“All things in moderation.”

I’m sure you’ve heard this phrase throughout you life, in response to one issue or another. Maybe you were reaching for that fourth cookie, and you mother was telling you no. Maybe you were starting a new workout routine, and your trainer was warning you of the dangers of overdoing it. Or maybe you were turning down a beer because you didn’t want to overdo it. Whatever the reason, I’m sure you’ve heard or said the phrase.

The phrase has its place, of course, but in many ways, moderation gets in our way more than it helps us. And in the case of launching and maintaining a freelancing career, it can be the nails in the coffin.

In Way of the Peaceful Warrior, Dan Millman states this about moderation:

Moderation? It’s mediocrity, fear, and confusion in disguise. It’s the devil’s dilemma. It’s neither doing nor not doing. It’s the wobbling compromise that makes no one happy. Moderation is for the bland, the apologetic, for the fence-sitters of the world afraid to take a stand. It’s for those afraid to laugh or cry, for those afraid to live or die. Moderation…is lukewarm tea, the devil’s own brew.

Now take a moment and think about what he’s saying. Have you ever not done something because it was easier than doing it? Have you ever stepped down from a viewpoint or challenge because others said it was impossible, stupid or foolish? Have you ever set aside a dream because it seemed like other things were more important?

That, my friends is a form of moderation. And for a freelancer, not doing things because they might be hard or out of our comfort zone, cow-towing to a bully client, taking jobs that are beneath what we’re worth or not trying something because we might fail is a form of moderation we simply cannot afford.

When I make a cup of tea (well, I’m more of a coffee drinker), and it gets cold, I don’t want to drink it. At this point, I can do one of three things: dump it out, warm it up or add ice and make iced coffee.

Dumping it out = giving up.

Warming it up = trying again

Making iced coffee = creativity and innovation

Now, you tell me: which of the three things above cannot be an option for a freelancer?

So, keep the moderation when it comes to diet, exercise and the 6-pack, but toss it out the window where your career is concerned. If failure and giving up are not available options, they cannot occur.

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3 thoughts on “Moderation

  1. Bill says:

    Great post i agree somethings should be done in moderation. BTW i came here through the Ultimate Blog Challenge. Have a great evening/ 🙂

  2. K'Lee Banks says:

    I see a theme here this new year so far – with you, me, and other freelancers – don’t settle for mediocrity or sub-standard work, pay, or conditions. Recognize our expertise and value, and demand respect and expect compensation to match. Excellent admonition!!
    Oh, and by the way, I’m frequently a “tea warmer upper.” 😉

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