To become a successful freelance writer, you need to be willing to take some risks.
That’s not to say that you should be reckless!
But you need to be willing to take calculated risks — risks that look promising, but there’s no guarantee.
For example, you might need to leave your steady-paying job to start your own business.
Or fire a less-than-desirable client.
Or raise your prices.
Or go after higher-quality clients.
Or change your business model.
But what if you’re highly risk adverse? Can you train yourself to become more accepting of risk?
Why Some People Struggle with Risk
Before we dig into that question, it helps to understand why many of us are risk adverse.
A lot of times, it comes down to being perfectionists.
When you’re a perfectionist, it’s hard to take a risk because it increases your odds of failure — at least in the short term.
You need to be okay with failing sometimes if you’re going to allow yourself to take some risks.
Think about actors, as an example.
When they bring a character to life, actors will try all kinds of things, and take all kinds of risks — most of which don’t work out.
For them, however, it’s all part of the process.
But as business people, many of us remain uncomfortable with failure. We see failure as embarrassing or a sign of weakness.
We want to succeed. And we want to do things perfectly!
Yet in business, you don’t have to be perfect! Most of the time, you just have to be good enough. So it’s important to give yourself the freedom to experiment!
Some things won’t work out. But some things will.
And when things work out … they can take your business to the next level.
Need more evidence of the power of risk taking?
Think about the big tech companies that have become household names.
Apple, Amazon, Netflix, PayPal, Google, Facebook, etc. all got where they are now by taking action before they were ready.
Pretty much every tech success story you’ve ever heard of is the result of what’s referred to as “rapid prototyping.” It’s the approach I often capture with the phrase “Ready, Fire, Aim!”
All of these companies took small, incremental risks to test new ideas, concepts and products. And they continue to iterate their way to success.
Freelance writers can (and often should!) use the same approach.
How to Become More Risk Tolerant
So how can you train yourself to become more risk tolerant?
Risk taking is like a muscle. You more you work it, the stronger it will get.
Your comfort zone is dynamic. When you do something scary, you don’t remain scared of it. Every time you step out of your comfort zone, your comfort zone gets bigger.
And interestingly, your ability to take risks in one part of your life can spill over into other parts of your life.
So if you can take risks in your personal life (i.e. join a gym, travel to a new country), you’re better able to take risks in your business life (e.g. start a freelance writing business, go after better-quality clients).
And vice versa.
Start with Small Steps
The trick to smart risk taking is to start slow.
Just like when lifting weights at the gym, you don’t start with the heaviest weight possible.
You start with a small weight and work your way up.
So when it comes to working your risk-taking muscle, take smaller (safer) steps.
Small steps are easier to quantify and less scary. With each step you take, you feel more comfortable. And you start to see the path forward.
What could these small steps look like?
Well, maybe you launch your freelance writing business on the side before you quit your day job. Take on one or two clients and see how it goes.
Or maybe you raise your fees with your next new prospect and see how that’s received.
Or maybe you go after higher-quality clients while keeping a few “lower quality” clients in the fold—at least for now.
Or maybe you test out a business model with a new client instead of doing a complete business revamp.
Some of these risks will pan out. Some won’t.
And that’s okay.
Step Out of Your Comfort Zone!
So if there’s something you’ve been thinking of trying in your business — but have been too scared to do — think about how you can try it in smaller increments.
The results may not be perfect. But they’ll be informative.
And they just might take your business to a whole new level.
By the way … whenever you’re ready, here are 4 ways I can help you grow your freelance business:
1. Grab a free copy of my new book for writers who are NEW to freelancing.
It’s called “The 3 Magic Levers: How to Get Your Writing Business Off the Ground and Land Your First Paying Client.” — Click Here
2. Download a free copy of my book for ESTABLISHED writers/copywriters.
You’ll discover how to quickly and predictably reawaken dead leads, generate new client opportunities and convert not-yet-ready prospects into freelance writing clients. — Click Here
3. Join our “Get Better Clients Academy”
You’ll get a personalized action plan based on where you are today in your business. Plus all the tools, scripts, checklists, cheat sheets and templates you’ll need to escape feast-or-famine … grow your income … and land clients who love and respect you. — Click Here
4. Get your website DONE!
If you’ve been struggling to get your website done … or if you’re not happy with what you’ve got today… let my team and me build you a beautiful website for your writing business. We’ll do all the hard work! Email me at email@example.com … put “WEBSITE” in the subject line … and I’ll reply with the details.