I love sayings. Funny ones, clever ones, even well worn clichés. If these sayings didn’t offer a kernel of truth, people wouldn’t keep saying them. So how true is the old adage, “A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush?” This English proverb cautions the hearer to not risk what you already possess in order to possibly gain more. True? Or False? Should you gamble with what you have to maybe gain more?
I say, “Yes. Take the risk.” Here are three reasons why:
1. Your situation is unique.
Your situation is entirely unique to you, and the world around you right now. Now may be the perfect time for you, to let go of the certainty in your hand and risk.
Do you think Mr. Bird-in-the-hand knew we needed someone to invent electricity, create a vaccine for polio, or make an ionized hair dryer? (Judge not. A bad hair day is rarely a good day.)
Colonel Sanders, a man very familiar with birds, risked his management job at a cafeteria to chase two birds in the bush selling his “secret recipe” to restaurants across the U.S., and ultimately the world, through his Kentucky Fried Chicken franchises. Sanders was no stranger to risk, trying every job in the book at some point, but he never let the stable, “logical” job keep him from shaking the bushes for something better.
Just like you, Harland Sanders’ situation was unique. He didn’t invent the chicken. Nor did he invent fried chicken, but his recipe was different than others, his pressurized cooking process was unique, and his approach to franchising was unprecedented.
Sanders’ two birds in the bush were worth quite a lot. At the time of the Colonel’s death there were an estimated 6,000 KFC outlets in 48 different countries with $2 billion in sales annually.
2. It might be easier than you think to get another bird.
If you let go of the bird in your hand and the other two fly away, how hard would it be to get another bird? You just need one. That’s all you have now.
If the job market is horrendous, maybe getting another job would be next to impossible. Maybe you do have to keep the bird in your hand. But before you resign yourself to that “fact” be sure and give the birds in the bush more than just a passing thought.
Remember it’s only one bird. There will be other birds.
3. Every bird is unique.
The old adage does not account for the quality of the bird in your hand or of those in the bush.
Are you clutching a crow while two beautiful peacocks nest near-by? Do you have a bald eagle and you are contemplating snatching two crows? The quality of the birds makes a big difference in your decision.
If you are holding on to something, like your job, because it is familiar, low-risk, or comfortable, maybe it is time to at least take a peek in the bushes. Do some research on your “crazy” idea, turn your hobby into a business, use your Saturday to see if you can make a go at that thing you’ve always wanted to do.
If you’ve got a bald eagle in your grasp, maybe contentment is what you need. Stop pining for the two crows in the foliage and appreciate the bird in your hand.
Either way I’d encourage you to consider the bird in your hand and the two in the bush. Your personal worth is not based on either, but the enjoyment of your future might be.
Be willing to risk. And enjoy the reward.
LinkedIn recently launched a “freelance-for-hire” service they’ve dubbed “ProFinder”. The service matches people looking for a service or product with a qualified freelance professional.
LinkedIn’s search function links the client to the best freelance option based on categories, keywords, search terms, connections, and physical location, if it’s pertinent.
As of now the ProFinder service is 100% free for both the searcher and those wanting-to-be-searched.
It’s free, but if you would like to be “featured” in certain categories pull out the plastic. Yes, being featured will cost you, but prominent placement on LinkedIn may be just what your freelance shop needs.
For the cost – free – and the exposure – 420 million members in 200 countries – ProFinder is probably worth looking into.
Let’s assume you already have a stellar LinkedIn profile. If not, hop over there and take care of that. (Here’s a piece on how to create a profile in less than 5 minutes that people will want to read. Note: I’m NOT a fan of his all caps suggestion).
Making sure your LinkedIn profile shines is even more important now because your ProFinder profile pulls information from your LinkedIn profile.
The interface and correspondence you receive from LinkedIn about ProFinder is a bit ugly, but we’ll forgive them that if they let us market our services to 420 million people for free.
Make sure you have a few recommendations on your LinkedIn profile. Recommendations are key in the LinkedIn universe to getting a look from a potential freelance client.
Rid your mind of junior high dance rejection and ask current or former clients or co-workers to recommend you on LinkedIn. If you’re afraid they won’t know what to say, toss them a bone. Ask for their help saying,
“World’s Greatest Client,
Hello. I hope the [insert project name] continues to go well. It was a pleasure to work with your team [timeframe]. I am currently looking for other fun freelance opportunities. Would you mind writing a recommendation for me on LinkedIn? The brief recommendation could mention what specific obstacle I helped the team overcome, the benefit you experienced from my assistance, and an endorsement for others to employ my services. Thanks so much for this favor. Let me know how I can help you.”
Sure, it might not be a ton of fun asking someone to “tell me I’m great”, but that’s not what you’re doing. You helped solve a problem and you would like that recorded. Wipe off those sweaty palms and ask.
If it is appropriate for you to recommend that person, do that. Seems only fair and right, and if you do it without them having to ask, they will appreciate it. Save them the sweaty palms.
To make sure the recommendation ends up on your LinkedIn profile, follow these steps:
- Go to your profile and click the down arrow to the right of the button near your profile picture.
- Click “Ask to be recommended” from the dropdown.
- Follow the prompts to request the recommendation.
- Click Send.
With your LinkedIn profile fluffed and buffed, some recommendations added, you’re ready to click a few buttons to sign up for ProFinder. First select which general service you provide, i.e. Writing and Editing, Marketing, Accounting, etc. Then click a few more buttons to highlight your expertise within that area and you’re set.
If you get one lead from it, it will be worth the investment. And we all know one lead leads to another (does anyone else hear the song from The Fixx One Thing Leads To Another in their head when I say that?).
Let me know if you’d like help writing, editing, fluffing, or buffing your content for your LinkedIn profile, resume, website, or print projects. I’d be happy to help.
Enjoy the free, freelancer.
Editor’s Update: This post was originally crafted in 2016. LinkedIn has changed this function multiple times since then. But one thing hasn’t changed. There is PLENTY of money to be made and people to serve as a freelancer. I turned my freelancer gigs into my own business and I now several freelancers work for me.
How often in our “quick fix” society do we let an idea, a disagreement, a judgment, or a dream … rest or mellow before we dismiss it, sweep it up, or file it away? Do we ever just wait.
I was thinking about this the other night when we spilled rice at the dinner table.
Rice is starchy and soft and a tasty “filler,” popular with most age groups, that keeps well in the pantry and is simple to prepare. (Set it and forget it, is my favorite style of cooking.)
Once you tally the brown vs. white votes and get the cooker started, rice is a nice compliment to a multitude of main dishes. But once it’s spilled, it’s a sticky mess.
If you try wiping it up across the table like you would bread crumbs, you are in for a mess (or a trip down memory lane to the gooey white paste Mrs. Greenland gave us in elementary school art class.)
Rice is easier to clean up if you let it dry.
Leave it. Just wait.
Finish your meal. Listen to one another recount what happened that day. Laugh at the silly situations. Really hear what your kids have to say. And clear the plates for washing as the rice dries.
Leaving the mess runs counter to most of our instincts. If something spills, you clean it up. When someone wrongs you, you point it out. If an idiot driver cuts you off, you “tell” them from behind the wheel.
But immediate action isn’t always the best course of action. Sometimes you need to let it be. To just wait.
What areas of your life or your business need to be left alone to “dry” for a period of time in hopes of a more successful “clean up”? What dream do you keep trying to sweep up immediately … with poor results?
Sometimes it’s best to just wait. And see.
Would you agree? I’m waiting…