Pinocchio Syndrome

Pinocchio wanted to be a real boy. I want to be a real freelance writer. Don’t I wish there was a good fairy for me…

In a recent post I discussed Making It Real – the idea that even if it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it’s still possible not to feel like a duck. In my case, even though I’m building a client base, have begun making some money freelancing and am taking (slowly) all the right steps, I still didn’t feel like a professional freelance writer.

So, in an attempt to gain a ruler by which I could measure myself, I turned the question around and asked the members of one of my small business online networks what they saw as the first 3 steps to establishing a company’s existence. At what point does a company become “a company?”

Rachel Vincent, Vice President of Kikini, a new social matchmaking site that will launch this spring, responded with the following:

(1) formally organizing the company under state laws. Is it a corp, LLC, sole proprietorship (probably the last as a freelancer). There are lots of websites that can do this quickly if you want something simple.
(2) sit down and decide what your brand looks like (visually & verbally). What are the 2-3 most critical points you want people to know about you.
(3) a website (could as simple as adding a page to your blog). I’d say a phone can wait. You can always change the greeting on your cell.

I thought she made some really great points. I’ve been actively working on part three; part two still needs a little bit of work but I’ve gotten started on it; part one I’ve been actively avoiding. Parker talks about the legal issues of starting a home business in Chapter 4. So I’m going to continue procrastinating on that one until next week.

However she did inspire me to do a little research. I ordered two books today that I think will be helpful on several of those points. The Complete Book of Business Plans: Secrets to Writing Powerful Business Plans by Covello, Covello and Hazelgren and Start Your Own Business by Lesonsky. I’ll let you know if they are worth it.

And, while I agree those three things will help make my business become a “real” business, I had an ‘ah-ha’ moment recently where I realized I was further along than I had thought. When I was working on yesterday’s post, Creating a Press Kit, I uploaded examples of client work I’ve done, and that required going through different client projects I’ve worked on thus far. I was surprised by the number of assignments I’ve already done. Even if I don’t yet have a full-fledged and certified writing business, I am definitely a freelance writer – and now I feel like one too.

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