The Four Agreements in Freelancing

The Four Agreements is a book written by Don Miguel Ruiz. It outlines four agreements with yourself that will help your emotional well-being. They have been recommended to me many times so I wanted to apply the lessons to freelancing.

Don’t Take Anything Personally

You need to avoid taking things personally as a freelancer.

Even when given feedback that is especially brutal, you need to acknowledge that they are only seeing a part of who you are.

Your value is not measured by the perception of those around you.

Simply acknowledge the feedback and decide whether or not it is helpful.

You can then move on without feeling personally attacked.

Don’t Make Assumptions

Often clients may seem frustrated with you when they are actually frustrated with the situation or a completely different issue.

When you make everything about yourself, you infer the wrong information and make a small comment bigger than it actually is.

Wait until a client clearly communicates a problem or issue with you before you assume they may not like working with you as much.

I’ve run into this where I thought a client was about to fire me and then immediately told me that I was one of their favorite people to work with.

Bonus: Don’t read into text like emails or slack messages. Wait until you are on the phone to address any issues. It is just as important for the client to communicate their frustrations and it is for you to communicate.

Be Impeccable with Your Word

Being a freelancer means you set all of your own deadlines and your own schedule.

This can be incredibly freeing, but it may set in that you are only as good as your word.

If you break your word, you lose trust and in the worst case, may damage your reputation.

My solution to this is to say no more often and give myself longer deadlines.

It is better to disappoint someone early than disappoint them after they’ve gotten excited.

Your clients typically do not know how long projects take or what can be accomplished.

In order to protect your word, say no early and often and don’t take on impossible projects to prove yourself.

Always Do Your Best

Your role as a freelancer is to perform to the best of your ability and help when things go wrong.

When you have difficult days or struggle with a client, it is still you doing your best.

Acknowledge that you are putting in your best effort and showing up is a strength within itself.

This is not the same as going back on your word, but instead letting yourself breathe and lower the impossible standard you set for yourself.

It also means that when you feel like you’re failing your client’s expectations, you may need to take a step back and acknowledge the effort you put in.

As long as you are putting your best effort forward, you can feel good about your work and your relationships with your clients.

The rest is up to others and out of your hands.

Conclusion of the Four Agreements

The Four Agreements are an incredible tool to improve your mindset, self-talk, and view of yourself.

Start using these tools in your freelancing career and see how well you perform compared to before.

Read this next article discover the freelancer affirmations that can improve your self-talk.

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