Controversial yet undeniably successful. There’s a lot that freelancers can learn from World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) superstars.
One: Own your awesomeness
WWE superstars have more self-confidence than a souped-up housecat. And they’ll tell anyone who’ll listen.
“I’m the best there is, the best there was, the best there ever will be.”
– Bret “Hit Man” Hart
What could we do with a fraction of that chutzpa? Instead of giving in to self-doubt so often, let’s have more faith in ourselves.
Two: Your brand is your business
The Undertaker, The Miz, The Big Show, The Rock — WWE superstars speak and act according to how they want the public to perceive them. Every detail, every word, every gesture is part of their brand.
Define yourself as a professional and present yourself accordingly. It’s the foundation on which you build your authority as a freelancer.
Three: Be an unapologetic marketing juggernaut
WWE superstars spend more time marketing than they do wrestling. Social media, interviews, photo shoots, charity work, special events, YouTube, Tout, networking, the list goes on.
Too many freelancers don’t market enough. We need to embrace it. With both arms.
Four: Grow a rock-hard hide
There is no universally liked WWE superstar. They’ve all been booed and cheered by millions around the world. Does it faze them? Nope. They play into it based on their persona.
“Doubt fucks everything. Take a foundation, no matter how strong, sprinkle generously with doubt, and watch it crumble. Me? I’m unfuckwithable.”
– CM Punk, WWE Monday Night Raw, February 21, 2011
This quote is going up in my office. How far could we go if we stopped letting our fear of being “booed” keep us from trying?
Five: Know your audience
“Finally! The Rock has come back to [insert city and cheers].” Everywhere they go, WWE superstars know how to make the crowd love them or hate them because they know what the audience cares about.
As freelancers, we’re only half the equation. Clients and prospects are the other half. How well we understand them determines how well we can address what they care about.
Six: Know the business
Like freelancer writers, WWE superstars are contractors, not employees. If they want to stay in the business, they’re responsible for knowing all aspects of the business.
We are more than writers. We are walking, talking businesses. We need to know how to run our business inside and out. And adapt as needed.
Seven: Make the ordinary extraordinary
John Cena’s Five Knuckle Shuffle? A punch to the forehead. Seamus’s Brogue Kick? A kick to the face. The Rock can make a crowd go wild by raising his almighty eyebrow.
Why can’t we add a little extra flare to what we do?
Eight: Give it your all
In the 1998 Hell in a Cell match with The Undertaker, Mick Foley was being wheeled out when he got up and went back to finish— with one of his own teeth stuck up his nose. He retired shortly after, but still…that’s dedication.
We need to have the same dedication to our own success.
I admit it: I can up higher in almost all of these areas. How about you?