On the last Friday of July, we had language teachers, coaches, translators, interpreters and researchers tuning in from different corners of the world to encourage each other and spend some time discussing aspects of the freelancer life at our monthly networking event.
Courage – what do you associate with the word? This was the opening question on our monthly networking event this Friday and we got many encouraging answers. According to existential psychologist Rollo May from his book The Courage to Create,
“Courage is not the absence of despair, it is, rather, the capacity to move ahead in spite of despair.“
Dr. Brené Brown draws a similar conclusion in her Netflix special, The Call to Courage. She claims, by being vulnerable and choosing courage over fear brings us closer to what she calls “whole-hearted living”. So leave your cushy job and follow your dream, move abroad, publish something even in the face of criticism, freelance, start a business, start a blog, move home again, put your pride aside and admit your mistakes – these are decisions that make you vulnerable and yet strong. Or as Churchill said:
“Fear is a reaction. Courage is a decision.”
The second part of the meeting was spent with getting to know each other and to share our experiences in a supportive environment. As we still live in time of the pandemic, many of you reflected on the difficulties of being a freelancer. It offers, but also requires a great deal of flexibility. What are your thoughts on it? We would love your feedback, so feel free to leave a comment!
The conversation then shifted towards the difficulty of marketing yourself and the ’need’ for constant online presence. We discussed what generates leads and conversions and the cons and pros of Facebook ads in particular. At the end, a great question arose:
Which is more important, authenticity or consistency?
Not easy to walk the line. Social media marketing especially can creep into your dreams and you wake up one day stressing over your LinkedIn activity. To reflect back to our first topic, courage, opening up and being personal –thus vulnerable – is a good advice for both marketing and private lives.
“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”– Oscar Wilde
Finally, we would like to thank all of you for your insightful remarks and for the nice evening we could spend together, while remote.
Stay tuned for our next event, which will be on the 28th of August! We are preparing something special for the 2 year anniversary of Language Professionals’ Networking Event and we hope you can celebrate with us!