Creating a Roadmap for Success
Some of us are happy to float along and roll with the punches, but others of us need to have a clearer roadmap for how to get from A to B
If you are looking to build any kind of freelance business, you need to get comfortable with being uncomfortable.
You will likely not have everything figured out. And you do not have to have everything figured out and perfect before you get started.
However, the process can often go a whole lot smoother (and quicker) if you create a roadmap to go from point A to B.
Get focused and get some outside perspective
In the last post, Maria talked about being super focused on your business to create more freedom. Sometimes, this is easier said than done.
When Maria and I first came up with the idea for Write & Proper, we felt a little stuck - like we were spinning our wheels in the mud. We had no trouble thinking of things to do, but we couldn’t figure out what the right thing was to do right now.
So how did we get unstuck? Serendipitously, we met someone at a live conference who ended up being a fantastic business coach. He helped to massively shovel away all of the noise and distraction that we had let creep in. He simply had us focus on 1 or 2 steps each week to move the business forward. It worked, and within a few short months, we launched W&P.
You’d be shocked at the impact that some outside clarity and perspective can bring.
Now that we offer the same coaching to other freelance medical writers who are trying to build their businesses, we see how fast they progress - once they’re given a clear roadmap and are focused on only taking the next step in their journey.
Here are two things that our experience with coaching has taught us and that you can do immediately to move yourself forward, too.
Get clear on your end goal
Alice, “Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?”
The Cheshire Cat, “That depends a good deal on where you want to get to.”
Alice, “I don’t much care where.”
The Cheshire Cat, “Then it doesn’t matter which way you go.”
- Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland
No, this is not some strange literary metaphor. But the Cheshire Cat is right, it doesn’t matter which way you go if you don’t care where you are going.
Do you know where you are going in your business? You have to start with the destination in mind. If you’re not clear on that, then your path is going to be a jumbled mess.
Unbelievably, we are in the last quarter of 2019. What can you accomplish before the end of the year? A LOT - if you have a clear plan for where you wan to go.
Do you want to…
...gain new clients?
...learn a new skill?
...hit a certain income goal?
There’s still time. Stay focused and map out where you want to go. Be clear on your end goal (and nothing brings clarity like using numbers - a revenue goal or a goal for the number of new clients you’d like to get in 90 days). Then work backward from that. And once you know what you want, the path can suddenly become ultra-clear and you’ll see the steps needed to get there.
Use just-in-time learning vs just-in-case learning
This is not a new concept, and many others have talked about it extensively. In a nutshell, just-in-time learning is geared toward learning on the spot and immediately as you need it to make progress, instead of learning with the slim hope that you might need that information in the future.
Our business only grows and gains momentum when we DO things - not when we simply learn new things that we don’t apply. Just-in-time learning reinforces this important truth by always forcing us to ask two questions: “what is the next thing I need to do?” and “what do I need to learn in order to do that next thing?”
One of the ways that you can use just-in-time learning is by focusing on improving a single skill. This could be learning how to create a better LinkedIn profile, or how to write a better About page on your website, or how to create a specific type of deliverable.
Whatever skill you choose to focus on, use it as a springboard for making some progress.
Looking to diversify your skillset? We’re opening enrollment again soon for How to Write Needs Assessments Like a Pro. You’ll learn all you need to know to write these documents effectively and how to break into this lucrative segment of freelance medical writing.