Diane Hall - The Frazzled Freelancer

Freelancer, Entrepreneur and mother of two...

Freelancers: do you find gender makes a difference?

Following on from my post last week, on whether requests to collaborate are all they’re cracked up to be, I’ve been given some great advice:

Kiss frogs

Once upon a time…..no, sorry, wrong audience…many kind people told me that uneventful collaboration meetings happened all the time – the ‘kissing frogs’ phrase cropping up a few times.

Just as we apply the same concept to finding a great personal relationship, it seems as if ‘romancing’ business colleagues until we find the perfect ‘partner’ is perfectly normal.

My wretched innocence

I think my naivety shows in buckets sometimes and this is one occasion which definitely highlighted, to me anyway, that I’m at the beginning of my freelancing journey. The plethora of “We should meet/let’s collaborate/our businesses could overlap/we could help each other” requests I’d been receiving of late seemed to be spiralling, hence the knee-jerk post last week.

However, I’m pleased to say that I’ve had two meetings this week – both of which showed promising collaboration when face-to-face and this seems evident also in our following-up too. The ladies in these meetings were both beautiful princesses as opposed to slimy amphibians.

Are guys’ appointments better than mothers’ meetings?

I don’t believe this was a gender issue, I think it’s just coincidence that it’s taken two females to boost my optimism after numerous failed meetings with men. Not that I want to get in a gender-bashing argument here (I do have an opinion on men and women in business but I’d never share it); perhaps other freelancers prefer dealing with one sex or the other. Do you find gender makes a difference?

Maybe I’ve been too expectant in the past – and I should take heed from Rapunzel to let down my hair. Should I act on each collaboration request and see it as, at the very least, an enjoyable business meeting or new networking contact that may not be of immediate joint gain, but with the possibility it may lead to a lasting, mutually beneficial relationship?

Or is that a fairytale?

I’d be interested to know your thoughts – after all, if kissing frogs is what one has to do in business to ever progress, I’ll go fetch my lip-balm.

You could argue that what one freelancer considers a beneficial meeting may not be what the next one perceives as any value. I consider a beneficial meeting one that makes clear how the both of us can help each other – as opposed to the recent ones I’ve experienced where I felt it was all take, take, take….on their part.

Take a few magic beans…

After all, Jack grew a huge beanstalk from a handful of magic beans. Everything has to start somewhere – perhaps Marks felt he was kissing another frog when he first came across Spencer, or maybe Dolce just saw Gabbana as just another contact.

Without meeting people – whether online or face-to-face – I doubt I would even get the chance to find out if a new contact is a frog or a prince. It’s all very well saying it’s easier to get business from your existing clients and pool of contacts, but it’s a very risky game if we never come across new connections.

I’ve learnt the lesson of this fairytale – that you never know, with each new contact, just what will come of your connection.

So….bring on the frogs!!

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Written by Editor on February 11, 2011 and filed in Frazzled Freelancer, Freelancers, News, Opinion , , ,

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