Cherish all your happy moments: they make a fine cushion for old age.
– Christopher Morley (1890 – 1957)
American journalist, novelist, essayist and poet
For some reason, fellow creatives have been asking me for advice lately.
I eat raw cookie dough and wear bunny slippers with whiskers and bendy ears. The first time someone asked me for professional advice, it caught me off guard.
But not only are they asking me questions, I have helpful, intelligent answers.
Then it occurred to me—this is one of those freelancing milestones that tend to go unnoticed in the whirl of your daily hustle.
Your first social media follower that isn’t Mom.
When you launch your social media platform, you start at zero. No followers. No readers. Nuthin’. Zilch. Nadda. When you post, crickets don’t even chirp. No one knows you exist. Yet.
But the better you get, the more people start following you. Eventually you look up and think, “Hey, people are following little ole me. How cool is that?”
The first time another writer asks you for advice—and you have answers.
After spending so much time inhaling information, being asked to pass that information on reminds us of how far we’ve come. How much we’ve learned.
Personally, it makes me feel like the professional I want to be: one who helps others plant their stake in the ground.
Your first referral.
A quality referral is more than just the result of good networking. People who refer you are putting your name next to theirs and sending it to their colleagues. They’re vouching for you.
It’s the ultimate professional compliment.
The first time you get to say “I’m fully booked.”
When you get to declare yourself fully booked, it’s proof that your freelancing efforts are paying off. Whether it’s momentary or ongoing, this is proof that you’ve become a full-fledged, self-sufficient freelancer.
I said this for the first time last month. And it felt go-o-o-o-d.
Freelancing milestones happen before you know it.
It’s been less than a year since I went from corporate copywriter to freelance writer. In that time, I’ve worked like a crazy person to build my blog and my business. But I haven’t stopped to take in my progress.
Now that I have, I feel like I’ve graduated some kind of freelancer bootcamp. I’ve moved up from being a complete unknown to just being a relative unknown.
My bunny slippers’ ears now stick up a little taller, a little more proudly.
Let’s add to the list. What are some of your milestones?
P.S. In case you’re wondering where to get bunny slippers like these, go to: BunnySlippers.com (not a paid link, muse sold separately)