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Ditch the Side Gig Mindset: Start Thinking Like a Pro

By October 1, 2019No Comments

“It’s a side gig economy.”

“Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.”

“I only work for $XX. Any writer who doesn’t, isn’t a professional.”

If these are the phrases ruling your career, it’s time to look to sources who care about you success. To start with,   online writing may have at one point actually been a true side gig, but if you want to make it your career, you’ll need to ditch that mindset in order to grow and succeed in the professional and/or digital world. As for the other nonsense phrases up there, we’ll address those briefly later on.

What’s Wrong with the Side Gig Mindset?

Simply put, it’s limiting.

Writing is something you really enjoy, right? It’s something you’re passionate about. It’s something you’d like to use to make a living, not just extra cash.

Well, you can — if you make writing a priority.

You have to stop making excuses in order to grow. We’ve seen it all before. New “pros” still working other jobs to pay the bills bite off a little more than they can chew. They miss deadlines and they make excuses on a regular basis.

And that right there is the problem. People who are taking “gigs” on the side tend to think of them as things that can be easily shuffled around —  as if no one really cares about them. As if they have the flexibility to do what they want with no care in the world.

This is going to sound harsh, but listen. Most clients and/or businesses don’t  care about your headache, car troubles, PTA meetings, pet illnesses, weekend trips or stomach bugs. Business partners who see you as loyal and reliable totally understand the occasional illness or life crisis. But that level of care only comes when you’ve made your client a priority and they can see the results.

Mind you, we’re not saying if you want to write for a living, you should quit your 9-5 today and dive in. We realize everyone has their own financial commitments and goals. What we ARE saying is don’t settle into the side gig mindset. Set your professional writing goals (including ditching whatever may take away from them), make a plan, and get it done.

Think Like a Pro, Act Like a Pro

Take yourself seriously. Stop thinking of your writing career as something you do on the side. It’s your job or it’s not. It’s your career or it’s not. You are a business owner. The sooner you realize this, the easier it will be for you to assert yourself as the professional you are.

You are in control of your pitches, your deadlines, your contracts, and your overall online presence. You’re in control of networking to build your contact list, and for building up your own portfolio.

No one needs to know whether or not you have another job or what your other obligations are. All you have to do is show up, be present in your communications, show off your skill sets, and get your work done on time.

But I’m not a writer… I’m a graphic designer, website developer, social media manager, aspiring publisher, <insert field here>.

Trust us. It doesn’t matter what type of business you’re trying to build. As long as you’re willing to put in the time and effort and treat what you’re doing like a business, you’ll succeed.

Just get out of your head and get out of your own way.

As for those other phrases we said we would address, check out the real deal.

We haven’t completely figured out why some people like to inflate the reality of their success or feel better when they make someone else feel like crap, but the internet is teeming with them. A lot of times, those same people who are cutting down a job for its rates are applying for that same position while they’re trying to turn you away from it. In other words, don’t believe everything you read, especially when you’re reading it from the competition. That being said, there are also plenty of professional writers out there who are happy to encourage, inform and even share with new writers.

All those eggs not in one basket? Sounds great if clients are beating down your door, and most businesses (that’s what you are) do tend to take on more than one client. But when you find a client who hits that sweet spot, proves themselves reliable and wants to offer you the work you need to meet your professional goals, that basket can go in the trash.

Why’s that? Think about a 9-5 job. Are you taking on multiples of those “just in case” something happens? Probably not. The truth of the matter is that if you do lose the client, there are plenty more of them to choose from and it’s much easier to do that than it is to go door to door putting in apps when the factory shuts down.

It IS a gig economy, but when you stop thinking of what you do as a side gig and start thinking of it as a true career, you can turn those “side gigs” into an entirely new way of life.

Copyright 2019,