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My top takeaways from 10,000 hours of freelancing!

Updated: Jan 11

10,000 hours…

Even if you haven't read the book Outliers yet, you’ve probably heard about the 10,000-hour rule.

“Ten thousand hours is the magic number of greatness.”

This applies to almost everything, including design.

And while I've heard the 10,000-hour rule time and time again…

I haven't heard anyone compare it to this quote by inventor Thomas Edison.

“I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.”

As cliché and overused as these quotes may be, they teach us brand designers a valuable lesson when we put them together.

That's because 10,000 hours alone won't get us very far if we’re repeating the same mistakes over and over again.

The real value of 10,000 hours comes from the lessons you learn along the way.

If not, we might still be relying on candlelight!


****💡 So here’s what I learned from my 10,000 hours… 💡****

First and foremost, put people first.

Why?

Because people buy from people.

Even though the world is getting more digital by the day, human connections are what it's all about.

That’s because the human touch makes businesses relatable.

With this in mind, letting your personality shine in your digital presence is key.

It's all about saying no to that little voice inside your head that's telling you not to put yourself out there.

Speaking of saying no, it's okay to say no to projects.

Easier said than done, right?

Especially when there's money on the table…

But by saying no to draining clients and unenjoyable projects, you can avoid burnout on the path to consistent growth.

Remember, this is a marathon, not a sprint.

And by thinking long-term, you can avoid the trap of solely doing client work for money.

If it were all about money, you would have gone into accounting, or catering, or engineering, or one of the countless other career paths out there.

Instead, you chose to follow your passion…

So try to keep this in mind if you're ever feeling lost along the way.

But just because money isn't everything doesn't mean you shouldn't track it.

After all, sustainable profits are what allow you to continue pursuing your passion.

That's why I highly recommend tracking your earnings and expenses with a centralized software like QuickBooks, which is what I personally use.

Hint, it also has built-in invoicing.

The bottom line?

Each of the lessons above came from trial and error.

And even though the 10,000-hour rule still applies…

That doesn't mean you can't learn from others’ mistakes as well.

And if I'm being completely honest, I've made enough mistakes along the way for the two of us!

Chat next week,

Abi 🙂

P.S. There are even more takeaways from my 10,000 hours! Check out this YouTube video for the full list, and be sure to subscribe for all the latest.

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