If you’re a freelancer or thinking of becoming one, you probably want to know what’s required to succeed. To be a successful freelancer, there are lots of important traits and characteristics you need, including some obvious ones like being organised and a great communicator. However, there are three top personal qualities or characteristics that stand out to me having freelanced for over a decade and helped many other people to become freelancers. So, here are the top three traits to become a successful freelancer…
#1 Independent initiative
For me, this is the most vital characteristic that anyone needs to become a successful freelancer. You need to be able to solve your own problems, seek out your own solutions, be self-disciplined, and motivate yourself to achieve—because nobody else is going to do it for you. This requires an independent spirit and a strong sense of initiative, because you can’t turn to your boss or a colleague for the answers. Every decision and action is yours to take.
#2 Patient perseverance
Freelancers need patience, because it takes time (sometimes months) to bag your first freelance job, build up feedback, get established, and become successful. Freelancing is not an overnight thing, but many people get fed up when they haven’t become a success at it within a few months. If freelancing is really the lifestyle you want, then you have to persevere at it and keep trying.
#3 Flexible risk-taking
To deal with the lack of stability and security in freelancing, you need to be comfortable taking a risk and being flexible—otherwise you’ll be tearing your hair out or constantly stressed. But risk-taking doesn’t mean throwing caution to the wind. Freelancers need to be flexible in terms of planning for times they can’t find work, having fall-back savings, and managing their hours around their workload without burning out or becoming isolated. It’s all about balance.
Bonus tip: the growth mindset
Do you have these three vital characteristics? If not, all is not lost. Because one of the most important parts of success generally is having a growth mindset, and this means being open to the possibility of changing and improving. When you have a growth mindset, you can identify your weaknesses and work on improving them, knowing that you can become better in these areas. So if you don’t have these three qualities yet, just work on building them.
Which personality traits and personal qualities have been most useful to you on your journey? Comment below or get in touch.