Why Freelancing Is Like Pool

Nine Ballby Catherine L. Tully

After reading the headline here, you may be wondering what on earth I’m talking about. It may sound crazy, but it’s true–freelancing and pool have a lot in common.

At least if you are doing things right.

I put myself through college working at a billiard hall (Bet you didn’t know that about me!), so I know a thing or two about pool. In order to get better, you have to think ahead to your next shot. Simply making a ball won’t do–you have to have a strategy–much like chess–to win. As you pocket one ball, you have to think about “getting shape” (lining up) on your next ball, and it helps to be able to see how to “run out” (make all the balls until you win) rather than thinking about one shot, then the next.

Freelancing is the exact same thing. If you are just concentrating on the task before you and not thinking about your next step(s), it will take you forever to build a career in this field–if you do it at all. You need to be able to multi-task, doing marketing, sending out multiple queries, writing, filing, billing and more, all with a plan in mind. In pool the goal is typically to clear the table. In your freelancing career, the goal is whatever you set–but you have to set one (or more)┬áin order to develop a plan for your life in this business.

So with the end of the year approaching, I would like to encourage every freelancer out there to set a few overarching goals. Once you do, they will help guide your strategy, and thus, your career.

(And if you happen to be a pool player, here are some rooms to check out next time you’re in my neck of the woods!)