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Saturday, August 29, 2020

When We Lose Our Heroes (Real or Imagined)

No doubt you care more about your mentor or other realistic figures than a fictional superhero but as we grow in our careers, you can never get enough inspiration.  Whether it be online, movies, or other media, there's something about inhaling good news that's invigorating.  That's how I felt when I left the theater after seeing Black Panther a couple of years ago.

I was still licking my months-old wound inflicted by a small business development center representative, who basically refused to do his job.  Everything out of his mouth was no, nope, never, negative, and nothing doing.  It was then I realized that bouncing back to freelancing after an illness wasn't going to be easy.


Before seeing the Marvel Comic blockbuster, I'd been a fan of Chadwick Boseman's work.  He brought a unique energy to his characters that I hadn't seen in a long time.  Even better, the man was about his craft.

In the past decade, there have been no snarky or weird social media remarks, no babymama controversy being aired out,  or even a brush with the law.  We all know someone in our personal lives who fits the same profile.  Maybe not an exact match but maintaining a level of self-respect in a world where people take pleasure in revealing their most personal business on film for the sake of shock value is something that's almost gone the way of the cassette tape.


While some of us are happy with our imperfections, I come from a humble place when I ask 'What happens when the gimmicks no longer work in promoting our brand;?'   For women, the not-so-subtle cleavage or provocative pose we choose to reveal in our professional photos.  Do you men really need to let your readers know your level of machismo when creating presentations, ebooks, etc?

Sometimes, when heroes move on, it may be a sign to become what you admire.  While some entrepreneurs have no problems seeing themselves as the ultimate expert, others still tend to look at their peers or someone on a slightly higher level.  Stepping up takes dedication and discipline but when you learn to move on after falling off the wagon, others will look to you as an inspiration.

Here are five quick tips to being the best freelancer in your field:

1. Never compromise quality
2. Never waiver on your beliefs (especially when it comes to that prospective client that insists on paying you less than your worth AND bills are due)
3. Be about the business (while scraping information from the internet is costly, one way to reduce the likelihood of clients seeing you at your least impressive moments is to close those social media accounts immediately)
4. Don't linger in bad news.  Even if you get rejected by similar sources, it's most likely a sign that it's time to switch gears
5. Don't spend time badmouthing those who've done you wrong.  If it's a matter of money or poor communication, try to settle directly with the person in charge instead of your social media account.

To All Heroes Who've Dimmed Their Light,  May You Rest in Tranquility

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