What drives you as a freelancer? I’m not talking money, work/life balance or a rewarding workload (although those are all very valid reasons). I’m talking about a term used in coaching – transactional drivers. Transactional drivers are the ways in which we respond to times of challenge or stress. Even in an ideal world freelancers face tricky or challenging situations, and understanding why you react the way you do can be hugely beneficial.
There are five drivers – Work Harder, Be Perfect, Please Others, Be Strong and Hurry Up. Reading those, are there any that stand out, or ring a bell for you? These are the critical voices that pop up in our heads when we’re dealing with tricky situations like pitching for a new project or dealing with client criticism. Understanding what your main drivers are (at the current time, the chances are that all of these will apply at some point in your life for you) can help you overcome those negative voices. For example, if Work Harder is a strong one for you, you may want to think back to where this started. Did you encounter pressure to always do better when younger? Do you now feel like whatever you do isn’t good enough? In coaching, we then challenge these drivers and work on being in control of them rather than them controlling you. Understanding your drivers can also help you identify what projects to take on, which clients are a great match and how much time you need to give yourself for work.
Got 20 minutes? Catch the Transactional Drivers podcasts
Last month, I recorded a series of podcasts giving a brief overview of each of the transactional drivers and how it can impact on your freelance life. You can listen to them below, in Soundcloud or by listening on iTunes. You can also take a transactional drivers quiz here if you’re unsure which one you are.