12 lessons for freelancers from the authors of REWORK
I just swallowed this book in a few days of my vacation! It contains valuable advice not only for people who are building their own products but for a broader audience of self-employed entrepreneurs. It is really a handbook, one can read it over and over again.
Here you can find a “mind-mapped” contents of the book for reference.
And below are my shore takedowns in context of building freelance translation business:
1. Planning is guessing
So true! I’m not making some New Year’s resolutions, I just define directions in which I want to work and evolve. Can you remember what you think two years ago about the future and how it turned out to be?
2. Why grow?
We don’t need to be ashamed that we are very small, in many cases 1-person businesses (and don’t have to emulate big respected company), small is actually good, it gives you flexibility and more personal approach.
3. Workaholism is a crime for freelancer, who can know it better than you, who learn things from bitter experience. Prioritize and cut off or outsource unnecessary tasks that take so much of your valuable time.
4. Make a dent in the universe
Don’t be just a replaceable person in the translation chain, provide a value to you clients. Don’t sit and wait for the change – be the change.
“If you’re going to do something, do something that matters.”
As my favorite Gary Vaynerchuk said: “There is no REASON in 2012 to do things you hate. None. NO REASON TO DO WHAT YOU HATE. Promise me you won’t. Because trust me, you can lose just as much money being happy as hell. ;)”
BTW, a great talk, highly recommended to watch.
5. No time is no excuse
As you know there is never a perfect time, because perfect time is NOW.
6. Less mass
Optimize your processes and workflow. I discovered the power of the cloud: I use Dropbox for sharing and collaborating on files, Freedcamp for time tracking and managing projects, Asana for tasks management, PhraseExpress, TextExpander (for Mac) for frequently used text snippets etc.
7. Making the call is making progress
Don’t postpone. If you started checking email, answer messages right away.
If you’re not sure about some term while translating, don’t put it off, ask the client, PM etc.
Then your brain won’t have to store everything and will be more open for new ideas.
8. Sell your by-products
You can share your experience in a book. You can organize trainings, webinars.
Besides, translators can consider related services that are currently in need, like community management, copyrighting, localization testing, social media management to mention a few.
9. Interruption is the enemy of productivity
That’s why I try to do the most important tasks in the morning when everybody are sleeping and I try to disable all sources of interruptions, like IMs, Facebook, Twitter during daytime work.
10. Go to sleep
Dear friends-freelancers, people really need sleep, believe me :) And money that can be earned instead of sleeping is not worth of it in the end.
Besides, when you cut your sleeping time, your brain become damaged, you get more stubborn and your creativity level is down.
11. Long lists don’t get done
That’s where procrastination and all other no-accomplishment things appear. Break down long lists into a small ones and what is most importantly – prioritize tasks. I’m using Wunderlist to get my tasks sorted and scheduled. I’m reviewing tasks list in the evening and in the morning to see the overall progress and to remember my priorities.
12. Build an audience
This can be applied in terms of networking and marketing.
If you want your clients to knock on your doors, make yourself visible. Twitter and LinkedIn profiles, as well as professional blog with good and regular content, are the “must have”!
So those were my small conclusions after reading Rework. Please share your thoughts on the issues raised and be sure to grab a copy of Rework and dive into reading :)