When I started freelancing I saw everything as a cost. A cost was a negative; it had no positive. It should be avoided.
This meant that I didn't invest in software that would save time, or networking opportunities that would build connections.
I just avoided all that and struggled on. I saved money, in the short term, but my income never grew. This was a direct result of my reluctance to spend money.
There is a saying that goes "you need to spend money to make money". This is true. It means plucking up the courage to spend money right now - often money that you can't really spare - in order to bring a greater return later on.
It can feel risky, but unlike gambling, there is a high probability that if you spend money on the right things it will pay dividends in the near-future. Enrol on that course, buy those books, rent that office space, hire that freelancer to help you deliver that project.
This might sound like fairly obvious advice, but there is a much deeper and more problematic impact that comes from having a cost-mindset. One that, over time, will basically destroy your freelance career.
The really damaging impact of seeing everything as a cost is that, ultimately, you see your own skills as a cost to others. Read that again.
You enter a conversation with a client about a new brand identity, a piece of copywriting or a new website, and all the while your own brain is telling you "I'm a cost, I'm a cost". Costs are meant to be cut, investments are supposed to grow.
Costs are meant to be cut, investments are supposed to grow.
Position yourself as an investment, always.
I coach freelancers like you to help move your mindset away from a negative, cost-oriented one to a more productive and profitable growth-oriented mindset.