If you’re thinking of taking the dive into the pool of Gig work, begin by building a portfolio of projects that you completed, or even worked on, with your former employer. It will act as a confidence booster and help you remember how far you’ve come since your first project with the company. Chances are good that you’ve done a lot more than you give yourself credit for doing. This does not have to be a formal portfolio; a journal in a word processing document on your desktop will suffice. It won’t be shared with anyone else, except perhaps a business partner. It will be a place of retreat when you’re feeling discouraged, and a way to remind yourself of what you are capable of doing.
While not every idea and project will be a fortune builder, experience is everything. When starting a new business, it is important to keep pushing through the disappointments (and there will be some) and take notes of what brought success as well as what held you back. Keeping a new project journal is a great way to remind yourself of what worked and what didn’t. It can be filled in as you go, or as a review of each project at its end. Any notebook will do, so don’t get hung up on the format. Things to assess are: costs vs. return, logistics, contacts who were helpful/unhelpful, project timing (did you allow yourself enough time), challenges, and successes. Add tabs with the project title and/or date to each section for easy recall later. Having this resource will assist with creating proposals for similar projects and will remind you of how far you’ve come in your new venture.
Relationships are paramount when building your new business.
It can be very isolating going from working in a traditional office setting to a home office where the only other living being is your furry companion or a house plant. Start a "little black book" of contacts. Grab that stack of business cards that you inevitably have in your drawer and log them in. Writing (or typing if you're into digital formats) the contact info will help you to recall that person, how you met, and when you last spoke. Sometimes, the act of thinking about one contact for a few minutes will jog a memory that will spark a new partnership. Make notes on each contact including when you last spoke, what you spoke about, where you met, and any details about their business or personal life that stand out. Doing this will help with networking, which will be discussed in a future post.
When we jump into the deep end of this Gig Economy and begin working for ourselves, a lot of emotions and insecurities can pop up and get in our way. By taking stock of where you've been and what you've already accomplished, keeping track of current projects and details pertaining to both successes and failures, and taking the time to really recall contacts that may have untapped partnership potential, you'll be on your way to feeling confident and successful and ready to jump off the high dive!