It’s a Wonderful Life Meets Freelancing

by Martin

I’m a sucker for Christmas movies!

That’s my confession for the day. I just can’t help it. My brother and I have been plowing through the usual classics. We saw Just Friends, Home Alone 2, and It’s a Wonderful Life. We have many more left to come. Thankfully we still have a few weeks left.

I usually just enjoy the movie and move on with my day. It’s a Wonderful Life did something to me though. I was thinking the whole movie. I had my ears open. I felt the struggles of the main character as he tried to make it as a freelancer. I felt his pain. All freelancers can pretty much relate to each other when it comes to the constant grind.

What did I learn from the movie? What could I apply from a Wonderful Life to freelancing?

You need to stop reading.

George Bailey is always reading about travels and such. He reads about traveling the world and he gets all excited. He reads and he reads.

And then what? He never gets a chance to break free. He’s forced to first delay college and then flat out just miss out on it.

I see this all of the time. Too many of us read without doing anything.

Too many bloggers give advice based on theories as opposed to using real life case studies.

And I’ll stop there. I just don’t way that eloquent way with words. Instead I’ll just share a quote.

“How vain it is to sit down to write when you have not stood up to live.” ― Henry David Thoreau

Everyone wants to follow their passions.

All of the characters seem to be pretty enamored with the idea of following theirs passions. Everyone wants to leave town and make it big. Nobody wants to settle.

George really wants to leave town and hit it big. He wants to do something that he enjoys as opposed to working for the family business that doesn’t really have a future.

If so many folks want to follow their passions, why is it so rare? Fear, money, and civil obedience.

You need to get off a failing business.

“IF YOU’RE PUTTING IN 200% EFFORT AND SEEING A 10% RETURN, IT ISN’T A BUSINESS YOU’RE RUNNING. YOU’RE RUNNING THE TITANIC.” – Everett Bogue

The Bailey Loans business in the movie never seems to be flourishing. Sure, they stick around and pay the bills. It doesn’t seem that business is ever booming though. Nothing is ever moving forward. They’re just getting by.

You need to make money in business. If you don’t have an income, you have a hobby.

Do you really need another hobby? Nope. You need to have money coming in. You need to validate your business idea. You need to make real money. If not, what the hell are you doing?

Before you start a business or invest any capital/time you should try to find a client. Then take it from there. Stop with the fancy business cards and courses on branding.

People first.

This is a tough one. It really is for me.

I love to help my readers. I want my readers to have a better life than me.

I just put myself first too many times. I create excuses for extending deadlines and I don’t always finish work on time. I focus on the business side of things too often.

In the movie, George is all about his clients. He puts people first. He’s a really good-hearted human being that just wants to help others achieve their goals. I think that George would have made an excellent freelancer in this day and age.

Are you putting people first in your business? If not, you not to reach out to your current clients to see what you could be doing better to help them with their problems.

If you don’t have any clients, you could reach out to your readers or your network to see what they’re dealing with right now. You never know how you could be of help to someone.

That’s what I picked up from a classic Christmas movie that has been around for nearly seven decades.

Have you ever learned lessons from the most random of courses? On another note, what Christmas movies are you going to be watching this year?

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