What is your end game?

Before you can start finding clients you need to take stock of where you are and where you’re heading.

They say that the journey of a 1,000 miles begins with a single step.

Well, yes. But you have to know where you’re going first.

(And who are “they” exactly…)

Now it’s time to think about your future. Specifically, what is your end game with freelancing?

Have you thought about that yet?

Where you even told to think about that?

I grew up around video games. I remember getting a Nintendo for Christmas one year. I eagerly set it up (alright, I had my parents set it up). Popped in Super Mario Bros. And died from the first enemy. For hours on end.

(I was six, my hand-eye coordination was about as good as a deaf bat. Or would that be a hand-wing coordination…)

Anyways, even with the glow of a new Nintendo I grew discouraged with Super Mario Bros really quickly. You see, I was putting in the best effort I could but I wasn’t getting anywhere. Even after figuring out how to jump, I’d just die on the next enemy.

It sucked.

But the bigger reason I was getting discouraged was that I had no reason to keep going. You see, at that age I couldn’t understand why I was playing the game. I knew there must have been something but I couldn’t grasp it. Once the magic of “the game” wore off, I gave up.

Then there was Duck Hunt.

Duck hunt

You see, this version of the Nintendo was the Action Set and it came with a second game called Duck Hunt. In this game there were ducks flying around the screen and you’d aim the plastic gun controller at your screen to hunt them.

I loved this game.

Even though the trigger on the controller was so hard I had to use both hands to pull the trigger..

Even though I sucked at this game also…

I felt like I was getting somewhere.

The big difference between Duck Hunt and Mario was that I could clearly see how I was doing. Look at the image above and you can see the little duck icons. That’s a counter of how many ducks you’d hit and which one is flying now.

Or you can watch this video of the gameplay. You can understand the entire game in the first 90 seconds.

Duck Hunt gave me a clear indicator of how I was doing for each level.

I was able to see how I was doing. And how my actions where helping or hindering me from finishing the level.

So how does this relate to freelancing?

In Duck Hunt, the “end game” is to hit enough ducks to beat the level.

What is your end game with freelancing?

Do you want to work on-site with the best startups while building software?

Become known in your hometown for creating the best website designs?

Go on a book tour and talk to your fans about your passion?

Or maybe your end game is a more personal. Maybe it’s staying at home with your children while working a few hours from the coffee shop on the weekend.

Take some time to think about your end game over the next few days. If you need help or want an opinion, feel free to email me or message me on Twitter.

Eric Davis