There’s saying among surgeons about the requisite qualities for having a successful career – they’re called “the Three A’s.” It’s an expression I love, because it’s every bit as applicable to unlocking true success as a freelancer.

To reach true success, they say, a surgeon must be all three of the following: Able, Accessible, and Affable.

Clearly, these traits make total sense.


Any surgeon, first and foremost, must be Able. You wouldn’t want to have open-heart surgery from a cardiac surgeon who hasn’t had the appropriate fellowship-level training, would you? Likewise, a successful freelancer needs to be skilled at the trades he or she is advertising – and even more importantly, should demonstrate this proficiency with examples of previous work.


It’s great to have a history of glowing reviews and a dazzling portfolio – but if prospective customers can’t easily make contact with you, you’ll be losing out on an incredible source of potential revenue. This is why being Accessible is critical to our success as a freelancer. While responding to inquiries from potential customers can be time-consuming, there are a variety of strategies to make this process more efficient: batch processing emails, using text-expanders, and even outsourcing your inbox management are all potential ways to convert inquiries to paid purchases – all without losing time from your work.


This goes without saying: no matter how good you are, no one wants to work with a grouch. This is why it’s important to always present your most professional, personable self at all times. In other words, be Affable. Once you do this, you’ll be shocked how far a little patience goes – seemingly demanding or difficult customers will become your most loyal fans.




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