5 Ways a Freelance Mentor Can Save you Time

April 26, 2017
freelance | freelance plan | freelance mentor | save time | making a plan | quitting your day job | pivot | switching careers | new careers | Aleia Walker

There is this idea that DIYing everything can save you money.

That idea is a farce.

Because time is money. The time you spend researching and DIYing that thing you’re barely good at and know little about costs you time you could be spending on things that make you money.

That time that you as a copywriter spend struggling through InDesign/Illustrator/Pablo/Canva to create social media graphics could be sent reaching out to leads or working on client work. And the time you spend as a bookkeeper trying to design your website could be spent reviewing accounting software to use for your clients or attending that small business meetup (or literally anything else – you know you’re entirely left-brained).

There is nothing wrong with admitting that you need help.

I started pursuing web design and development because I felt I was wasting my life at my day job. I spent up to 12 hour a day at, getting ready for, or driving to/from my day job. So basically I was wasting my whole damn day. There was a point where I spent at least two hours a day working on leveling up my web design and development skills on top of my day job. And I still felt like I wasn’t accomplishing anything. And then I showed my code to someone else. They told me that I was awesome for accomplishing that much in 2 hours a day. And that I had the potential to accomplish so much more. For a solid two weeks, that lit a fire underneath me. Then I used a birthday, holiday, or set of good weather to throw me off from my mission.

There was a while between the words of encouragement and finding my accountability partners. I had to battle through multiple crises of confidence before discovering my tribe. I had to figure out on my own what to focus on and what would get me from Point A to B the quickest. And sometimes I was wrong, and realized that after the fact. Other times I was really right, and was able to rinse and repeat a few times.

Aleia! I need to tell you, your newsletter freaking speak to me. They’re engaging and make me want to click that link to chat with you. And as someone who’s totally in your target (wanting to leave the 9-5 hell) – you’re nailing it!

-Pretty Things People Say to Me

Don't Work Alone, Find your Tribe


You're new to the freelancing game and struggling with working alone in a bubble. But you don't have to, you just have to know where to look for others like you.

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At times, I wish I could erase a couple of those months of trial and error. But I don’t know if the people that I’ve helped would feel the same. The 10 minute conversations that I had to gain confidence in my skills helped me a lot. But if I had converted those conversations into regular conversations, it wouldn’t have taken me 18 months to go from new skills to full-time freelancer (which I’m constantly reminded is pretty damn impressive).

This time around when trying to level up as a freelancer, I decided to skip steps and get someone to help to me along my way because I now know just how coaches and mentors can help make your dreams more tangible. Mentors will save you time, which (scroll back up to line one) saves you money.

Mentors save you money because they have been there before and know the shortcuts

I like spending money. I lovvvveee spending money. But I don’t like spending my money on worthless things. Before I spend money on anything a highlighter (because I love my glow), a dinner (fresh seafood is kind), or a course I’ve researched it on Yelp, Course Report, Sephora, and/or I’m in an inbox or a customer’s DMs. I look for all the coupon codes and sometimes I even call a friend.

So, I’ve done the same with blog posts. Is this person extremely opinionated/self-serving/untrustworthy? I’ve done the same with blog posts are they transparent by sharing their income reports? Do those income reports match up to the personas they use? Do their courses and support deliver on that promises? When you’re a side hustler or a freelancer working at a dead-end job, it’s likely you don’t have a lot of disposable income. So, you need to make sure you’re putting your money in the right place. Why not trust the advice of someone who has been in your exact same spot before?

Mentors save you money because they will hold you accountable

Vanity is a powerful drug. Fortunately, my vanity is not relegated to perfecting my strobing technique, it is also strongly tied to embarrassing myself in front of people. If you have regularly scheduled meetings with your mentor, you’ll be embarrassed to show up without anything new to talk about.

If you meet every two weeks and they told you to check up on a podcast that pushes issues 3X per week and you can’t talk about one episode – they’ll feel you do not respect their time or their opinions. If you don’t respect their time or opinions, why would they continue to spend their time with you? Your mentor is probably a step two or three ahead of you which means that their schedule is two or three times busier that yours. If you continually show up unmotivated and unchanging, it will get easy for them to drop you off of their schedule.

Mentors save you money because they will keep you focused

Your mentor will let you know when you are on Team Too Much and not need to slow it down.

For example, at any time I have about 10 business ideas flowing through my vain. I really want to create a physical product and I have serious passions for Caribbean beaches and mentoring side hustlers. There are so many overlaps but I can’t make one thing super successful if I’m doing the other two things at the same time. If I focus on one thing, such as 1-on-1 mentoring, I can then use that to fuel my other business ambitions.

If I was not checking in with someone on a regular basis, to this day I would be doing 27 things, and none of them well.

Don't Work Alone, Find your Tribe

You're new to the freelancing game and struggling with working alone in a bubble. But you don't have to, you just have to know where to look for others like you.

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Mentors save you money because they have tested out a few hustles and their profitability

I know calligraphy has a high profitability because weddings are big business. I have a calligrapher friend who charges $5.50 per set of envelope invitations because she’s super dope at her craft. The average US wedding is 120 people. $5.50 X 120 = $660. Book 4 weddings a month and you’re already pulling in more after work than a fast food worker does in a day. But I know calligraphy doesn’t work for me because a) I get bored easily and can’t spend hours on end writing on envelopes b) I hate having multiple bosses and know that weddings involve brides, grooms, parents, and opinions of everyone else.

I choose web development because it’s really easy to work as a party of one most of the time and web developers are well paid. Since I live to be location independent, I want to be able to get a large chunk of my work done outside of standard business hours. And I want to have income that can fund my European vacay. And weekend excursions.

I can tell you that liking something doesn’t equate to being great at something. And that you simply liking something means absolutely nothing to a prospective client – they need to know how your skills can benefit them.

Mentors save you money because they know about the scary parts of freelancing

Hands down, the scariest parts of freelancing are taxes (and the other legal bits) and finding clients. You seek out a mentor because they can help you through these parts. They’ll tell you to use Quickbooks Self-Employed plan because it estimates your taxes as you go along. They’ll point you to how to find out the cost for filling an LLC in your state. And give you a rundown of business bank options.

They’ll also tell you that you don’t have to live in the land of feast and famine. If you’re looking for the best places to find freelance clients, mentors can point you in the right direction. Curious about how to attract strangers and turn them into clients? They’ll tell you how they did it.

Sure, you can read about these on a blog or hear tips on a podcast but there’s nothing like having the ear of someone that’s done it before. Or being able to follow up with them and get an actual response – and not just the reply of a bot.

There are a lot of things easier with help. Freelancing is one of those things. Freelancers know all the parts of their business so they are the perfect people to go to when you’re trying to recreate their success.

Do not stop at what you can handle alone, ask for help. Skip steps. Save time and money.

If after reading this you’re looking for a mentor I know one that may work well for you, me. I open up five slots per month for 1-on-1 mentorship. If you’re interested you can book below or schedule a consultation call for more info!

Don't Work Alone, Find your Tribe


You're new to the freelancing game and struggling with working alone in a bubble. But you don't have to, you just have to know where to look for others like you.

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