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7 Signs You’re Ready for a Full-Time Freelance Career

7 Signs You’re Ready for a Full-Time Freelance Career

Let me guess: You have a steady day job and you are earning well, but something inside you says there’s more to work than the daily “nine-to-five” grind.

You heard about freelancing jobs and how it can replace your current income (or even surpass it). You thought, “Wow, wouldn’t that be great?”

So you went ahead started freelancing — part-time. You landed a client and you got paid for your first freelancing gig. It felt immensely satisfying — and you want to do it again.

And then you think: “What if I did that full-time?”

It’s an exciting concept: The image of you sipping a cup of coffee in the kitchen table while working on your laptop is more appealing than the daily commute to the office.

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You start to think about more reasons that freelancing might work for you. No demanding boss, no long hours, no dress code and certainly no need to leave the house. Most of all, you do the work that you love.

So are you ready to take the leap? Here are some ways to help you find out:

1. You have enough money in the bank

Your savings account is pretty decent, and it’s enough to last you six months to a year in case freelancing didn’t work. This is important even when your freelancing career starts to take off.

In a freelancer’s work life, it’s normal to have a feast-and-famine cycle. Certain times you will have loads of work, and other times there will be very little or no work at all.

Either way, a financial buffer is always a good thing.

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2. You have a few clients in the pipeline

When you leave your day job, your income stops. So if you already have clients that pay you for your freelance work, and you’re sure you can depend on them, it’s a safe situation to begin freelancing full-time.

If you have a few clients at the start, it will certainly make your first few months of freelancing less stressful.

3. You are extremely unhappy with your day job

You don’t just leave your job because you don’t like it. But if you’re at a point when you’ve lost motivation, stopped being productive and find yourself indifferent to your company’s goals, then you might be better off leaving.

Ask yourself if this feeling has something to do with wanting to start freelancing full-time, and the answer will most probably be a resounding “yes”.

4. The idea of freelancing excites you more than it scares you

If you feel excited and motivated to make freelancing your full-time career, then it may be what you need to do. You just have to do it.

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You know that it can be a risk, but it’s one you’re willing to take.

This is when you know you’re serious about doing something that you love: You have no problem leaving your comfort zone into the uncertainty that awaits — in the hopes of making your dreams come true.

5. You have years of experience in your field

As a new freelancer, you face tough competition with others who have been doing this for a long time. You might have a tough time landing clients at first.

One way to stand out is to show that you’re already an expert in your field or niche before you started freelancing. This acquired knowledge will set you apart and give you an edge, even without a full portfolio as a freelancer.

6. You know it’s not going to be easy

While you’re attracted to the convenience of working from home, you are aware of the hard work that comes with working on your own.

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You know that being a freelancer means running your own business. You have a plan in place to grow your business and raise your income to its full potential.

7. You have supportive family and friends

Freelancing demands a huge amount of your time. Having friends and family that respect and understand the nature of your work is essential to your success. Your personal life should not distract, but rather empower you to achieve your goals.

Being a full-time freelancer is not for everyone, and there is no need to rush when deciding if it’s for you. Take your time to consider the pros and cons. While it’s great to follow your dream, a practical approach can’t hurt.

Most importantly, only do it if it’s your passion — something you can imagine yourself doing for the rest of your professional life.

Featured photo credit: Eutah Mizushima via images.unsplash.com

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Last Updated on November 5, 2019

How to Use Visual Learning to Work More Effectively

How to Use Visual Learning to Work More Effectively

Knowledge is essential to become successful in life, your career and your business. Without learning new concepts and becoming proficient in our craft, we cannot excel in our chosen careers or archive knowledge to pass down to the next generation.

But content comes in various forms, and because how we learn influences how much we know, we need to talk about learning styles. This article will focus on how to utilize visual learning to boost your career or business.

The Importance of Knowing Your Learning Style

Knowing your learning style enables you to process new information to the best of your ability. Not only does it reduce your learning curve, you’re able to communicate these same concepts to others effectively.

But it all starts when you’re able to first identify the best way you learn.

As a college student, I soon figured out that taking online courses without visual aids or having an instructor in front of me led to poor retention of concepts.

Sure, I got good grades and performed excellently in my online exams. However. I discovered that I couldn’t maintain this performance level because I forgot 80 percent of the course content by the end of the semester.

There are several types of learning styles known to mankind. To give an idea of how visual learning stacks up against other learning styles, here’s a brief mention of some of the different types of learning styles we have.

