Underselling vs Overselling Yourself

Three months ago, I decided to quit teaching and become a freelancer. It’s a wonderful change working in the peace and quiet of home, as opposed to the craziness and noisiness of a primary school. Yet, I find myself daily on a nauseating roller-coaster. Not my idea of fun!

On Monday, I’m motivated and ready for action; but come Tuesday, I’m bent over stressed and riddled with doubt. Can I do this? Have I just made the biggest mistake of my life by going solo?

This Tuesday however, was a different story. I decided to take a minute for myself and stop at a Mugg & Bean for a large Red Cappuccino and a spot of reading.

On Linked In, I came across Dr. Travis Bradberry’s article on 12 Lessons You Learn or Regret Forever (published on Monday, 19 June 2017). I agree with Dr. Bradberry, lessons follow you and repeat themselves until you “get it”.

The major lesson I need to learn is to believe in myself and my abilities; and then to avoid the consequence of underselling myself. The biggest question I face is how do I put my talents into monetary terms. I look at what other people charge for their services and I think it’s disgraceful. The lack of quality does not match the high cost.

One example is a training course in Business Writing and Etiquette I saw advertised at R8 900.00/delegate over 2 days. That’s all very well, but the marketing material was laced with spelling and grammatical errors. One sub-heading spelled the word “secretaries” as “SECRETATIES”. And this typo was in capital letters! There is no way I will even consider this company for training.

Dr. Bradberry warns against perfectionism, but I cannot ignore the importance of checking and double checking the quality of one’s work. I make tons of mistakes daily, so as a result, I continuously double check myself. I don’t do this to be better than other people, but because I take pride in my work. It’s my offering to this world; it’s my legacy.

As soon as words are in print, they are permanent.

Yes, I’m proud to be the one who re-reads an SMS, email, or any post on social media.

And No, I’m not proud of reading magazines with a red pen, but I’m working on changing that.

Revised strategy: I will approach my work with more pride and a higher value.

Lesson learned!


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