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STOP. COLLABORATE AND LISTEN.

Strong lyrics. Long forgotten memories of questionable fashion choices… these few words are pretty memorable to me.

But I reckon this is ALSO brilliant advice for any small business. It might not have been what Vanilla Ice had in mind (or maybe it was – who knows?), but I’m not going to let a silly little detail like that stop me.

So, let’s pick it apart and extract all that freelancing goodness! Ready? Follow me…

Firstly, STOP.

Blue stop sign with lizard on top.
(Photo by Jose Aragones on Unsplash)

It’s easy to get swept along in the ‘doing’, but it’s equally important to stop and get perspective from time to time, too.

This is so VERY important (but sometimes tricky) to remember. We all know in theory that we should take a step back and reflect, but reality often takes theory, screws it up in a ball and chucks it out of the window.

There are lots of reasons why it can be so hard to give your own business the attention it needs, though. And there are ways to change that.

COLLABORATE.

Colourful mural on wall, saying "TOGETHER".
(Photo by Adi Goldstein on Unsplash)

This is crucial, right? Don’t try to go it alone. Networks are everything.

Love it or hate it, networking is important for any freelance business. But it doesn’t have to mean early mornings and suits, 60-second pitches and awkward conversations. There’s an ever-growing number of less formal options out there. And don’t forget that targeted, meaningful time spent engaging with others on social media absolutely counts!

Wherever you find them, a network of other freelancers and small businesses are a massively valuable resource. Gather these people, value these people.

Yes, some of them might be in competition with you. But they’re also experiencing all the same things and can be a much-needed support when you need it (and you will need it), if you let them. You’ll find them in all sorts of places, from networking events or conferences to local coffee shops and Twitter chats. They’re worth their weight in gold.

And LISTEN

Neon sign reading "You are what you listen to".
(Photo by Mohammad Metri on Unsplash)

Listen to everyone – whether it’s your mum, your clients, your fellow businesses or your small business advisor.

You don’t have to agree with them or do what they suggest (unless they’re your bank manager or your client, perhaps), but listening will help you to grow and learn.

I’m a big believer that listening is a core skill for any successful freelancer (and for copywriters perhaps more than others) – but I won’t bore you with the detail here and now. You can bore yourself with that at your own convenience.

I think that’s enough Vanilla Ice advice for one day.

But if you need more of a fix, I’ll leave this right here for you. Enjoy.

Enjoyed this? Check out the rest of my blog.

Go on. You know you want to.

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