Are you about to apply for another writing job that pays $25 or $50 per article? Do you have a habit of going after the low-skill, low-paying freelance jobs?
I understand that mindset. I’ve been there.
You see ads where the client is willing to work with freelancers who have little or no experience. The client says there’s plenty of work available, and on average, assignments only take about an hour.
You start thinking, if I write 4 to 6 articles, that’s not even an 8-hour day and I’ll make $100 – $150. I can have my weekends off if I want. And I can still rake in 2 to 3-grand a month.
It’s true. You can do that. And depending on your lifestyle and your location, you may eke out a decent standard of living that way.
But how can you progress when everything you aim for is at the bottom?
Settling for low-skilled, low-paying freelance jobs is like screwing a married man (or woman). It feels like you’re getting over, like you’re getting benefits without a lot of work, hassle or commitment. But really, you’re living below your potential and making a dead-end decision.
The same is true when you continue to work below your potential.
One of life’s rules is you cannot reap more than you sow.
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I’ve been at the point where I knew I wasn’t progressing. People around me could see that I was maintaining, but I wasn’t growing.
Many of them were moving along, achieving new things. And there I was– stuck on start.
I’d been for several years when it really struck me that I was still going after writing jobs asking for one to two years of experience. I also realized that I rarely applied for jobs that matched my level of experience.
Somehow I had gotten convinced that my years of experience wasn’t the type that made me qualified for higher-quality jobs. To some degree, I was right because instead of progressing throughout those years, I was still competing with beginners.
I was reaching up to grab the lowest-hanging fruit. I was a bottom feeding.
And bottom feeders are overworked, underpaid and unfilled. They live a yardstick from poverty and disaster.
There’s no recognition. No appreciation. Nothing to feel good about.
Related: Should You Take Low-Paying Jobs
Employees commonly deal with glass ceilings because other people are in control of the course.
Freelancers have the leeway to go as far and high as we want. Yet a lot us to limit our progress and create ceilings that are absurdly low.
There are a lot of reasons why we do this—laziness, complacency, fear, lack of ambition, burnout.
And the irony is that the burnout comes from trying to survive off those low-skill, low-paying freelance jobs. They take a lot out of you, leave you drained and you get trapped in a cycle of working but never getting ahead.
Being a bottom-feeder isn’t the vision I had for myself, which is why I had to make changes.
I’m pretty sure being confined to the lowest levels of the game isn’t what you want either. So, if you’ve been working below your potential, it’s time to start aiming higher.
Boss up. Continually challenge yourself. And make growth moves. You’ll see a difference in your life and your finances.