Prince Harry and the psychology of sudden freelancing


Hi there! So, given recent news that Prince Harry has rage-quit his employer, the Royal Family, and decided to set up on his own as a freelancer, and given that I’ve been in something of a similar situation myself, I thought I’d share three bits of psychological advice for anybody embarking on a freelance career. So advice number one is work out what your value proposition is, because so far in your career you’ve probably been defined by what you do, like “shaking hands” or “cutting ribbons” or “unveiling plaques to open buildings”. This is fine when you were employed by somebody else, but when you’re trying to sell your services to people then you need to be a bit clearer on the value that you bring, rather than what you actually do. So, what problems do you solve? “I cheer people up, and make people feel special because I turn up in my fancy outfit, shake some hands and make people feel important”, that’s part of your value proposition, it’s not the actual cutting of ribbons or the shaking of hands that is important to your potential client. Number two is: do the math on the money. Sometimes when you find yourself unexpectedly on the freelance market, the context might be that you’ve been given a wodge of cash. Now on the face of it, that balance might seem okay, but when you start working things out and working against your living costs, how long you’ve got to make that money stretch out for, it can get a little bit concerning, and as time goes on, when your work is only starting to build up, you’re gonna worry quite a lot about the money coming in. So if you’ve done the math upfront, and you’ve worked out what your run rate is, how many months you can afford to survive on before the money gets too low, it’s actually quite a helpful thing to have in the back of your mind, because once the money does start coming in, even though you might not initially be meeting your costs, you’ll see your runway starting to stretch out, and you will feel much better about it. The third bit of advice is: keep busy. When you set out on your own, you put yourself out there, you let people know that you’re available, then tumbleweed, the phone is not going to start ringing immediately, and one super bit of advice that I got when I first started out was, instead of sitting there twiddling your thumbs, feeling bad, and waiting for the phone to ring, and waiting for that message to drop into your Inbox, you’ve still got loads of stuff to do, so just get on with it, just concentrate on doing the stuff that you know that you need to do: marketing, writing, blogging, talking, getting out, taking meetings, all of those kinds of things, those are the activities which will ultimately result in a steady and healthy pipeline of work for you as a freelancer, but it won’t work immediately, so you’ve just got to operate on blind faith, and plod along on those basics and those essentials until you get that pipeline of work flowing. So that’s it, hopefully Prince Harry will be well on the track to a self-sufficient financial situation for him and his young family, and if he ever gets to hear of these psychological tips hopefully they will help him. That’s it for me today, I’m Gareth and I will see you on the next video.

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