I bid, apply, hustle, and market myself every single day. As a result, I win projects at an alarming rate. Of course, I don’t pick up every project that comes my way. Those that I start working on won’t last forever. Those that seem to last forever will go away one day. Meanwhile, many projects manage to crawl into in my “blue folder” of “things to do”. The dynamics of winning and losing projects isn’t exactly like getting a job and retiring from it 3 decades later. Let’s try to decode the dynamics here, shall we?
The Mindset of “Anything Goes”
As a freelance writer, here’s a particular mindset that helps you manage the complexity of winning and losing projects: the mind frame of “anything goes”. By that, I mean that you’d work to get yourself into a Zen-like state where nothing effects you – be it a $10,000 project coming in or an equally large project going out. You won’t squeal and celebrate when you win a contract. At the same time, you won’t take to binge drinking when you lose one. You remain indifferent to the flow of projects – that’s the life of an average freelancer. We’ll learn to live with it.
The question is: Are you working towards such a mindset?
If there’s a flow, you’ve almost arrived
The good news is that if you’ve arrived at a stage where you see projects coming in and going out, it means that you are doing many things right: Your marketing efforts are pumped up, you are in business, and you are at an advanced stage where you are able to choose and reject projects. Instead of giving too much thought to “Why” projects come and go, you’d be better off to accept the flow of projects and focus on getting more, managing the projects you have, and keeping in touch the clients who no longer do business with you.
If the flow of projects doesn’t crush you, it’ll help you grow
You are a changed person by the time you get around to “letting go” of the anxiety that comes with this rapid influx and outflow of projects and opportunities. Only two things happen at this stage: you’ll be crushed with distress and loss of self-confidence or you’ll rise from the ashes – more learned, experienced, and wiser. If you emerge as I expect you’ll, that Zen state I mentioned earlier is next up.
That flow is good. Projects that come will go. Accept it. Work on it. Play with it. Make it happen.
How do you handle this project flow? As fellow freelancers would you like to share your experience?