In a freelancer’s world, you can do whatever you want. However, whatever it is you want to do had better include some element of sales, or your “product/service” won’t get far.

Sales requires confidence. Regardless of whether it’s inherent, or more fake-it-til-you-make-it, it needs to exist inside of you.

This is where Trump comes in, and the hypothetical Achilles heel walks the path. It’s no secret that I don’t like anything about him. I didn’t vote for him. I was vocally for Bernie Sanders from start to finish. Trump’s self-esteem trampled over the line to the darker side of arrogance. His bluntly honest prejudice against races, sexes and sexual proclivities makes my skin crawl.

Having said that, let’s take a hard look at the last couple of years and use another term for what Donald Trump is; the “Underdog”.

Normally, I root for the underdog. Movies, sports, movies about sports, Davy versus Goliath, the one guy moving against the crowds, running in the opposite direction. Reality seems to be the only platform where I want the underdog euthanized.

From the beginning, Trump had everyone laughing that he was even going to try to run. Then the campaigning started, and the general idea was that this was simply a publicity stunt. People all across the nation were waiting for the punchline, where none existed. This orange dude was still going! He was saying some of the most repugnant things, unimaginable to the minds of us “liberals”, but he was still in the race, and we lost Bernie and had to back up Hillary, simply because she was the only front-runner who wasn’t Trump.

And he beat her.

Disbelief led to rage and tears, which led to a hashtag frenzy in this modern-day age of #notmypresident’s, #wtf’s , #fourmoreyears and so on. Everyone who has a heart and actually believes in equality was asking, “how could this happen?” Oh yeah, the electoral college. The new guy in charge won them over, and that’s all that mattered as far as he was concerned. They’re the ones with the money. They’re the ones who get the final say.

Whether this was a fact easily hidden, or easily forgotten, it matters not. It is what it is.

So how does this translate into the world of freelancing? C’mon, Carrie, bring this back to the start of the circle.

You have to make your audience believe you’re the best at what you do, that they won’t get a better product or service elsewhere. Whether by building a flashy website with examples of your work and references, or holding a meeting with a presentation and PowerPoint.

This — all of this — takes a lot of confidence and conviction in yourself. It also takes a talent of dancing on that fine line that – when plucked — quivers from “confidence” to “arrogance”. It takes time to build the foundation, naturally. But it’s time well spent if you believe in what you are selling. If your product/service is truly awesome, it oftentimes sells itself.

Here are five (and a half) important questions to ask yourself:

1. Do you know your audience?

2. Do you know the proper environment for your product/service? Is this something that’s only regional, or could it be taken nationwide?

3. Are your prices reasonable for what you’re doing?

4. Is there competition? If so, how can you “beat them at the game”?

5. What is your daily regime, and is there space for alternatives? Meaning, if you generally get up at eight in the morning, do your exercises, then have breakfast and then get started on your work, will a new contract that requires you to show up at their site by 8:30 a.m. throw you off your game?

5a. Do you have the resolve and flexibility to make amendments to your day?

These are all important questions to ask yourself. If you find yourself answering “no” to any of them, you might want to consider finding a way to say “yes” to them, at least initially.

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