Jan 22

What’s it take to create success?

Success as an entrepreneur doesn’t come from messing around and hoping for the best. It comes from finding a niche or market need and serving it. Not by wondering what the world is going to give you.

A recent article at My Small Business tells us that success can come from not wasting time and get on with it. When you’re self-employed or run your own business you can’t rely on other people to deliver success to you on a silver platter. Sure, it might be possible to sub-contract or outsource work (like this clever fellow who outsourced his own job to China) or even delegate it to your staff. But you still need to actually get the work done.

Some of the tips in the article at My Small Business are what I’d called “Captain Obvious”. Things like, don’t mess around with social media and look for places you can add, rather than take, value aren’t exactly rocket science.

When it comes to being a success as a freelancer I’d suggest the following things.

Find niches that add value and offer commercial opportunities. Remember, it’s all about targeting niches that offer benefits for both you and potential clients. If your definition of success doesn’t include making some money then you’re not a business.

Be purposeful in your actions. Don’t randomly flit around from one task to the next. Make a list of jobs to do, prioritise them, do them and revise the list and re-prioritise regularly. If you like to manage your to do list electronically, there are lots of tips here. But remember that success comes from setting goals, setting targets and adjusting your trajectory so that you keep heading towards you goals.

Communicate but don’t ramble. Social media has, in my view, made us into a race of babblers (me included!). We post status updates about just about everything and anything. While that might be OK in your personal life, it doesn’t pay to do the same professionally. By all means, have Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, LinkedIn and other social media for your business. But only post things of value for that channel.

Be generous – give more than you take. Whether it’s through social media, talking with colleagues and even frenemies – be generous in your advice. That doesn’t mean working for free but building professional networks will lead to business growth over time. I’d suggest that maintaining good working relationships with other freelancers has delivered many thousands of dollars to my business.

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  1. Jervis Whitley

    I’m reading between the lines that what it takes is to find a niche and then be deliberate about your actions in making money.

    Interested to hear your thoughts on how to translate your niche into that list of things to do. Its very easy to take your eye off the ball and flit from one task to another.

    1. Anthony Caruana


      I reckon it starts with a plan. My approach was to work out what i was good at, work out where the opportunities in the markets I was interested were and then look for the intersections.

      For example, let’s say you’re a great Java programmer and did some accounting or business subjects at uni. You also know that the banking sector is looking at redeveloping some systems. That’s an opportunity.

      Then you evaluate it and work out if it’s a money-maker. If the sector pays poorly then look for another one.


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