Last May, I met few young freelancers in New York who convinced me that a freelancer should shut himself in a room for a week and read all the classical literature on Courtship, Gaming, Dating and should read the bio-graphies of Richard Burton, Casanova and such great players of history.
Let us see the Art and Science of Dating in its various stages :
>> As a freelancer you need to scan your environment and find out your level and client’s level. In a scale of 10, if you are at 5 and a client is at 8, you will be overlooked. Similarly, if you are at level 8 and target a client at level 5, you will be overlooked. Scanning is the process to have a short-list of prospects having same or marginally higher score than your level.
>> You now have a list and ready for target practice. What is the objective ? The objective is to penetrate the citadel of a business – its revenue. In targeting process, you are getting prepared to make sure that the playing field is levelled and chance of failure is as optimized as can be. Please remember – you have limited time for everything.
>> Your targets are not static. They are also moving up and down and hence you need to stalk them – observe their movements. See what they are saying and also what their suppliers saying. Read the blogs of people working inside the organization. Use camouflage to know in detail. Think of the images of the cheetah stalking a deer in African forest as you have seen hundred times in NG or Discovery Channel.
>> The approach does not happen – in dating as well as in business is due to fear, sloth and laziness. Approaching is like a collision and the more accidental the collision looks like, the better ( think of 1960s bollywood movies where the hero relies on collision for approach). Approaching can be done on multiple channels and multiple levels but approach there must be. Seth Godin has advised us to make the permission to seek approach an approach itself. Like – ‘Can you spare a second to tell whether you can have a minute for me ?. However, this will work only when levels are almost equal. Otherwise, permission is not granted at all.
Sometimes,. poor approaches can be somewhat compensated by access. Read below.
>> Have you observed uneven matches in dating, courtship and marriage markets ? It happens all the time. You may have an approach of 9 but you may fail to approach even a 8 ? Why ? Because, Life is unfair. This unfairness of life works against when you are upping the scale and works for you when you reach a level. Nature works this way to make sure that the very best reach up. In business also, you shall see sloppy freelancers getting high-grade clients. This is due to access.
Some access are in-born (like being born in a certain ovary which we shall call ovarian lottery) but some can be cultivated. I shall write a new book on this.
>> Many relationships wilt like flower in a vase in a lonely room because the parties do not escalate. Escalation is nothing but giving a purpose and direction to what has happened so far. The purpose can be first project, first kiss, first lay. Whatever. But escalation must be there. One classic escalation line for a freelancer : ‘I have got the capacity to handle some 10,000 words a day. Please feel free to bid for such projects’
How will you make this claim real ? This is by pipe lining.
>> Large Corporations handle many complex projects and also deal with many uncertainties. So instead of allocating resources, they create a ‘hope-will-assemble-in-time’ pipelines. You need to keep such resources and colleague ready. For example, if you are in a city and find a girl who is ready to go with you for a night, your pipelining is a nice hotel room in a short distance from where you are. If the hotel is not there, she may change her mind. If the hotel is far away, her mind may change en-route. Your pipe-lines are reliable and excellent colleagues who shall be the pipeline. If you have 4 colleagues, then 10,000 words per day for 3 days is not something very great. But the effect on the client will be something very different.
7. Arranging Logistics
>> What is Logistics ? Logistics to me means very important and critical things which are not my specialization. For example, I may need an AC room but how AC works to know is not my business. I rely on other people for that. Better logistics preparation implies planning and free time. This is achieved by setting aside some money and time as you move up the ladder. From each scan —> success cycle and the money thereof, you need to save some to improve your logistics – be it software or hardware, your travel, your hobbies, your books or simply to have a nice time.
8. Event Success !!!
>> Now, success – you have your first kiss or first project or whatever. What next ?
Like all great military generals or players, you should immediately think in two lines
a. What did I learn from this and where I did go wrong ?
b. How can I apply these in the next approach ?
c. Did I approach a level higher now or remain in the same level ?
The last point is the most-crucial – self-realization and that is what you have worked for so hard for so long.