The Difference Between Being Persistent, and Being a Pest

Persistence is virtuous, it’s advantageous, it’s necessary for reaching any goal.

When you are doing anything that requires outreach, booking a podcast guest, landing an internship or a new job, trying to meet GaryVee; there is a fine line between being persistent, and being a pest.

The difference, is in the value you bring to the table.

I worked at VaynerMedia for a year as a videographer on the VaynerTalent team. To get that gig, I emailed the decision maker (DRock) 7 times before he saw my interest and asked for work examples. I then had to send the work examples another 7 times for him to see them and get on the phone with me. But why did he accept the call? Because I was actually exactly the person they needed to hire, so my persistence was appreciated.

Recently, I’ve gotten quite a few sales messages on LinkedIn. One in particular was offering a training for videographers to help them go “from 2k per month to 13k per month”. Let’s just say I know how to make money, so it’s not particularly valuable to me and I ignored it.

She sent me 5 more messages with language like “I’m persistent so I’m not stopping until you tell me to F off!”

This is being a pest. It will not help you sell yourself.

So if you have something truly valuable to give to the other party, be persistent. If you don’t, don’t be a pest.

Improve Your Corner of the World

Life tends to be a mixed bag of little wonderful moments surrounded by all kinds of little things to make you suffer.

Your date has been amazing, but the service at the chosen restaurant sucked and they got your order wrong.

You live in LA so you have the beach, the mountains, and the city all at your fingertips. It takes an hour in heavy, annoying traffic to get anywhere.

You have a great job, but your boss is really hard on you.

Your hobby became your job, but now you don’t have the same creative freedom.

Coffee is delicious! But a tiny bit too much caffeine gives you a blistering migraine.

These words from Jordan Peterson changed my approach to living:

Life is suffering. Right, indisputable.

What do you do about that?

You voluntarily accept it.

Then you strive to live in a way that reduces your own suffering, and reduces the suffering for the people around you.

The key though, is that this is not a linear relationship. You do not first accept the suffering, and then become able to live in a way that reduces it.

You make the choice yes, but the act of seeking out the small problems we have and fixing them is what makes bearing the burden easier. It is easier to encounter a bit of suffering, because now you can figure out how to fix the problem. Each time you solve a problem, each time you reduce your own suffering or someone else’s just a bit, each time you solve a meaningful problem, that is fulfillment, that is meaning.

This is meaningful work, solving problems which reduce the suffering we each have to live with.

What improvement can you make in your corner of the world?

How to Pitch Your Freelance Work

One of the first, really hard things you have to learn as a freelancer is how to pitch yourself.

In the beginning you feel crazy asking someone to pay you for pictures, or for your writing, or a video, whatever it is you do. It feels like imposter syndrome, or like a scam in some ways. This person could pay anyone to take photos, at almost any price point, why you?

That’s the first question to ask yourself, why should they choose me? And the answer must be true and unbiased. It could be:

  • Your creative vision.

  • Your ability to make something solid despite circumstances.

  • Your unique style.

  • Your low price.

  • Your existing audience.

Whatever you have that few others do, that’s your selling point.

Once you know what you’re selling, package it up.

  • 3 examples of that kind of work you’ve done in the past (or your own pro-bono work that shows you can do it).

  • 3 pricing models for…

  • 3 different sets of deliverables.

Beginner/Intermediate Pricing and Deliverable Examples:

  • $1,000 for 1 photoshoot and 10 final images.

  • $3,000 a month for 30 Instagram Posts, Captions, and Tags.

  • $350 day rate for any service.

  • $50 per hour for any service.

The most important piece is having previous work to show. The client needs to say, “Do this again, but with our product.” And then be happy with the price you set.

Set the Pace for the Week

It’s Monday. It’s time to set the pace for the week.

No, it’s time to decide what kind of week this is going to be.

Let this week be a new benchmark for you. A new ideal to strive toward.

Have fewer meetings. Get along with your coworkers better. Do something nice for the person who sits next to you. Show up early. List out your important tasks and schedule in the time to focus on them. Get in flow. Don’t let the drama get in your head. Make your best work. Make yourself proud!

Please, take a few minutes at the start of this Monday to sit with your thoughts.

Who do you want to be this week?

What do you have to do differently to be proud of yourself on Friday?

How will you reward yourself for a job well done?