The Alchemist's Lair
Thoughts on writing, language, life as a freelancer,
and what comes to mind.
and what comes to mind.
When it comes to business tips and strategies, everybody looks up to 'big names' and 'influencers' ... but the fundamentals lie in common sense rather than schoolbooks.
#1 No lies
"Why are you so late for dinner, kid?"
"Sorry grandma. I was at Paul's and just forgot about the time"
You smiled and hugged her. Grandma nodded, and you thought you got away with your tiny 'white lie'. Two days later, granny met Paul's mother at the street market and found out you were playing in the woods instead.
No candy bars, and no afternoon walks, for a week.
Doing business online is like managing a stall in a huge street market.
Spotting a lie is easier than you think.
If you fake your background and experience, sooner or later you'll be caught. And your customers will even more upset than grandma was that day. All in all, it's a matter of trust - and transparency is key in all business settings.
#2 Keep your promises
"You said you would have walked the dog today, but you didn't.
Go straight to bed, no TV tonight!"
All of those affected by these twisted kinds of Biblical punishments should have learned the drawbacks of breaking a promise ... but as we grow older, we tend to forget all summer nights we spent whining "it's not fair" and "I will never talk to her any more, she's sooooo mean!".
Solid business relationships start with honesty. From your website copy to estimates and e-mail communication, you should never make promises you can't keep.
If you can't handle a request properly, refer the prospect to a trusted professional.
If the customer asks for a quick turnaround you can't cater for, suggest an alternative.
Offer professionalism and a positive user experience, and everything will be fine.
#3 Easy does it
Remember your very first bike? All the excitement, spirit of adventure ...
... and bleeding knees three minutes later?
"Easy does it, kid", grandma said.
But you were too excited to listen.
Managing a solo business is like riding a bike: you can't race if you can barely stand.
Take your time to learn the basics, and nurture your hard skills consistently.
Don't jump on the next social media train just because "everybody's doing it".
Forget about instant expertise, and focus on a solid progression of baby steps.
You'll be much more successful in the long run.
And grandma will be very, very proud of her kid.
Last update: 25/08/2016