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What Working Smarter Means for the Freelance Entrepreneur

freelance writers can work smarterA guest post by Clara Freeman

Working smarter is a catch phrase that includes everyone from parents in the home, to teachers in the classroom. This solution to problem solving is far reaching, extending from the lips of sage Pro Bloggers to best-selling authors and their number one fan. Working smarter, not harder, has become a phenomenal motivator.

The essence of “working smarter, not harder” is a good reminder about the how-tos of alleviating long-winded avenues to finding a simpler mode of achievement. It is on the basis of good and well meaning intention when those in leadership provide potential clients this same definitive take-away value in their startup business endeavors . As leaders, it’s imperative how we define this ideology of working smarter for ourselves.

I recently had an opportunity to participate in a ten week Leadership and Coaching course offered at  Illinois Depaul University. It was an eye opener in the instance of how the word “smarter” is perceived. I knew the basis behind working smarter, but taking the class reawakened a better understanding and conceptual method to working smarter.

The participating class were given weekly modules for learning . The bold lettering spelling out the word S. M. A. R. T. E. R in the first session , served to set the tone for the course premise in relation to freelance writing, leadership, coaching, and marketing. As a professional writer and entrepreneur, this information seemed an important addendum to an already awesome way of problem solving.

Below you’ll find the module’s lettering and wordage. The definition to each word is how I perceived my goals and vision as an individual freelancer. Defining  what these words mean for you, whatever your platform can only add to your success.


S. Specific be clear in your goals. What is it that you’re focused on accomplishing. As a nurse it would be to provide the best possible care and return a patient to their activities of daily living. As a writer, I will focus upon my passion and purpose as I work from a place of helping others.

M. Measurable – Have you mapped out a master plan, as in a business plan? A map to guide you on your journey to achieving your goals? Is it doable?

A. Agreed – If you are a solepreneur with a family dynamic to consider the question arises; have you and your spouse discussed the potential for failure? finances? support? Is everyone of concern in agreement? If not, what avenues must you initiate to come to an agreed upon conclusion?

R. Realistic – Are your goals doable? Are you going to write what you know? Will research suffice. Are you “walking the talk”?

T. Time-bound – What’s your time frame here? Have you prepared  yourself for failure? For success?

E. Ethical – As professionals, we are bound by an indelible code of honor. There should be no question about how we want our work to encourage and inspire, empower and entertain. As leaders we should base our motivations upon teaching others the path that leads to truth and humility.

R. Recorded – How do we want the world to remember our contribution to society? What we leave as legacy should find favor with our loved ones, our colleagues and the world, as a permanent record. A deed to the the life we’ve lived.

Working smarter, not harder, when viewed from where I’m standing as a freelance writer, activist and motivator, suddenly takes on a whole new meaning!

How do you work smarter?

Clara Freeman is author of the self-help ebook, A Life Toward Authenticity; My Authentic-Woman Story.  She is an advocate for women, children and the elderly and editor of the authentic woman motivational website, where she encourages women to shine their light. Feel freel to visit her at http://authentic-woman.net for more insights into her work.

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Writing With Vision – for those who want to get a book written.


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{ 21 comments… add one }
  • This is a great way to improve the way I approach my freelance writing. Thank you.
    Sarah Charmley recently posted..Book Review – Creative Writing: The Essential Guide by Tim AtkinsonMy Profile

    • Hi Sarah,

      I’m glad to know this post helped you gleam food for thought in your freelance writing approach. Applying what we learn is a great start to creative success!

      Clara Freeman recently posted..Heaven Knows by Clara54My Profile

  • Emille H.

    I think this S.M.A.R.T. acronym was associated with management and case studies and the SMARTER version is very applicable to work. How to measure if your work has contribution to society? Should it be as a contribution as a whole or is it okay to make it place specific?

    Thanks for this advice. I’ll definitely try to change my vision of work to SMARTER now!

    Emille H. recently posted..how to pick up girlsMy Profile

  • I would also add communicating to the mixture.
    Whether it aims at getting help and support to a problem; offering the same; exchanging views and perspectives, thus enriching our world; getting polished by the friction of interaction; acknowledging that we are not alone in our journey, whatever this might be, and finding comfort and new insights to our conditions — communication is a God-sent gift and it can benefit enormously, not only our business and skills, but our personal life too (which in turn enhances our professional life, but this is another story 🙂 ).
    WritersWritingWords (Eleni) recently posted..Parthenon wasn’t built in a dayMy Profile

  • This is a GREAT article. Working smarter and not harder can sometimes be difficult but it definitely makes life easier. SMART goals are very important for anyone who writes for a living because we could write for years and years without having focus. Trust me….I know!

