I recently received a box full of books. They weren't ordinary books, though-they were the first copies of my new book. After the package arrived I eagerly ripped through layers of packing tape, and I first glimpsed publication. I was in shock-I had written a book.
It's the oddest feeling when something you've been working towards finally comes to fruition. For me, I had read and revised my own words for so long, so seeing it in its final form seemed surreal. Success can be surreal like that.
It got me thinking about victories. So often on this website, freelancer talk about struggling to get clients, having problems completing projects or trying to make sure they get paid. Seldom do we talk about success. When success happens to us, sometimes we aren't sure how to embrace it because we've been struggling for so long. Or we overlook our achievements.
Many of us undermine the good things that happen in our lives. So it is vital to learn how to let the positive things really sink in and benefit us. Here are three tips to help you get the most out of your achievements!
Visualize your achievements. For me, holding my book was similar to the way that parents cuddle a newborn child. Soon after the book came, though, I put it down and moved on to other things I had to do during the day. But then I picked the book back up. Too often, we don't let the good stuff sink in-so I felt and touched and saw this book for what is was. I now look at it every day and keep it in a prominent place where I can see it and relive the good feelings each day. Did you create a website that a client loved? Display their thank-you note in your office. Set your browser to open up to their website so you can see what you created each time you open a browser. These are simple ways to be reminded constantly that you've done well.
Mention, don't brag. You may not want to talk up your accomplishments out of fear that others will think you're bragging. If you have this mindset, you probably aren't a bragger anyway. So go ahead and tell your friend that you've landed a big account. Tell your family members about all of the interesting magazine articles you've written. Tell them about your good news and listen to theirs. I would be careful of the way you talk to others in your industry, though. Only my close writing friends know that when I share good news I'm not boasting-others may not have the capacity to understand. But it's good to discuss your successes, and listen to others' accomplishments. It shows support and a sound relationship with someone that you can mention successes and not be jealous or vindictive. Find friends that support you and share the goodness.
Publicize your career bonuses. When you complete a project to a client's utmost satisfaction, this is the kind of thing that you should publicize. And remember that publicizing doesn't mean bragging: it's more about using a success as a stepping stone toward more accomplishments. Use a knockout clip in your portfolio. Send out a press release announcing your client's new website that you've built. These are simple things to do that will help you leverage one success into more achievements. I always add links of websites I've written, for example, to my online portfolio. The more clips the better. In a similar sense, it's okay to mention that you're an "award-winning" professional if you've won an award in your industry. It's not boasting-it's marketing your professional status and all of us need to celebrate the good.
Good happens. Let's all try focusing on the good things, too. Securing a new client, creating a masterpiece...these are things that you should celebrate in your own way. And if you're lucky enough to have a support system, you can raise a glass to yourself every once in a while.
Posted at FreelanceSwitch.com by Kristen Fischer. Image by Hamed Saber.