[Updated Oct. 1, 2018]
Can we take a minute to recognize the struggle of the multifaceted entrepreneur? Versatile creatives and innovative business leaders eventually face the reality of one tough question – Which project or skill should I focus on? Some might argue that there is a difference between entrepreneurs and innovators – The entrepreneur being business-motivated and the innovator being idea-motivated. So what if you want to be both creative and business-focused? This is what I call an “eclectic entrepreneur.”
I have been freelancing full-time for nearly four years. Apart from marketing and monetizing, deciding which skills and projects to focus on has been my most difficult challenge. My background includes a variety of marketing skills including writing, photography, PR/communications, advertising (SEO), event planning, and brand development. In truth, I believe these are all necessary skills for the modern marketer, but after a few months of trying to do it all on my own, I discovered how much of a difference it would make in my personal and professional life if I focused on a few key services rather than casting a wide net.
Clear and Measurable Branding
My experiences have taught me how to recognize a variety of opportunities for businesses to broaden and maximize their advertising and engagement strategies. From PR/communications and events to social media and brand development, there are endless ways for a freelancer to serve their clients. For an independent freelancer, pitching so many services becomes more of a tongue twister than an elevator speech. I chose to focus on writing, photography, and brand consulting.
When I first started, I felt I had to take on every project that came my way but not every project or client was helping me achieve my goals. I was compromising my personal fulfillment and it was no one’s fault but my own. The freedom of being your own boss means you get to choose when and with whom you work. Instead of giving all of your energy to quantity, shift your attention to focus on quality. A quality versus quantity mentality yields a more manageable workload which is both more fulfilling and fruitful.
I recently asked a group of entrepreneurial friends what they would do every day if money didn’t exist and all said they would “travel” and/or “spend more time with loved ones”. There are few entrepreneurs because it’s a risky profession, but the beauty is we can make our work work for us. In everything, you reap what you sow.
“A business should be a tool to provide you with what you want for your life, whether that be money or time. You should not be a slave to your business, your business should work for you.”
– Summit Lawns Owner, and our friend, Ted Glaser