They say success begets success. Well it is true. I’ve been a full time freelance graphic designer for about a year and 7 months now, and while I am no millionaire…yet…I would deem myself successful. I’ve never advertised or marketed my services but I have gotten enough business to become financially self-sufficient off a skill I taught myself.
It started off really slow, one friend (Lawrence) who I did a lot work for free just because I loved his idea (Strictly Hiphop) and became a part of it. Another friend (Gadge) I met by chance and started doing some work for very cheap, and then another chance meeting. Every person I work with referring me to another friend, and on and on it went until now where I have days like today…
I just got a message from another friend telling me about a job being offered to me, a job where yet again, I get to decide the conditions of my employment, where I work from, how I bill, etc. I got another call almost exactly like this yesterday from a different client. I have at least 8 different friends/clients looking to involve me in some way or the other in their different hustles and businesses this year. The work chases me…and I only see it increasing.
Now this situation bring upon its own set of problems, like time management, energy consumption, design fatigue, dead ends, choosing what to say yes to and what to say no to, and so on. But admittedly this is a great problem to have. I’d rather have a problem of abundance than a problem of scarcity.
This post is not to brag or anything, I just want to highlight a few things that have proven to work in my experience. How do you get success to chase you?
1. Be undeniably good at what you do
I have harped on this point a lot of times on this blog. Do something well, do it extremely well, master your craft, be obsessed. Add value through your work.
2. Be nice to people
Not too nice, just nice enough. This is where the balance comes in. A lot of people you would do favors for, especially when you are coming up. But help people, aid their hustles, help them move forward and they will return the favor. Treat people well, be a pleasure to work with. Notice how I referred to most of my clients as friends? That’s because they are. Add value to people’s lives. You never know when they will come in handy to you.
3. Maintain and use weak links
A lot of business and opportunities come from people you are not really close with, friends of friends, that sort of thing. Maintain those kind of weak ties. Connect people together as well; people who you think would be good together as business connections or even personal relationships. Add value.
4. Do the work
Execute and deliver. Don’t slack, work hard, get things done.
Now I can really just sum this up in two words, ‘add value’…’be useful’. Add value in everyway you can and people and opportunities will flock to you.