The year is winding down, and I wanted to take a moment to meditate on a one word of my professional life that I owned this past year. I am so committed to it that you can see it on my @LivingNimbly Instagram bio. That is #commitment
This label is “scrappy.” As you may know, I wear a couple of different hats in my professional life: communication freelancer, corporate contractor, and blogger. I am someone who loves a good side hustle. It may provide extra financial freedom or the opportunity to work on passion projects. Which are both good things for me … totally! As long as the work-life balance is there, overwhelming dread isn’t eating away at psyche, and the finances add up at the end of the month/year, I think it can be SO good!
So now let’s talk about the elephant in the room, this term, “Scrappy.” You may be thinking to yourself: “Jack, Scrappy? That is such an odd word choice. Like Scrappy Doo? From a quick google search, I found ‘consisting of disorganized, untidy, or incomplete parts’ and ‘determined, argumentative, or pugnacious.’ Also, Get rid of the s and that is just crappy… Why in the world would you want to align yourself with that word?.”
The term “scrappy,” to me, signifies a feisty, creative, head-on-a-swivel, pull-up-by-the-bootstraps kind of approach. A scrappy freelancer knows how they can help their client and GOES FOR IT. They are a real value add to the team no matter how many folks are involved. They wake up early or stay up late if necessary. It’s a mindset that I will carry with me far past 2017.
On the topics of 2017 and scrappiness, this year I kept working to bump up my client base for my freelance work. I threw myself at this idea of being a comm freelancer.
To do that I pitched myself the best I could to anyone who’d listen. I attended dozens of networking events with creatives, small biz owners, entrepreneurs, bloggers, chefs, social media pros, agency folks, and the list goes on. I was also offering a variety of scrappy services. This year was all about finding what I really enjoyed doing for my clients. What was going to light my fire? Was it content creation? data entry (definitely not tho)? pitching media? blogging? strategy?
I opened myself up to all of these opportunities. But as you may guess, I didn’t have people lining up in front of the duplex asking for my help. It ended up being more like: pitch, network, network, network, pitch, pitch, network, network, network, pitch, actual billable hours, and repeat.
To provide a little recap for this year, I did social media community management for a construction client back in Maryland. I pitched local and national media for a Minneapolis arts organization. I wrote press releases for a makeup brand. I helped promote a DJ-trio in Miami. I helped a lifestyle entrepreneur with a full-fledged strategic communication plan. Oh, and I started my own blog that you are reading right now.
How did that happen? Because I was scrappy! I put myself out there. I wrote a gosh-darn LinkedIn publisher article. There were early mornings and late nights. I also became really dependent on coffee (funny how things work out like that haha)…
Have I figured everything out? Not yet… But, I am going with the flow in the slow but steady process of fanning my own unique, professional fire.
I hope that this quick post sparks something inside of you for what can be accomplished within a year, whether it be that business adventure you have been hatching, starting to date again, eating vegan, or exploring all you can explore. Put your mind and heart into it. Make real your dreams. Stay scrappy!