If someone asked you what you’d do if you had a million dollars right now, you might give the typical answers: pay off a debt, give some to family or charity, invest it, get a cool car, buy a bigger house…you get the idea. But no one ever asks what you’d do if you DIDN’T have a million dollars, or even a penny to your name. Perhaps there’s logic to not thinking about this, as the answer could be quite scary, but it’s an idea worth considering.
As many pros can tell you, you can be unhappy when you’re too busy, but you’re a heck of a lot unhappier when you have no work at all. No work means no pay—and a lot of problems showing up thereafter. These times in one’s professional life are seldom considered, but when they arrive, they do so with the impact of a load of bricks falling off a roof.
This concept of lulls in working applies to many types of workers: actors, labourers, and business analysts often find themselves without any work coming in the door. This can cause distress, and even depression. However, for online business pros, there is some hope, as you can take some existing skills that you have and create work for yourself. It’s just a matter of applying what you already know.
Coming Forth Strongly
Professional downtime comes at different periods for different pros. The trick is to be ready: you have to get going when they come and be ready to start strong.
For online business pros, this means assessing your attributes. What do you have to offer others? You might be surprised once you think about it—over time, you’ve mastered custom photography services with Adobe Studio, or maybe you’re an ace at landing page optimization. Those are your personal skills and you are good at them. Acknowledging such skills will help build your confidence during downtime and get you ready to work.
Application comes next. You have to get out into the world like the pavement pounding job seeker to get the work you want. Putting together a handsome portfolio, blog, and/or website to show others is usually necessary. To get clients, you need to send out e-mails, make calls, or even pay visits to potential parties that might be interested in your services. It’s often good to do this if you have an idea when time is coming so you can pick up this new work as your regular jobs taper off a bit.
Similar but Separate
If you snare up a bit of downtime work, pat yourself on the back; you’ve managed to sustain yourself professionally and on your own terms. But once this happens, two matters to consider are time and direction. Some pros fail to go back to their regular duties on time, and others discover that their downtime job is what they really love to do. Some pros have noted that jobs such as content copywriting services are fun and they want to do those more than other online business matters, like PPC and SEO. In the end, you might have to reevaluate your professional intentions based on your experience with downtime.
If you love your existing job, it might be wise to get some extra education or certification to help ensure you don’t have too much downtime in the future. If you love your downtime jobs, then you might want to consider switching your professional direction a bit, or even doing corporate identity development or consultation for others. Each is a viable option, but don’t do both; downtime is supposed to be temporary. You might have to remind yourself which specific direction your online business needs to go in order for it to realize its maximum potential, so be sure to do this, during downtime or otherwise.
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