Focus And Discipline: The Only Recipe To Run a Successful Freelance Business


When it comes to blog posts about “what you need to be a successful entrepreneur/freelancer/remote worker/creative,” they all say the same thing: Creativity and motivation.

Being self-motivated and creative is imperative to run a successful freelance business. If you don’t have these two things, you shouldn’t even bother pursuing your goals. Just acquire a mind-numbing job, take your two weeks of vacation every year, and hope you don’t get fired.

This is a pile of advice rubbish.

Anyone can motivate themselves to accomplish stuff they enjoy. Give me a taste-testing cookies job, and you can bet I won’t need any outside motivation! But when it’s time to rank those cookies, organize every piece of information, and create a blog about it, I’m going to need an extra drive.

Creativity is essential, particularly if you’re a writer, designer, or artist. However, if you don’t believe you’re creative, it’s not a deal-breaker for pursuing a dream job. For starters, practically anything can be outsourced. Creativity is teachable. This isn’t a show-stopper, and neither is it the most significant factor in your success. In fact, I know many people who have more creativity than they know what to do with but aren’t “successful.” It’s not because they’re bad; they simply lack the two REAL elements needed to thrive in a freelance business.

Focus and discipline

In the productivity game, motivation and creativity get all the attention. And they’re quite important! However, without focus and discipline, they hold no real meaning.

Finishing projects will take a long time if you just work when you’re motivated. And we all know that motivation wanes when it comes to completing the tiresome milestones of a project, such as putting up sales automation systems or a payment gateway. Your creativity won’t get you through this either (unless you count coming up with creative ways to reward yourself for finishing mundane tasks).

More essential than creativity and drive is creating an environment in which you can get things done without waiting for those perfect times when lightning strikes and you experience a burst of imagination to start a project.

Working on projects requires focus and discipline, even when you don’t feel like it. Even when it comes to the bits that aren’t so enjoyable; Even if you are tempted by something flashy and new.

What’s so special about focus?

As creatives, we frequently have more than one great project idea on the go at any given time. We have notebooks filled with our most creative ideas! However, if we try to work on more than one project at a time, or if we jump from idea to idea, our projects will never see the light of day. Half-baked projects that no one sees will get you nowhere.

Nothing is a priority when everything is a priority. Your top priority must be number one. Make that one project your bête noire until it’s finished. Focus on it, get those milestones done, and deliver like a boss. When it’s finalized, move to your next awesome idea.

The ability to focus on one task at a time is extremely valuable. The world isn’t short on distractions and notifications competing for your attention. However, if you can tune out those distractions for a moment and focus on the task at hand, you will be able to get more done in less time. You’ll give your projects the attention they require to succeed. And you’ll be delivering one great project after the other.

What’s so special about discipline?

We wouldn’t get anything done if we only worked when we felt like it. Even if you love your job/business, there are always aspects of freelancing that you despise and never want to do.

Have you ever worked on a huge launch and laid out your entire strategy, and you were ecstatic and determined to get started? But then, somewhere along the way, your drive began to wane around the time you needed to figure out something technical, so you took a couple of days off to recharge. Then, while you’re waiting for a surge of motivation, you’re way behind schedule, you’ve eaten your weight in popcorn, and you’ve watched three seasons of The Office.

Using motivation to help us through dull, monotonous, or just plain difficult tasks is not a boss move. Bosses rely on discipline to get things done.

Discipline is about developing a strategy to complete the work and then following through! It’s about keeping promises, even when you don’t want to. Discipline is what motivates you to watch that tedious tech video setup when you’d rather eat nachos. Being disciplined will help you complete the gritty parts of the job so that you may get your projects out to the public and expand your freelance business.

The most successful entrepreneurs rely on discipline, not motivation, to do the tasks that move their company forward. It’s how people write books, create online courses, and record full seasons of podcasts when they’d rather watch Netflix.

Q/A Session: Do you wait for creativity or motivation to strike, or do you use focus and discipline to move your freelance business forward? Let me know in the comments section.

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Hey there!

I’m Imad, the content creator and online marketing strategist behind The Guemmah Freelance Hub. My mission is to help more freelancers grow themselves, their business, and their profits.

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