This week I found an inspiring article ("Tina Fey's AHA! Moment") from a June 2003 Oprah magazine. In the article, Tina Fey talks about how her improv career helped shape her life. One of the rules of improv is to always say yes to whatever the person sharing the scene asks. In other words, in improv, there is only one right answer to the question, "Is that a two-headed monkey on your shoulder?"
"The fun is always on the other side of a yes."
I've found this advice to be sound, especially since I started working for myself. One of the joys of being a freelancer is you get to enjoy a varied set of tasks, much more varied than what you'd see in a normal 9-5 position. In the past couple of years, I've done many jobs that I've never done before. I've edited books, worked as a designer for a bead company, wrote marketing copy, designed original cards, sold my handmade jewelry in a gallery, shipped my handmade goods internationally ... and much more.
I'd felt nervous saying yes to some of those opportunities. It's a little scary to agree to do something new that you think you can do, but aren't positive you can. It's worth noting that these new tasks were reasonable leaps. True, I'd never edited a book before, but I'd helped edit several magazines before that, not to mention Beading Daily. And no, I had never sold my jewelry in a gallery, but I had sold it at some very small shows. It wasn't like I was being asked to walk on the moon. (That's an opportunity I'd turn down. Probably. Although now that I'm writing this post, I'm thinking, Hey, why not?)