I had an a-ha moment while doing a Yoga with Adriene video yesterday (such a beautiful Youtube channel to follow if you like practicing at home – in fact, it’s one of my top online resources!). I’m trying to pay attention to my thoughts and what we label ourselves, and how that affects our realities. And so I happily stumbled on the perfect term for my current career: I’m building a digital practice.
I love the term ‘digital practice,’ because it perfectly captures what I’m doing right now – and maybe you are, too.
I’m building a life for myself using tools available to me online, and it’s a work in progress. Some days and projects and clients are great. Others are more of a struggle. I try to greet each one with an open heart and good expectations. That’s it.
So I didn’t go to school to learn a set of skills or get a marketing degree I could apply to this career. I don’t code. I’m far from perfect. But I like to think that I make up for what I may lack in traditional education with heart, great customer service, intelligence, years of experience and a willingness to try and learn new things.
That’s why it’s a digital practice. With each new client, you get a new task of possibilities.
I’ve learned more skills and specialties in the past 7 years than I knew existed before I started this journey. I follow each path, it leads to more clients, more tasks, more possibilities.
I’m not just a web designer or just a social media manager or just a writer …. I’m everything, and someone who is still learning and growing.
So, yes I stumbled into this line of work (I think that’s true for many of us digital strategists). But I’ve stayed in this line of work because I’ve treated everything as a learning process, every project as an opportunity to expand my skill set. And growing and learning is fun.
I’ve made some small mistakes and some bigger ones, and I’ve had one or two bad experiences, but the bad was never game-changing. Because everything I’m doing online is one big practice for me – just like a yoga practice.
There are thousands, or tens of thousands, or who knows how many other people out there trying to do what I do, and no doubt many, many of them are doing it better.
They’re all too visible – people who have better websites than me, people who have bigger mailing lists than me, people who have richer clients than me, people who are social media superstars, people who blog like rabbits, people who rock their LinkedIn profile and use it to get 10 new clients every day.
When I compare myself to other freelancers in this world, I feel insecure and shitty.
When I reframe my perspective, to one where I’m blessed to have a job that lets me work from home, make mistakes and strive towards finding more work I love, I feel grateful and lucky. So that’s why I’m happy to have a digital practice.
A dozen years ago, I just literally couldn’t have been building websites. I’ve learned some coding tricks over the years, but not enough to build a website from the ground-up. And today, thanks to Elegant Themes, building websites is a corner stone of my practice.
So don’t miss my ‘online tools’ section for more free and affordable ways to start your own digital practice!
(And yes, that is an affiliate link for Elegant Themes. I’m such a big fan of what they’ve done for my life, that I signed up for their affiliate program – at no extra cost to you. If you use them, you know what I’m talking about!).
And please let me know in the comments: how do you think about your freelance career?
Psssst …. like the Pinterst graphic in this post? I built it super easily and FOR FREE using Canva.
And all these great images are from Unsplash, and they were FREE too!
They’re two of my favourite online resources available to digitial marketers …
find them all with links here!