    • Thanks Walter,

      Sometimes it’s difficult to work smarter when we’re feeling rushed, as in: meeting deadlines, completing a project for a client, or just forgetting to pencil in something of importance, like a doctors appointment:)

      Practicing setting goals, maintaining focus & descipline does condition us to work smarter.
      Clara Freeman recently posted..Guest Post: Heather GreenMy Profile

  • Thanks for your post Clara,

    Also thanks for asking your question about how I work smarter,
    to explain this I first want to tell something about an interesting book that I once read about Laziness Because I do think that in it are some of the principles of working Smarter. (Btw. I actually have put that book on my – Travel Lifestyle – Blog as Recommended Reading)

    In an attempt to work smarter I recently wrote a post about an other interesting book that’s about the Laptop Lifestyle, and since it usually is some work to create the codes for the Affiliate Links, I also came up with the idea to also use the same links on some of my other blogs so that I could also (pre) sell it on not only my – Writer’s Lifestyle – Blog, telling writers that it’s a book about doing Affiliate Marketing and about what a great opportunity it is for Writer’s to create Extra Income Streams with doing Affiliate Marketing and because I expect Writer’s to already be somewhat familiar with
    Laptops 🙂

    But at the same time also (pre) selling the same book on my – Travel Lifestyle – Blog as a way to be able to create the Freedom and Time for Travel, and also on my – Home Business Lifestyle – Blog as a possible way to build your own Home Business with doing Affiliate Marketing. On that last blog I even also have it on a special page with Books & Subscriptions.

    In other words, while I already had done some of the ‘Heavy Lifting’writing about it and putting in links and things like that, I used all that work to also put it at 3 different other places for 4 slightly different audiences. I do think that this is an example of working smarter, although only time will tell if it really works.
    HP van Duuren recently posted..Discover the Laptop Lifestyle for your WritingMy Profile

    • HP,
      You seem to have covered all the basis of working smarter! I’d say your proactive writing skills will lead to favorable outcome, err, income:)
      Clara Freeman recently posted..Guest Post: Heather GreenMy Profile

    • Yes, I’d like to hear if over time it works for you HP.

  • Jamie,

    You’ve just confrimed how time management plays a big part in being a writer and working smarter at that! you’re very disciplined. Thanks for adding your voice.
    Clara Freeman recently posted..Guest Post: Heather GreenMy Profile

  • My method of working smarter has always revolved around having a schedule that I can actually meet. Admittedly, sometimes the work days are longer than I wish they were – but in general the key is to fit in time for pitching stories to editors, writing stories, editing stories (never send in a story you haven’t proof-read more than once, yourself), and marketing the work.

    Recently that means I manage my time to include working on a novel, writing three blogs, and juggling an often inflexible series of deadlines for a corporate client. Everything has to be high quality, so I have to avoid being rushed or pressured by internal or external forces. That’s possible, but it means the television stays off, meal breaks are timed and not extended unnecessarily, and socializing is trimmed back until a hole opens up in the schedule.

    It’s all worth it, of course. Because virtually every word I write finds its way into publication – and I’m proud of that. I write for a living, but a writer is what I am. It’s not just my job. It’s me.

    • I recognize that Jamie… and sometimes I’ve had to reduce the time for my own writing down to 10 minutes at a time in order to get it all in.

  • Hi Marcie,

    Neither did I before taking the class:) Putting into practice the things we learn is simply awesome.
    Clara Freeman recently posted..Guest Post: Heather GreenMy Profile

  • My pleasure Sharon,

    I think all entrepreneurs should leave a legacy of sorts- just because 🙂 and thank you for the inspiring insights I get from a weekly dose of your Inkwell Editorials!
    Clara Freeman recently posted..Guest Post: Heather GreenMy Profile

  • I knew about SMART, but love the addition of the last two initials, Clara, especially being ethical. You’ve now set me a task to think of the what the last one – my legacy – should be. Thought-provoking – thanks for this.

    • I’m with Sharon, I didn’t know about the -ER; thanks for sharing.

      As for working smarter, I am reducing my distractions and making my to-do list shorter to ensure I complete things on my list.
      Marcie recently posted..I’m a Writing SheroMy Profile

    • Glad you liked it Sharon. My legacy at the moment is mostly the family story.

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