Back in the day, I was a radio producer at a news/talk station. It was hard work and one thing made it particularly challenging.
I hated picking up the phone and calling people.
It was terrifying and it never got easier, especially after I had several political press secretaries tear shreds off me down the phone line.
They ate 19-year-old me for breakfast, before the breakfast show had even gone to air.
The thing was, I had to make those calls. Time after time. Every single day.
Eventually, I quit my job to escape the stressful situation I had put myself in. My next career move was far more enjoyable because it didn’t involve calling strangers to ask if they would please defend themselves to an overbearing shock jock live on air.
When I started freelancing, I realised my old fear had never really gone away. I still didn’t like reaching out to strangers, even via email, to ask them for what I needed, whether it be their time or their business. I was so scared of getting a negative reaction.
But this time I did have the benefit of an extra ten years of maturity. What’s more, having a young child at home meant I had no option but to make freelancing work.
That’s when I created my DGAF hat.
What’s a DGAF hat?
Ok, so it’s not a real hat. But when I imagine it is on my head, it gives me the power of ‘Don’t Give A F*ck’.
With my DGAF hat in place, I don’t care so much about the outcome of my actions.
- I DGAF about rejection
- I DGAF about offending people just by asking them a question
- I DGAF about negative feedback because I know I can turn the situation around or find the strength to pick myself up and move on
The DGAF hat also helps me put myself out there. It’s scary to publish a blog on LinkedIn or start making videos that star yours truly. People might hate it or form the opinion that I’m an idiot. They might leave a mean comment. But I DGAF.
I recently attended a presentation with a guy called Todd Herman, who has written a whole book on a similar concept, which he presents as your ‘Alter Ego’. In Todd’s world, your Alter Ego shows up when things need to be done. This ‘hero’ isn’t scared, nervous, shy or lacking in confidence.
Todd shares how he has taught sports stars to draw from their Alter Ego. He even mentions Beyoncé, who has spoken openly about her inner diva Sasha Fierce. It’s Sasha on stage in a skin-tight bodysuit, not Beyoncé.
Freelancer tip: Find your DGAF
Being a freelancer can be scary because you’re out there on your own with nobody to point blame towards except yourself.
It’s also a bit wild to pitch yourself as an expert when you are fully aware that you don’t know absolutely everything.
But remember, and I say this a lot because it’s my number one mantra to get over my fear of putting myself out there, What you seek is seeking you.
If you email every single client you’d love to work with and you know you have the cred to make them choose you, it’s possible that one of the people who receives that email will have been thinking “Gee I really need some help with this”.
And if they’re not seeking you at this moment, that’s ok. Because you DGAF. And you had nothing to lose by asking.
So my freelancer tip for this week is to do a few things with your own DGAF hat on. Make a video. Write a blog. Email your dream client. Put some care into it but don’t hold yourself back through fear.
You never know what will happen!
Want more freelancer tips? Join Six Figure Freelancer Australia on Facebook to be part of the conversation.
Read more: You can be like me!