Striking out on your own can be scary. Gone are the regular paychecks, the company health insurance and benefits, and the retirement plan. You may even find yourself having to defend your choice to your friends and loved ones.
Those of us who have taken the freelance plunge understand that you can’t put a price tag on the freedom and flexibility that come with freelancing. We also understand that as freelancers, our earning potential is limited only by our imagination, our ability to focus and hustle, and our willingness to say “Yes” to opportunities that come our way. New and challenging opportunities that we say “Yes” to can push us out of our comfort zones, and create space for us to grow into.
Last year, author Jon Acuff created the Yes Manifesto, a rundown of reasons you should follow your dream and create your own life. In it, he acknowledges that yes, it will be scary and risky and yes, there will be fear. You’ll want to quit, there will be failure, and you’ll not know exactly where you’re going.
New and challenging opportunities we say “Yes” to can push us out of our comfort zone and create space for us to grow into.
He also reminds us that we are capable than more than we think and that if we don’t embrace opportunity, we’ll regret it. At the heart of doing work you love is saying “Yes” over and over again. As Acuff says, “[F]or those who dare to be more than ordinary, the answer is yes.”
Guy Kawasaki, the author, speaker, former Apple evangelist, current Canva evangelist, and all-around nice-guy/marketing guru offered the same advice last year when he told an audience in Santa Cruz to default to yes. As he explained, most people default to no when asked to do something, suspicious that they’ll be taken advantage of. But in his vast experience, the benefits of defaulting to yes far exceed the potential downside of being taken advantage of.
Kawasaki’s advice to default to yes is a reminder of the potential that lies behind new opportunities and new challenges—the wisdom of pushing yourself to move beyond your comfort zone and personal expectations.
In July, I’m saying “Yes” to giving presentations and workshops, “Yes” to taking on some new writing challenges, and “Yes” to a deeper commitment to my own projects.
What will you say “Yes” to this month?
Photo: Noel Pennington (CC-BY-20)