There’s good reason that people are afraid of failure. It’s freaking scary! When I quit my job to go out on my own, I felt like I was taking a huge risk. Not only with my future but with life in general. I questioned every little and thought about what could go wrong—over and over again. The thing is, you can’t avoid failure when you’re reaching for something big.
No matter what you want to accomplish, failure is something you have to learn to get comfortable with. When you’re freelancing there WILL be challenges with projects and clients that you can’t avoid. Sometimes it takes falling flat on your face in order to learn, grow and become better.
I’ve had my fair share of failures over the past few years. Some of these felt as if the world would come to a horrific end if I didn’t figure out how to solve the issue. Now I can look back and see where I went wrong and even laugh at how silly it all seems. The world will still go round and all it takes is a change in perspective. Here are some of my biggest freelance failures.
Crashed Client’s Website: I’ve crashed more sites than I’d like to admit. This all boils down to lack of experience but in the moment, I felt like I’ve failed my client. There have been times that a site’s only been down for a moment and times I’ve crashed them for 24 hours. Every time this happens, I get a burst of adrenalin. My heart races until I’m able to get it figured out. This is the nature of learning when you’re building websites. In my journey learning code, I’ve learned some important tricks, so this doesn’t happen very often—fingers crossed.
Sent out a marketing campaign with broken links: I scheduled a MailChimp email for a client that went out to over 800 contacts with ALL broken links. Nothing worked—every link was directed to an error page. It was bad, and I was so embarrassed! My client was angry, and rightfully so. I ended up apologizing over the phone and sent out a second email apologizing again to the email recipients in a new message with working links. It all ended up okay, but it’s something that sticks in my head anytime I’m sending out campaigns. Test, test, test and then test again before you send anything!
Published website content for clients with spelling errors: This was just sloppy on my part. Editing and proofreading is tough when you’re the one who wrote the words. You tend to read what you want to read. I’ve found that reading content out loud, reading it multiple times or having someone else take look at it goes a long way. It’s always worth it to be through and double check that there are no errors. Again, this was another embarrassing failure, but thankfully the client was forgiving.
Didn’t use contracts: When I first started freelancing, I never used contracts. It wasn’t an issue until someone decided not to pay and another who wanted 100 revisions without a price change. I had to bite the bullet and take the fall for these as I didn’t use take the necessary precautions. Creating a contract is simple and it saves you from a world of pain down the road.
Didn’t explain services clearly: I’ve lost clients over this one. When you don’t properly explain your services and your processes, things can go south. I think educating your client as well as documenting everything avoids a lot of issues. This comes down to being a good communicator, being transparent and always making sure you are both on the same page.
All of these situations were scary but without them, progress would have never been made. We learn from our mistakes and ultimately become better. I think failure is necessary and it’s just something you have to get used to. Mine as well buckle up, because this won’t be the last of it.
How has failure shaped who you are today? Comment below =)
“Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently.” – Unknown
Thanks for Reading,