The four most popular types of learning styles are:

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  • Visual learning style (what this article talks about).
  • Aural or auditory learning style (learning by listening to information presented).
  • Verbal or linguistic learning style (learning that involves speech and writing).
  • Tactile learning style (learning by touching and doing)

But for the purposes of this article, we will be focusing on using visual learning to boost your career or business.

How to Know If You’re a Visual Learner?

When it comes to boosting your career, business (or education), a visual learner is one who would most definitely choose shapes, images, symbols, or reading over auditory messages.

I’m talking about preferring to read an actual map when navigating to a new place over listening to verbal directions. I’m talking about discovering that you actually have trouble remembering what your manager said at the meeting because there were no graphs or illustrations to support the points raised.

Most people who struggle with learning probably aren’t leveraging their best learning styles. The earlier you identify how your learning style can boost your success, the less struggle you will encounter with processing new information throughout your career.

However, visual learning in particular CAN 10x your career or business whether it is your preferred learning style or not. And here’s why:

Several studies have arrived at the conclusion that the brain retains more information with the help of visual aids. In other words, images are directly processed by our long-term memory which helps us store information for longer periods of time.[1]

While some lessons can be performed orally, several concepts can only make sense if you have an image with an explanation of sequences (i.e learning about the human DNA).

Visual learning does use a different part of the brain and visual cues are processed by the part of the brain known as the occipital lobe.

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By engaging more parts of the brain during learning, you’re able to have a fuller understanding of concepts and facilitate better interaction with your immediate environment.

How to Use Visual Learning for Success

Here’re 4 ways to use visual learning to boost your career or business:

1. Bring back the to-do list. Then add shapes and colors to boost productivity.

We live in an age where computers have taken over virtually every aspect of productivity and most human functions. But written lists are making a comeback, and with an endless number of important tasks to complete, having a to-do list of tasks in order of importance can improve your productivity.

While coming up with a list is initially challenging, adding colors and shapes to written lists that you personally write and manage gives you an extra layer of assurance and boosts aids recall so that you actually get stuff done.

I have tried this technique in my work as a registered nurse and discovered that adding shapes and colors to to-do lists helps me delegate tasks, recognize where more work is needed, and makes it easy to cross off completed tasks at the end of the day.

2. Add graphs, charts and symbols to your reports.

Yes, it seems like more work cut out for you. However, graphs enable you monitor the heartbeat of your business.

Graphs and charts help you trend your finances, budget, and pretty much any data overtime. With the help of free and premium software available on the market, it has become easier to take plain data and in a matter of seconds, have relevant information displayed in different shapes and images.

As an entrepreneur, you can make predictions and allocate funds wisely when you’re able to see whether your efforts are rewarded. You can use colors and charts to delegate actions to members of your team and track performance at the same time.

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And when broken down into monthly, quarterly, bi-annual or annual goals, graphs and charts communicate what ordinary text cannot.

3. Effectively brainstorm with mind-mapping.

Mind-mapping is not new but I don’t think it’s been talked about as often as we do to-do lists.

With mind mapping, you’re organizing information accurately and drawing relationships between concepts and pieces from a whole.

Think of a mind map as a tree with several branches. For example, the tree can symbolize healthcare while each branch stands for nursing, medicine, laboratory science, and so on. When you look at nursing, you can further branch out into types of nursing; pediatric, women’s health, critical care, and so on.

It’s an interesting relationship; the more ideas you’re able to come up with for your chosen subject, the deeper you get and the stronger the association.

Mind maps really show you relationships between subjects and topics, and simplifies processes that might seem complicated at first glance. In a way, it is like a graphical representation of facts presented in a simple, visual format.

Mind mapping isn’t only limited to career professionals; business owners can benefit from mind mapping by organizing their online learning activities and breaking down complex tasks into simple actions so that you can accurately measure productivity.

4. Add video streaming to meetings.

What if you could double the productivity of your team members by video streaming your meetings or adding flash animation to your presentation at the same time?

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When you offer video as an alternative method of processing information to colleagues, there is a greater chance of retaining information because we recreate these stories into images in our minds.

For organizations that hold virtual meetings, it can also be an effective way to enhance performance during if people can see their colleagues in addition to flash animation or whatever form of video is provided during the meeting.

Is Visual Learning Better Than Other Learning Styles?

No, that is not the point. The goal here is to supplement your existing dominant learning style with visual learning so that you can experience a significant boost in how you process and use everyday information.

You might discover that understanding scientific concepts are much easier after incorporating visual learning or that you’re able to understand your organization’s value when projected on a visual screen with charts and graphs.

The overall goal is to always be learning and to continue to leverage visual learning style in your career and business.

More About Learning Styles

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

Reference

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