t trusted that process to be working in my favor, I never would have gotten in touch again, and it would have fallen off his radar, and that contract would never have happened.
There are a million things keeping your prospects distracted and busy, and helping them forget you’re there to help.
So all you gotta do is show up, stay in touch, provide value… and trust that when they’re ready, they’ll remember you.
Trust the process.
If you’re an aspiring freelancer who’s working up the courage to leave the day job… good news! I’m sharing all the things I WISH I’d known before making the leap so that hopefully your journey goes a little more smoothly than mine.