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A freelance career in the creative arts
A freelance career in the creative arts

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2 Do I have what it takes?

Now you have your idea, the next question to ask yourself is – how do I know if this is the right time to start a business or develop my idea further?

Person climbing on an indoor climbing wall.

Below are five signs or skills to look for that show you have what it takes to be your own boss (based on Knowles, 2020).

  1. You have mastered a professional approach – you have the confidence and motivation to market yourself from day one. Many think that charging a reduced rate or offering to work for free is what’s required to build a client base, but remember that the work you’re doing will still add value to your client’s business or project and you should be compensated for this.

  2. You’ve found a unique selling point – you don’t have to be an entrepreneur with a ground-breaking idea, just be clear about what you have to offer.

  3. You’ve developed excellent organisational skills – by creating a long-term business plan, or a weekly to-do list, you'll have a clearer picture of where your business is heading.

  4. You can demonstrate resilience – starting your own business is a slow process, and you may encounter rejection from clients along the way which can be disheartening. Resilience is also important in enabling you to say yes to a project even if you are not 100% sure you can do it, trusting that you will learn and grow through each contract. Being able to push yourself to meet deadlines on days when it feels like a struggle is also an important way to demonstrate your resilience.

  5. You have the courage and confidence to build a client base – even if you don’t feel confident inside, being able to put on a confident mask will help you succeed in winning commissions and building your network. You’ll need the motivation, confidence and enthusiasm to be looking for potential opportunities at every turn when you’re starting out.

Later this week you’ll conduct a skills audit where you’ll consider the skills you have and the skills you need to develop further. Reflecting on the five signs or skills listed here, how are you doing so far?