Working independently... with a team

Expand your freelance business by surrounding yourself with the right people
Becoming a great leader is not just about having a team. It's about having the passion for what you do, finding different strategies to influence people around you and constantly learning, appreciating and celebrating the small steps you create with others: all of these push you to reach the success you inspire and desire.
Let's begin with working solo
Kick start your morning with a growth mindset; take time to prioritise, decide what will get you through your day, find that creative space, work on your action items and allow challenges to jump in your day too.

Just like a strong tree has its roots, you have your brand values and goals that will get you to where you need to get to, no matter how many challenges come your way. I am sure you have planned your day accordingly and then you start thinking about how wonderful it would be to bounce off your ideas and create with a team, get feedback and work with other great minds.

Let's jump into a one man or woman show with a team; consider what it is to be employed and a team player; push start your own team.
Communicate the competitive and financial advantages - which one is better?
Are you working as an independent worker, as an employed team member, or as a solo founder? That might mean missing out on attractive perks like annual leave, team- building days and sick packages, diving deeper into being financially stable as a full-time employee and working in a team.

However, flip this concept and jump into the shoes of a company. Taking into consideration the budget issues, would you prefer to outsource and get tailored-made services, only paying for the work you need, or take on a full-time employee?

If we understand this dilemma and communicate the competitive advantages of what we have to offer, then having our own gig could be a win-win for all of us. In a report, solopreneurs have shown high job satisfaction, flexible hours and a well-balanced lifestyle.
Just like we recruit our customers by adapting our services to the persona that we have created, so too we need to attract our partners. What have we learnt from our customers and are we still staying true to our brand values? It is important to position ourselves in the market with the right people who can kick start our business.

Jump into valuing yourself and know what your capabilities are. This is your roadmap to reach out to people who will join you on the road to success.

See Elizaveta Glukhova's video on using collaborations to grow your freelance business.

Are you really a solopreneur at heart?

Let's brainstorm our roadmap together: who is our professional 'family' team, which can kick start our business at the early stages: Mentors, Coaches, Online virtual assistants and Business managers, Graphic designers, Digital marketers, SEO specialists…

Now the challenge is not only to sustain our customer success through communicating the value of our brand, but also retain our professional 'family' team through collaboration and partnerships - "bringing the best out of each other", being heard, respected and considered.

We will make mistakes. Pick yourself up, try again, be responsive and persevere staying true to your brand, celebrating your grit and passion-reflect, share, communicate, influence and make the slight changes together.

Shine a light on our leadership skills: as Simon Sinek highlights: "Leadership is not about being in charge but taking care of others."

Here are some nice expressions to use, to build your "dream" team with empathy, vision and transparency:

  • "Let's figure this out together": brainstorm the challenge and make magic together.

  • "I hear what you are saying and I really like it, have we thought about this strategy": Encompass your feelings and be considerate - take a step back, to see the bigger picture and consider why you have formed this collaboration.

Become a better outsourced freelancer or part of a team

You are passionate and love what you do; take your own initiative, manage your time accordingly and project manage like crazy. Jump into time-tracking apps, improve your performance, kickass your efficiency and focus on your customer's success and satisfaction.

How can we do this better?

  • Keep organised; have a clear working space; declutter your desk and if you see you are losing focus, rev up and change to another working environment because you can; go to a cafe, work with a friend-have the vibe you need to inspire your independent working. Magically, you will find the drive and learn from it, so you will improve time after time.

  • Track your time when involved in projects. This is time-saving, you are able to measure your time accordingly - use tools like toggl for this (see more great time tracking tools, see our suggestions).

  • Control is in your hands now and how exciting it is to communicate your brand values; what message do you want to convey? (Find out more about communicating your brand values here.)

  • If you are looking for a better work-life balance, independent working can be the solution you are looking for.

  • With freelance work, you will develop a hybrid working talent, which will become even more valuable in the future.

All of these can open up opportunities and great communication funnels; enable you to leverage your niche and capabilities, communicate your brand values and work in a field that interests you.

Which one are you aspiring to?

As a freelance professional, you get to develop your skills, take on more complex and higher-earning projects, focus on your personal growth and communicate your values through your personal brand.

Later, pivot to an entrepreneur with a team, running your own business, brainstorming and having brand ambassadors communicating your values to your customers or being the backdrop to your personal brand.

To end on a high note, research shows that solo ventures survive longer and generate more revenue compared to founding teams in startups. So don't be afraid to trust yourself and be your own boss!

Vanessa Henry Epstein
Vanessa Henry Epstein is a generalist with a broad skill set across coaching, business development, project and customer success management with 20 years of experience in the field of business education. She has been partnering with eager individuals and groups in the tech space, telecommunication and corporate sectors, law firms and government establishments, who cannot afford to lose the next global deal to level up their communication skills. Connect with her via Linkedin or her website.
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