Each year, the kids go on a field trip to the strawberry patch. After the tour, each one gets a basket to fill with strawberries to take home.
As they head out into the fields, you can tell the veterans from the newbies.
The new kids grab anything and everything — green ones, rotten ones, half-eaten ones. Their goal is to get as many berries in their basket as possible in the time they have.
The ones that have been there before are more selective. They take their time. They pick only the ripest, biggest, and most perfectly shaped berries. They can spot them from ten feet away. They too get their baskets filled, but the berries they end up with are much taster.
Sorting Out the Bad Ones
When it comes to taking on projects and clients, many new home-based entrepreneurs take whatever they can get. Few will turn down work or say no to a project. Even when they know it’s not a good fit.
They go for quantity over quality.
The choice becomes clearer as they roll on. The project ends up being a nightmare, or the client is unhappy. They may end up firing a client.
When you’re just getting started with your own business, it’s very hard to be choosy about the work you select. If you need the money, it’s even more difficult.
In order to make sure a project is a good fit, you have to set up some criteria in advance. Create a checklist that outlines:
- The type of work you like best
- What you’re really good at
- Where your experience and expertise fits
- The direction you want your business to take
- The type of people and companies you prefer to work with
- Your timeline, schedule, and pricing
Knowing your criteria in advance makes it easier to know if a project is a good fit. It can also help you outline your ideal client. Being able to say no to work that doesn’t mesh well with your business is just as important as being able to find work.
Be picky about the projects you take on. You chose self employment to do work on your own terms.
Doing work you don’t like, or aren’t good at, is not a way to build a business or a reputation.
It’s a sure-fire way to get burned-out quickly, and have lots of unhappy customers.