Creative Scales

I often tell students that if their practice is boring, it is their fault.

In fact, if just about anything is boring, it’s probably your fault.

Let’s imagine that you decided to jog for one kilometre every day to get fit. Some people do this by running around the same oval each time. The scenery never changes, the challenge never grows. It’s no wonder that they probably give up after only a week or so (if they make it that far).

There are many things you can do to make the jogging more interesting. You can run through different locations. You can run on different surfaces. You can run at different times of the day. You can run against a clock. You can run with a training partner. You can run while you walk your dog.

You can run entirely uphill, or entirely downhill. You can run on soft sand on a beach. You can run through the sprinklers when the local oval is being watered. You can run on a treadmill. You can run backwards, or while listening to music, or while planning your latest novel.

Heck, you can even walk once in awhile. Or hop.

So what can you do with scales apart from just play them up and down and up and down and up and down?

The Opportunities Created by Attending Conventions

Have you ever been to conventions related to your field? Even if the entrance fee of some of these events, particularly the high-profile ones, carry a steep entrance fee, the opportunities created by attending them can do wonders for your freelancing career.

In such a large gathering of like-minded people, you’ll meet interesting people who represent future clients or collaborators. Future clients who are looking for quality talent that can accomplish their projects, or future collaborators who can complement your skill set. You also get to rub shoulders with the best in your profession, and if possible get some advice or ideas from them.

The networking opportunities are immense, and you may find yourself leaving the convention center with a lot of new contacts who can help you advance your career as a contract worker.

Let’s also not forget that many quality conventions actually offer some sort of educational experience. The various speakers what will probably cover the most important topics of your field, or at the very least make you aware of what the industry trends are. Not to mention the common sense of thinking and approach your fellow freelancers take. You can use this info to help yourself stand out from the other attendees, who of course happen to be your competitors. Better yet, any respectable organizer would make a video of the entire event available as part of the package, so you can review everything at your leisure.

By far the biggest opportunity is getting to know the event organizers, and convincing them (hopefully in a subtle manner) of your expertise. Who knows, you might actually find yourself as a speaker for next year’s edition? That will do wonders for your reputation, making you known as an authority in your own field. Just make sure you know how to give great presentations!