How to Reinvent Yourself, Maximize Growth and Find Your Path to Success

This post originally appeared on The Social Media Freelancer, on online community exclusively for aspiring and current social media freelancers.

At one point in my social media freelancing career, three clients completely slashed the budget, and another one didn’t renew their contract, all within two-and-a-half months.

In other words, nearly 70 percent of my annual income went down the drain in about 70 days.

A lot of people, including my younger self, would have proceeded to freak out.

Was it my fault? What did I do wrong? Is my social media freelancing business not working anymore? Is it time to hang things up and go work for another company? Should I start asking around for job openings?

Hell no.

I’ve learned that, if you want to manage and grow a successful business over the long haul, it’s all about reinventing yourself, reinventing your services, and reinventing your vision.
 

Initiating the reinvention process

The first step to reinventing yourself is not action; it’s inaction. Take a timeout. Clear your head. Let the emotional effects subside before making any moves and decisions.

As a freelancer, it’s easy to take things personally, because so much of being a freelancer is about developing personal relationships with your clients. However, it’s important to make business decisions with your head, not just with your heart.
 

It’s better to own who you are than aim to be someone you’re not.


Painting the reinvention picture

Once I was emotionally removed from these series of events, I took a self-awareness inventory. In other words, I analyzed my strengths, my weaknesses, my pleasures and motivations, my pains, and my personality as they pertain to my business and to my vision.

Here’s what I discovered and confirmed:

  • My Strengths: I’m really good at high-level social media and content marketing strategy, as well as inspiring and motivating people through tangible instruction.
     
  • My Weaknesses: I really suck at managing people, not because I’m incapable of being a people person or because I lack empathy, but because I’m (1) a control freak, and (2) a perfectionist who demands the same level of perfection from other people as I demand of myself.
     
  • My Pleasures + Motivations: I really enjoy and thrive on the challenges that come with developing high-level social media and content marketing strategies, as well as teaching, inspiring, motivating and helping others.
     
  • My Pains: I used to enjoy the day-to-day of social media management and content creation, but I no longer do. While I’ve mostly removed them from my personal responsibilities by bringing on other people to perform these tasks, I still need to be involved at some level — which I view as a time-waster more so than a growth enabler.
     
  • My Personality: I’m not the kind of person who butters people up. I’m very to-the-point, no-BS, cut the crap, call it like it is. Am I proud of these personality traits? In some ways yes, in some ways no. But I need to be true to myself. While I may (unintentionally) come off as an asshole to a lot of people, a lot of my success is derived from my A-type personality. So frankly, it is what it is. Ultimately, it’s better to own who you are than aim to be someone you’re not.
     
The people who are great at a few things will always out-compete the people who try to be good at a lot of things.


Observations and results

After analyzing my strengths, my weaknesses, my pleasures and motivations, my pains, and my personality, I was able to more clearly understand the vision for my business.

There’s two ways to look at it: Either you can try to improve your weaknesses, ease your pains and perfect your personality imperfections. Or, you can hone in on your strengths and pleasures, and optimize them. In other words, you can go from good to great, and then from great to remarkable.

While they’re not mutually exclusive, I believe the latter option is the better of the two.

For me, that meant re-branding and repositioning myself as an international social media consultant, instructor, speaker, and content marketing strategist. That also meant declining (many) opportunities to take on (sizable) projects that involve day-to-day social media management and content creation, even if I can hire people to perform said responsibilities.
 

If you want to manage and grow a successful business over the long haul, it’s all about reinventing yourself, reinventing your services, and reinventing your vision.


The takeaway

Many people want to be everything to everyone — especially when there’s money involved, and especially when the going gets tough.

I used to be one of those people.

Now, I’m the guy who says it’s perfectly acceptable to fail and suck at many things, so long as you stay true to yourself through ongoing self-awareness and an unwavering focus on making the things you’re good at, great.

The people who are great at a few things will always out-compete the people who try to be good at a lot of things.


Josh Hoffman (better known as Social Media Josh) is an international social media consultant, instructor and speaker, as well as the creator of The Social Media Freelancer. Connect with Josh on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn, and sign up to receive his weekly column.