What Do Icebergs and Freelance Success Share?

Do you have the freelance success mindset?Sailing across the North Atlantic in May, when I did it, means dodging icebergs. The month the Titanic sank (April 1912), there were 395 icebergs in what’s known as Iceberg Alley.

Icebergs, which break off from glaciers or shelf ice in the Arctic every spring, are so dangerous because you can only see the tip (at least 16 feet high) above the water. Below the surface, an iceberg is up to 164 feet thick and covers at least 5,382 square feet.These massive blocks of ice float around the ocean, making Iceberg Alley one of the most dangerous waterways in the world for ships.

My transatlantic crossing from New York to Southampton, England (the course of the Titanic in reverse) was on a ship much smaller than the Titanic. The Silver Whisper held 684 passengers and crew and weighed 28,258 tons, compared to the Titanic’s 2,240 passengers and crew and 46,000 tons.

To avoid hitting icebergs, we had to sail far off course. Instead of the 4 days planned for crossing the ocean, it took us 8 days.

So I never actually saw an iceberg. And I’m grateful for that, because 90% of an iceberg is below the water.

The Fearless Freelancer Mindset  

Freelance success is like an iceberg. Most people only see the success, without seeing or thinking about what’s below the surface.

And freelance success comes mostly from what’s below the surface:

  • Hard work
  • Grit
  • Determination
  • Positive attitude
  • Resilience
  • Persistence.

Success doesn’t come from luck. It doesn’t even come from talent. It comes from having the fearless freelancer mindset.

Be Prepared to Work Hard

If you do the work, you’ll see the results. It really is as simple as that.

Succeeding in any business—and freelancers are running businesses—takes work. Much of that work is marketing your business.

Marketing means finding clients. But if you’re like most freelancers, you never had a chance to learn about marketing.

So here are some free resources from the Mighty Marketer to help you learn about marketing:

Some of the blog posts have more free checklists, templates, and other tools.

The Hard Part

Learning about marketing is the easy part.

Doing the work is the hard part. It takes time and effort, especially when you’re setting up your marketing infrastructure (key messages, LinkedIn profile, website, etc.).

But if you put in the work now, marketing your freelance business will be easier forever.

Have Grit and Determination

Grit is more important than anything else in building a successful freelance business.

Also called determination or mental toughness, you need grit because succeeding as a freelancer isn’t easy. Even when we work hard, we make mistakes. And we all face rejection. Grit keeps you going.

People with grit, says Angela Duckworth:

  • Work harder to achieve goals
  • Are happier
  • Tend to be optimistic
  • Are more resilient.

Duckworth is the author of the New York Times Bestseller Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance.

Be Positive, Resilient, and Persistent

So grit helps you work hard, and be more positive and more resilient.

No one likes to be around—or work with—negative people. Freelancers with positive attitudes don’t have to work as hard to market our businesses because clients are drawn to us. So are colleagues, a key source of referrals.

A positive attitude means that you believe in yourself. It makes you more resilient, so you’ll be able to bounce back from the challenges all freelancers face.

Overnight success in freelancing is a myth. There’s a simple truth behind freelance success:

It takes persistent effort to build a successful freelance business.

Being persistent also means that don’t give up.

Get the Clients You Deserve

So now you have the winning mindset formula:

Hard work + grit + determination + a positive attitude + persistence + resilience


Awesome clients who pay what you’re worth and treat you right are out there. And they’re looking for freelancers they can work with again and again.

With the freelance success mindset, you can go out and get the clients you deserve!

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Learn More about the Fearless Freelancer Mindset

10 Steps to Getting the Freelance Clients You Deserve

Blog posts:

Freelance Marketing Blog.

The Superhero Power You Need to Know About: Grit

4 Ways to Become a More Positive Thinker