Remember Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Room? An entire world made of edible (eatable?) stuff! How would you attack that amazing place and its contents? Would you scamper around, sampling as much as you could, or are you more like Augustus Gloop – focusing on that crazy awesome chocolate river?
While your candy preferences might not correlate with your freelancer/solopreneur skill set, the decision to focus on one flavor of work, or go for mixed bag of projects, can cause more than stress eating, so it might help to “weigh” a few things before you end up in a sugar coma!
Grab One King Size Bar or a Whole Bag of Different Stuff?
There are some pros for specializing – like making more money, especially if your skill addresses an underserved niche. It tells your buyer that you have coveted knowledge and experience which makes you a rarer breed. However, it can also mean in the near-term that you must forego those rent-paying gigs as you network and sell to those looking for you specific skill. Or, you could patiently wait for that word-of-mouth thing to happen.
If you are a generalist, you likely see a more consistent flow of gigs, but you could find yourself playing catch-up on your own dime if you need to have job specific skills. Also, while there is often more work for you mixed baggers, there is often more competition for it which might make for ugly compromises on fees.
Three things to remember:
There’s no right or wrong answer. If you’re stuck between a dark chocolate only vs. a skittles/sour patch kids/salted caramel combo, maybe you aren’t ready to commit to any one flavor of work. Maybe mixing things up will give you the time to explore new skills and develop one you have a true appetite for. It might be a niche you hadn’t considered. Your decision depends on many factors, but keep a few things in mind:
For employers, working with you for the first time can be stressful. Taking on untried talent can feel risky. So, show them confidence in what you have to offer (specific or general) and your genuine appetite for the project. It will be a great step towards landing the gig.
Authenticity and conviction rule so pick Mint Sugar Grass and Wonka Swirls Lollipops, or stand under the Gummy Bear Tree, just remember “If you want to view paradise, simply look around and do it!”
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