This year is one of mastery and turning pro for me. As part of that endeavor, I applied to the altMBA course later this summer. Seth recommends that freelancers first take Freelancer Course on Udemy, which is a course for freelancers who want to move up.
As part of that course, I will be publishing my answers to the exercises in the course here on the blog. Talk about getting vulnerable!
What do you want to do? (Not your job, but your work, now, tomorrow and in the future.)*
*If you have trouble answering this, you’re going to have trouble moving up, because you’ve abdicated your dream to whomever walks in the door next.
In two words: Empower females.
Who do you want to change, and how do you want to change them?
I want to empower young females to not be held back by their upbringing, by what they think is possible, by the glass ceiling, by gender biases, by their own belief systems, by popular culture. I want to do this through writing books, activism, joining and supporting causes I believe in. I might even want to partner with a non-profit that aligns with my vision or even start a non-profit if I don’t find one that I’m looking for (OMG)!
How much risk? (from 1 [a little] to 10 [bet everything]), how much are you willing to make the change you seek?
Currently, I’m at a 6-7. I am not willing to bet everything on making the change I seek because I feel the internal pressure to be the breadwinner for my family. Until I see the path to blend my core competencies, make a good income while making the change I seek, I am not willing to put it all on the line. That would be foolhardy and selfish.
How much work are you willing to do to get there? Be specific about the tradeoffs.
I am willing to put in time before/after work and on weekends to get there. I am willing to leave my comfort zone to get there. I am willing to learn new ways of working to optimize what I’m doing. I am willing to put in my 10,000 hours to get there. I am willing to be patient with myself and my family responsibilities while doing everything I can to get there. I am willing to get up earlier and time block two hours daily to get there.
I am not willing to cut my income beyond what is comfortable for my family. I am not willing to go into debt. I am not willing to sacrifice my health, sleep or fitness to get there more quickly.
Does this project matter enough for the risk and effort you’re putting into it?
Yes, it does. I don’t feel like I see the exact pathway I need to take to make it happen, yet. I feel like there is some serious career capital I need to build before I go down this path. I feel like there are some people I must network with before getting to that point. I need a clearer vision of what “this project” really will be in the world.
Once I get that vision and clarity, I will be ready to put everything I have behind it to make it a reality.
Is it possible—has anyone with your resources ever pulled something off like this?
Yes, a lot of other women and men have done this. Because I have a background in social media, marketing and advertising, I can channel those resources into building/promoting a great non-profit geared towards empowering women. I have an interesting background of growing up in a religious cult and twenty years of dogma, which can be channeled into my non-profit’s brand. I have worked in and with several non-profits growing up and in early adulthood. I also enjoy being on camera and connecting with other passionate people in real life.
What do people buy when they buy something from me (right now)?
They are buying me, my expertise, my oversight, my time, my personality.
Leave out the easy, repetitive, generic stuff...what are you doing that’s difficult?
I understand the LinkedIn and Twitter landscapes from both a prospect and client perspective. I have my finger on the pulse of what works and what doesn’t. I understand the results many B2B companies hope to get from LinkedIn, Twitter and social selling. I can adjust strategies and tactics based on this knowledge. I have built effective systems to identify opportunities. I know how to get a community engaged in a LinkedIn group. I have a knack for messaging and making prospects and SMEs feel valued.
What are (at least) 10 things you deliver to your clients?
- I never miss a deadline.
- I stay up-to-date on industry changes.
- I always provide positive interactions.
- I follow up on all tasks.
- I search for ways to improve efficiency.
- I never waste my client’s time.
- I troubleshoot problems on my own, as much as possible.
- I excel at communication.
- I am easy to work with.
- I take a proactive approach to getting things done.
- I am always looking for ways to improve the quality of work.
- I am an incessant learner.
- I am able to translate “what they want” into measurable deliverables.
Compared to others who do what you do, rank yourself on: reputation, knowledge, expertise, tools, handiness.
Reputation: I still need to build my reputation in my field, though I do feel I am establishing a great reputation with my clients and connections on LinkedIn. I would rank myself in the 50% range.
Knowledge: I am a quick learner and am able to pick up on the knowledge needed to do my job well. I would rank myself in the top 20%.
Expertise: I am excellent at what I do, and my clients know it. When I'm working in my zone of genius, nothing can stop me from producing excellent work. I would rank myself in the top 10%.
Tools: I could benefit from improving and investing in the tools I use to do my work. I have chosen to go the thrifty route, but it's time to up my game to improve efficiency and the quality of work I produce. I would rank myself in the 50% range.
Handiness: Yes, I'm pretty darn handy. I can do what is asked of me by clients without batting an eyelash. Even if there is no system already built, I can figure it out and build one that works well. I would rank myself in the top 20%.
What will you invest in developing?
Investing in my tools is one of the areas where I could definitely benefit, and hiring a VA to help with less strategic work would free me up to improve my expertise. Since I have already built the systems, I should not waste time managing the systems. It's time to level up and take on the next challenge.
Building my reputation is also an area that could be improved dramatically. I need to start focusing on thought leadership and demonstrating expertise publicly, rather than being heads down with my work on a daily basis. Though it's easier for me to be heads down, it is not serving my personal brand.
If you could choose an archetype or extreme (edgecraft), what do you want your brand or work to be known for?
List five ways you could express these attributes...
- By demonstrating my expertise through online content, I can foster a sense of trust and confidence in my clients and prospective clients.
- By investing in my professional development, I can become more knowledgeable about the craft.
- By honing my productivity system to manage myself, tasks and projects, I can become even more organized and dependable when it comes to meeting expectations and deadlines.
- Through moving outside my comfort zone to try new approaches/strategies, I can create more powerful and complex strategies and systems for clients.
- By allowing my work to express my passion for the craft, I can build a legacy around what I do best and how this helps people achieve their goals through our working relationship.