Just like Little Bunny Foo-foo, one day you can be bopping field mice and taking names on your business and the next, the well runs dry. Pesky Good Fairy.
When I was trying to get started digging up freelance work, I was reading everything I could get my hands on. I was blogging all the time. I was tweeting like a madman.
But then a few projects came along. Suddenly I was neck-deep in work. It was all I could do to get things done on time. Everything non-essential took a backseat. Things like reading and blogging and tweeting.
But then, something unfortunate happened. In focussing so hard on the here and now, I forgot for a few minutes that blogging and tweeting and sharing what I know were what got me that work in the first place. And I didn’t realize that by letting those things drop, I was setting myself up to be out of projects when my current projects were complete.
Creating and sustaining a business is easier than ever. Ubiquitous tools that used to be scarce. Social media connecting you to people you never would have had access to before. And lots and lots of generous folks with lots of experience who are giving advice away for free.
The problem is that those same resources are available to everyone.
The advantages you have today that make you so special to your clients may very well be the norm or even basic expectations tomorrow. What are you doing to make sure you maintain that stellar headstart you have now?
It’s easy to forget to keep yourself sharp. And the best way I know to do that is to constantly be focussed on consuming new ideas, books, blogs, podcasts, magazines, and presentations. And to then find ways to share those ideas with the people around you and be part of the conversation.
It’s great to read and consume and create generously when you don’t have anything else to do. But it’s perhaps even more important to make time for those things when you don’t have time. Because if you let it go for too many days in a row, you may end up with more free time to catch up on it than you want.
Don’t be like Foo-foo. Heed the warning before it’s too late.