Your Most Important AssetNovember 12, 2009
Business for free agents is a creative endeavor. It emanates from the source of our being. While it is prudent to develop marketing skills and business savvy, ultimately all that we do comes from deep within. In most of my writings I focus on business techniques because I have developed an enormous repertoire of them and they solve 99% of the issues that freelancers and small business owners face.
The result we are going after is success, and each of us defines it differently. For some it is extensive free time. For others it is discretion over when we work so we can spend daylight hours with family, friends, or hobbies. And for most it is sufficient income to have the lifestyle that pleases our soul and makes possible great strides and accomplishments for those we hold dear. But, where does all this come from?
Look at the artist as she sculpts clay. Our results are equivalent to her sculpture. Yes, I want fine and satisfying results and dedicate myself to achieving them. But, where does the satisfaction come from? The sculptor’s techniques are made visible by her implements and the strength and skill of her fingers as she molds the malleable earth. Yes, I must develop skill through practice and learning from others. But, why? Because deep down in my being I am called to create and I have confidence that my creations are worthy.
This is the source of art. This is where the many shapes and textures are imagined or discovered, and this is what ultimately drives me when the clay breaks, or the tools snap, or the finished product sits on display unadmired. This is what compels me to go back and try again, to persist until I create something that moves people, that draws them in, that makes my presence felt and stirs other souls as well as my own.
What are you doing to nurture the driving force, the élan vital that has brought you to this kind of creativity with all its attendant risk? What rewards do you give yourself for your valiant intents? Do not forget to renew yourself, to revitalize your energy!
I am rewarded by a good conversation that makes a difference, a client engagement that betters their situation, a successful launch, a flourishing business that shows the human spirit alive in the marketplace, and, yes, a sizable check in the mail that reminds me how much my clients value me. I take the time to drink it in, because each of these sustains my ongoing efforts, buoys me when times are challenging, and reminds me why I chose this path.
There is nothing like a well deserved vacation with plenty of money in the bank, a new gadget to play with, a gift for my wife or son paid with well-earned remuneration. At the same time, it is evidence of a deeper current, which I believe is artistry: creating a life worth living and work that reflects the value I am capable of creating with others. Your most important asset is your soul and its offspring, your attitude – honor them both.