Freelance more happily with leadership skills

Freelance writers and editors typically believe they have nothing to gain from 6.12.15 Sidebarbusiness leadership courses. They view themselves as creatives, not as business people.

They couldn’t be more wrong. Besides writing and editing, productive freelancers also do marketing, customer service, billing and collections, and basic people management.

Leadership courses can make even a one-person business more effective in all of these areas. Here’s how:

They teach you about yourself. Rarely do leadership courses fail to do a self-examination of habits, attitudes, values, expectations and goals. The idea is that success is predicated on self-knowledge – you can’t reach for the stars if you don’t realize that you’ve tied up your own hands., and you can’t influence others if you can’t manage yourself.

They teach you how all the things in the self-analysis affect your relationships with other people, such as editors, photographers and designers.

They provide strategies for oiling the gears of business relationships, whether it’s nailing down the scope of an assignment with an editor or collecting an overdue check from an accounts payable department.

Leadership is about influence – not bossiness, but about influencing other people to deliver what you want or need. Leadership courses teach goal-setting and how to keep your eye on the goal rather than going ballistic when something doesn’t go according to your own timetable. They teach flexibility, removing the insistence that everyone work exactly alike. They also teach acceptance, so that if part of the reporting-writing-editing process isn’t perfect, a freak-out isn’t the perfect reaction to it.

In short, business leadership courses teach you how to approach the emotional and procedural aspects of your freelance business to achieve results without headaches, even if you are the CEO, CFO, secretary and office cleaner all rolled into one person.

Interested? Keep your eyes and ears open for business seminars and workshops in your area. Visit open-learning sites such as Coursera.org, where university instructors teach classes in business leadership from a variety of perspectives. All it may cost to develop your inner leader is a little time.

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