Entrepreneurs are resilient, persistent people who work towards a goal and learn how to adapt to the ups and downs of business. When I train people to proofread and copyedit, I always say that you need to develop an entrepreneur’s mindset.
Working as a freelance proofreader and copy editor means you’re running your own business. And if you want to put food on the table and maintain the flexibility of setting your own schedule, you’ve got to learn how to build your mental strength. There’s no choice but to go towards success.
It goes without saying that you need to be a little tough when it comes to freelancing. There’ll be times when things are going great and you’re landing clients, and there’ll be days when…you don’t. Having the right mindset will help you keep going, and to learn from your wins and losses.
How I Developed My Mindset So I Could Freelance
When I used to work in an office, I would sit in my cubicle and daydream about what I’d be doing instead if I worked from home. I hated the 9 to 5 grind and my long commute. I loved my job and coworkers, but whenever I sat down in my cubicle, it felt like I’d died a little.
I wanted so badly to be a freelancer, which had been my original goal since graduating from school. How unhappy was I? Well, I started to write my dream freelance day down on Post-it notes.
My ideal day included things like taking my dog to the park, leisurely reading the paper, working in coffee shops, catching up with friends, exercising, and learning a new skill. It became a habit for me to write my ideal days down at least three times a day: as soon as I started work, after lunch, and at quitting time.
I did this every day for months until finally I asked myself, Why can’t I have that kind of life?
If you want to learn how you can start freelancing, I hold FREE masterclasses every month where I discuss proofreading, copyediting, and marketing.
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Visualize Your Success
I didn’t know it at the time, but what I was doing was a form of visualization. It was this exercise that changed my life. If you want to read more about how I came to proofread and edit books from home, check out this blog post.
It’s important to set goals and to have an image of your future life and self. How do you want to live? How do you see yourself changing?
Questions like these will grow your entrepreneur’s mindset because ultimately YOU are the one in charge of your own success, and you have to be able to answer your own questions.
I learned this in my little cubicle when I was writing my ideal days on Post-its. Little did I know that I was showing my subconscious, which influences your actions and feelings, what I truly desired.
Research has shown that imagining an action or outcome activates the same neural networks that links what your body does with the brain impulses that control it. This means that the subconscious doesn’t know the difference between what’s real and what’s imagined.
That’s why athletes, performers, speakers, and entrepreneurs incorporate visualization into their daily routine. It’s a scientifically proven technique that many entrepreneurs, professionals, and athletes employ in order to focus and reach success. It’s using mental imagery to help you achieve what you want. It’s training your subconscious to gear you towards success.
Since your subconscious doesn’t know that what you’re visualizing isn’t real, then it’s going to believe you have three regular clients. What happens then is your subconscious will direct your mind and body to do what it has to in order to make that exist in reality.
Now you may think, Wow, this is a lot of woo, but you can’t discount scientific fact. I’ve visualized many things into existence, and I can tell you that s a freelancer, your mindset will be the key to your success.
How To Change Your Mindset
Here are two simple visualization exercises you can do once a week, every day, or whenever you need a pick-me-up. If you make either of these a part of your daily routine, you’ll be amazed at the impact it has on your confidence, motivation, and life.
Visualize every detail of what you want
Picture in your mind the email saying you got the job. Feel the pride and joy in landing your first client. Imagine the excitement in sitting down to work on your first project. Picture yourself working from home or a coffee shop; go through your day as a freelancer.
Let’s say your goal is to land three regular clients who are a source of work for you every month. Write down and visualize as many details as you can, like how you’d feel to have secure, steady income. Where do you work? What does your day look like? What are you wearing? You get the idea.
For me, I like to sit in a comfortable position, close my eyes, and visualize my day from the moment I get up to when it’s time to stop working and I have to pick my son up from school. Or I’ll focus on one goal I want to achieve and visualize everything about it.
Write down what you want
This is my favourite way to visualize. Write down your goals and intentions in a journal or on a piece of paper. If you have a list, put it somewhere you can see it daily as a reminder. I do this every day. I also do this if I’m feeling discouraged, and it actually helps to motivate me and increases my confidence.
Writing down my goals has been the single biggest motivating technique I have as a freelancer and entrepreneur. The motion of writing is soothing, and seeing the words reinforces my goals. I even ask students in my free proofreading course to do this.
You can write down what your ideal day would be like, write down who you want to land as clients, how much money you want to make, or what you want to do with the extra cash you bring in every month. Write the same sentences over and over if you wish. Write down your goals more than once! The sky’s the limit.
Maybe you’ve heard of mindset before — it’s a very popular topic these days. And for good reason because it works. You can work our butts off, but if you don’t have the right mindset, then you risk getting overwhelmed, feeling discouraged, and ultimately quitting. Grow your mindset with the visualization exercises and see how things take a turn for the better.