As a consultant/contractor for organizations, I’ve created a platform for dedicating my skills to organizations who need to get their work done. I’m still in the start-up phase and thus am always seeking the tools I need for success.
Harvard Business Review recently published this wonderful summary of the tools needed to be successful. Their conclusion, ”people in the gig economy must pursue a different kind of success — one that comes from finding a balance between predictability and possibility, between viability (the promise of continued work) and vitality (feeling present, authentic, and alive in one’s work).” Those that were successful in this dynamic realm held four connections to ensure they stayed open on the journey.
Having a space to work is critical. Sure, you can work anywhere but having a space where you can retreat and create is an important tool. These spaces can be multifaceted. As an example, I have a desk in a shared space but I cover it with a cloth when I am not working. When I pull off the cloth, it is a physical cue that I am ready to embark on projects. Coffee shops and the library in my community fill a specific purpose based on their attributes.
Keeping to a schedule will make you more productive and focused on the tasks at hand. I live by my “to do” list. I can jot down tasks as they occur to me and refer back to it when my schedule allows for it. I’m religious about using the earlier hours of the morning for my own creative work and then dedicating afternoons to the business functions that don’t require a huge amount of mental bandwidth.
You may need to take some contracts that are just there to pay the bills, but staying true to your core purpose will be the juice that keeps you in the game for the long haul. Staying true to that passion and purpose will also allow you the confidence to bring in the work, be successful at that work, and therefore fuel the word of mouth networking that is so important for sustainability.
Networks, connections, relationships. As a solopreneur, connections like this fuel my being. Finding opportunities for meaningful and authentic conversations is the glue that holds me together through many of my hours in self-directed projects.
For those of us in the gig economy, ensuring that we have these four pillars in place will be the foundation on which we can build a successful life and enterprise.