10 TED Talks every freelancer should watch

 Who doesn’t love a TED Talk? Lots of wisdom, wit, and interesting experiences packed into an eloquent 18 minutes or less.

Whether you’re at the very beginning of your freelance career, or you’ve been around the block a bit, these 10 TED Talks are full of inspiration and the perfect length for your next coffee break.


1- The power of introverts | Susan Cain

Freelancers can be a solitary bunch - working on their own and often thriving because of it. If you’ve been led to believe introversion is a negative trait, author Susan Cain has some thoughts which might surprise you. Her 2012 TED Talk explains the societal benefits of being an introvert, and why business needs more of them.


2- What I learned from 100 days of rejection | Jia Jiang


Entrepreneur and author Jia Jiang has done one of the most excruciating things so we don’t have to. He forced himself to experience rejection every day for 100 days, and not only did he live to tell the tale on the TED stage, he found rejection isn’t so bad after all. Favourite this link for the next time your proposal or pitch is turned down.


3- Know your worth, and then ask for it | Casey Brown


This talk isn’t just for people who have to ask their boss for a pay rise, it’s just as relevant to freelancers setting their own rates. Pricing consultant Casey Brown teaches us how to assess what we’re worth and make sure we get it, in just over 8 minutes!


4- The surprising thing I learned sailing solo around the world | Dame Ellen MacArthur


Okay, so sitting at a computer on your own doesn’t quite compare to sailing around the world on your own, but Dame Ellen MacArthur’s insights are surprisingly transferable. Her unique experience can help anyone contemplate the resources they have and how they use them.


5- Why work doesn't happen at work | Jason Fried


Freelancers are good at working flexibly, so you’re probably already quite on board with Basecamp founder Jason Fried. He deconstructs and analyses why so many of us are unproductive in certain work environments, and what we can do about it. If your home office is in limbo, or you find yourself losing focus regularly, this is the talk for you.


6- What makes us feel good about our work? | Dan Ariely

When you’re building an enterprise all on your own, it really helps to understand what motivates you and your work. Incredibly, money doesn’t quite do it for most of us. The strange alchemy behind happily getting things done is a lot more complex than that, according to psychology professor Dan Ariely.


7- Success, failure and the drive to keep creating | Elizabeth Gilbert


Elizabeth Gilbert wrote the ginormous bestseller, Eat, Pray Love, but she received a lot of rejections before she was finally published. It can be difficult to hear already successful people talk about failure, but this is genuinely illuminating and pragmatic. The main focus is how to keep going regardless of external approval or disapproval.


8- Wisdom from great writers on every year of life | Joshua Prager

You don’t need to be a writer by trade to get something out of this one. Author Joshua Prager takes us through our lifetime with quotes from famous writers including Norman Mailer, Thomas Mann, Vladimir Nabokov and more. Each quote focuses on time, age, maturity, and development.


9- Why do ambitious women have flat heads? | Dame Stephanie Shirley

Dame Stephanie Shirley founded an all-woman tech company in the 1960s, which was later valued at $3 billion. Her remarkable experience makes her a wonderful person to talk about ambition, equal opportunities, how much the world has changed, and how much change it’s still capable of.


10- Grit: the power of passion and perseverance | Angela Lee Duckworth

At school, university, and even in the workplace, we’re praised for learning quickly and having good credentials. After leaving a well-paid corporate job to go into teaching, Angela Lee Duckworth discovered success requires much more than that.


It’s not too difficult to get inspired, especially when you’ve got all this great material. Staying inspired and turning it into something great is much harder. Solna helps you take care of late payments and get invoices paid faster, so you can spend more time building your freelance business and getting creative.

With Solna, your clients can pay straight from the invoice (you’ll get paid 3x faster on average), and you can even set automatic late payment reminders. Oh, and it’s free. 


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