Diane Hall - The Frazzled Freelancer

Freelancer, Entrepreneur and mother of two...

Sssh! Listen! A freelance opportunity is calling….

Sometimes, freelance job opportunities just present themselves.  They can come from nowhere – or, they can pop up from seeds you left months, perhaps even years, ago.

It came out of nowhere….

 I had a very interesting conversation this week with a contact I haven’t spoken to since September last year.  At that time, we’d discussed possible collaboration, but as I was busy launching Clerical and Content, and they had a whole estate to look after, possibilities were probed but they remained as just conversation.

I must admit, I’d forgotten all about our chat and the collaboration we’d discussed, so it was a lovely surprise to have the seed of said plan lodged firmly back in my mind.

Which led me to thinking: freelancers truly have no idea where our next opportunity is coming from.  Sure, we devise marketing strategies and form business plans, but a chance meeting with anyone, anywhere could prove to be the rudder of our business, steering us into new waters.

It was under our noses all the time!

 I’ve heard of stories where business people have lived on the same street as their neighbours for decades and, after striking up a friendly conversation at a barbecue, realised they could collaborate or help each other on the most fantastic project – opportunities that until then, had literally been sat under their noses!

Freelancers go to staged networking events in order to meet like-minded business people and to promote their services.  There’s no question  that this type of circulating pays off handsomely for most, but chance meetings have also led lucky individuals to secure more business – even change the face of their business altogether.

In light of this, and before we all get the barbecues out and invite our neighbours round, perhaps we should just learn to listen more.  I’m sure we all ‘listen’ to what might seem mindless chat but it may take someone who’s particularly on the ball that day to pick up on a few choice words that otherwise, may have been ignored – words that can then be probed and pursued to see exactly where they’ll lead.

The most ordinary conversation – ever

 Take last week – I was chatting to the lady who cleans my office about nothing in particular when she started talking about stocks and shares.  I must admit that I’d ‘zoned out’ until she mentioned these words but she certainly had my full attention then.  I don’t know why, because I’m not a stockbroker, nor do I have anything to do with the FTSE, but, after probing this line of conversation further, it became clear my cleaner didn’t have to clean and could easily retire tomorrow.  If nothing else, it changed my perception of her (that sounds terrible, doesn’t it?!).

This conversation could have gone in any direction – she could have started talking about a relative who was starting a business and a chance to promote myself would have ensued.  That’s my point – you have no way of knowing, in most conversations with new (or even familiar) contacts, where the talk may turn.

Do we truly notice all the opportunities that come our way?  Or, under times of heavy workloads and personal worries, do they float right under our noses? 

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Written by Editor on May 16, 2011 and filed in Featured, Frazzled Freelancer, Freelancers, Opinion

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