Or, Why Losing My Job Was the Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me
Week 21 – Like an Albatross, Taking Off
Have you ever watched an albatross fly? They are huge ocean birds that look like a giant seagull on steroids. They have the largest wingspan of any living bird, ranging from 2.5 to 3.5 meters, or 8 to 12 feet in length. Or longer.
In flight, they are beautiful, soaring, graceful birds. Quite lovely, actually.
But taking off? That’s another story altogether.
When just about any other bird takes flight, it simply leaps into the air and off it goes. No problem.
The albatross is a big bird with huge wings. It takes a lot of effort to get that much poultry off the ground.
So much effort, in fact, that they need a runway.
To get itself airborne, the albatross spreads its wings and runs headlong into the wind. It flaps madly until it can start gaining some momentum and altitude. Whether taking off from the water or from land, the method is the same. Lots of awkward galloping and flapping.
Once it is in the air, no problem. But getting off the ground is a bit of an ungainly affair.
Don’t believe me? Watch this little clip (wait for the third guy – he’s a metaphor for my career building efforts).
Why am I talking about an albatross?
Because that’s how I feel as I work to get my freelance career off the ground.
The only way forward is to start moving. The only way to launch oneself into a new endeavor is to start flapping like crazy.
An albatross needs to have a couple of conditions in place before it can take off. It needs enough space to run, and it needs a headwind of at least 20 km an hour. Without the wind, it can’t take off. Without the runway, it can’t get enough momentum to start gaining some altitude.
I have been working for over a year to lay out my runway and make sure the wind is favorable. This has meant working through a number of steps. Setting up my platform, making contacts, learning all I can, fine-tuning my technique and pinning down my niche.
Now that my runway is set up and the wind is blowing my direction, I am galloping and flapping as if my life depends on it.
Which it kind of does.
It’s all about effort. It’s all about planning, analyzing all my options. It’s about putting in the time and doing the work.
Because of that, I am starting to make some headway.
My main accomplishment this week was getting the final touches done on my new gardening blog. I set up a Facebook page and a Twitter page for the website. I have a couple details to finish on it, and then I will launch my new blog. Stay tuned for that announcement!
I will admit that my efforts to build my freelancing career have not be graceful, by any means. I have gotten a lot done, however.
My plan to finally get this albatross in the air
In the next few weeks, my efforts will be on pitching directly to publications and web sites. This is pitching targeted article ideas to specific publications, rather than applying to freelance jobs on job boards. Direct pitches and queries have been a more profitable use of my energy so far, so that is what I will focus on.
I will also work on some more content for my gardening blog. On top of this, I will work on writing another 4,000 words on my novel.
It’s going to be raining most of this week, so that will be good incentive to sit at my desk and work.
So I keep moving forward. I keep flapping, and I keep galloping. The wind is in my favor and I know I have the adequate wing span.
Just a few more flaps and I’ll be in the air.
My take away this week: Keep going. Keep going. Keep going.
Next Week: In Which I Learn How to Invoice.
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Remember, don’t ever be afraid to start something new or pursue your dreams. My goal is to encourage you to live a life of your choosing, find the strength you have inside you, and to use your gifts to add to the wonder of this world.