This post is inspired by an email from Paul Jarvis, a fellow web professional who helps other freelancers to succeed. He writes a phenomenal email series called The Freelancer.
In today’s email he wrote:
Regardless of your skillset or who you know, 99% of what you do is the same as your competition. Web designers are all skilled at web design. Writers all know how to write. The remaining 1% is unique to you. That’s what sets you apart.
I totally agree with him and I ‘d like to add that your level of skill-set is less important than you think. Yes, you need to get beyond the beginner level, but once you start being reasonably good at something, perfection is not what gets you even further. What makes you earn money are the components of your remaining 1%.
I never understood how people can work for causes, or organizations they don’t believe in. Don’t turn your profession into prostitution! Don’t just do anything for money! Find customers you believe in, and who believe in you! If collaboration happens on mutual trust and understanding it is easier to produce good work, feel a sense of purpose and make a good living.
Sometimes I am asked to code a feature that I have never implemented before; luckily I work with people who will tell me:
I know you can do it Shankar – I trust you because you are smart and good at what you do. This gives me enough energy to solve whatever problem I am confronted with. Just give it a try!
Please think about what makes you unique and share your thoughts with me. I am curious and would love to hear from you!