In a previous article, I confessed to my biggest challenge or weakness as a freelancer. Today, I’d like to talk about my biggest strength.
Some people who know me may say that I can be very annoying at times. This is because I am focused on the details of how things are done to the exclusion of almost everything else.
Being so tightly focused has its downside. I miss a lot of the other things going on in any given situation. I’m not clueless to the level of Sheldon in “Big Bang Theory,” and I lack his extreme self-confidence, yet, like him, I do find a good bit of the human interaction to be baffling at times.
I AM working on this. Ann Landers and Ms. Manners have helped me a great deal over the years. Having people around who care enough to give me a clue now and then (even if they are forced to be blunt when delivering it) really helps, as well.
(I have noticed that guy friends are less likely to call me on my BS and to give me a clue than female friends. That’s a topic for another post, I suppose. )
Some people may find it odd that this trait leads me to have both a fascination with the big picture (how the details all fit together) and tunnel vision on the “process and flow” aspects.
In any case, being focused on the details of how things are done is a personality trait I have had since I was a child. It came from the group dynamic in my family, although it is my own personal way of dealing with that dynamic, not one that my siblings share.
When I started working as a legal secretary in 1996, I put this trait into good use in order to deal with the job. After I had been working there for a month or two, my wife announced that I would have to quit that job. I asked her, “Why? ” She replied, “because you were already a nitpicker and this job has made you much worse!” Despite such a strong argument on her part, I did not quit the job until years later, although there were many days when I gave it serious consideration.
So, from all of this, it should be obvious that my greatest strength as a freelancer is my attention to detail. This is now considered a trite statement, so let me elaborate.
I apply this attention to detail to each part of my business, from what goes into my notary journal to how I do bookkeeping and everything else.
When I take on a real estate closing assignment (as a Notary Signing Agent), I review the documents before I print them to see if there are any elements that could present a problem or create a speed-bump at the signing. I call the signers before the appointment to confirm everything that needs to be confirmed and I use Adobe’s tools to add any needed wording to the notary elements of any notarized documents. As the signing proceeds, I keep control of the documents and check them to be sure they are handled correctly. After they are all signed, I review them and make necessary entries in my notary journal. I give them a third review somewhere else before shipping the package of documents out.
When I write a freelance article for pay (as a freelance writer), I do so based on research, training, reading widely on the subject, and my own experience in dealing with the public and/or clients on the matter. I don’t just repeat what others have said. I take all the focus on details and how things are done and I think about it before putting it into my voice. I proof-read and edit and proof-read again before submitting the articles so that I am sure they are right when I send them off.
As an ordained Minister, I have only officiated at a few weddings so far, so I am still very nervous when I stand before the couple and their witnesses. Even so, I prepare a separate ceremony and mini-sermon for each one. I take lessons learned about the process and the flow of the event to planning the next one.
As seen above, this strength is a mixed blessing. It definitely has downsides as well as upsides.
And, then, for another perspective on being focused, there is this : Success Comes Sequentially
(I hope this won’t count as humble bragging. )
As I am greatly enjoying and learning from many of the blogs found through the WordPress #blogging101 class, I hope that my classmates will comment below. What is your biggest strength in what you do?