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Why John Rambo is the Ultimate Freelancer

Here's some advice for freelancers on what to do and what not to do: John Rambo style.

January 28th, 2008 • Business Lessons •
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After watching Rambo this weekend, I couldn't help but realize that John Rambo was a freelancer.

I'm not talking about the type of freelancer that goes crazy on clients the way Rambo attacked the enemy, but the way he handled himself before all of the fighting is what I'm referring to. Check out these similarities I noticed in the movie that relates to freelancers.

  1. When a job comes along, you don't HAVE to take it. Rambo has been through a lot in war and even the hint of gunpowder can make the man go crazy. Even though the crusade was trying to save lives and had good intentions, they didn't realize what they were getting into, but Rambo kept telling them to go home. He was going to be paid handsomely, but still declined the offer. Analyze the jobs that appear on your radar. You're a freelancer. Decide whether you want it or not.
  2. Always keep your cool. During the entire movie, John Rambo kept his cool and knew every situation he went into. If a client get out of hand, always remember to think about a situation before you speak. Possibly even diffuse the problem before it even becomes a problem.
  3. Don't let a loudmouth intimidate you.
    This continues down the path of number 2. Lewis was pretty fierce in the movie and kept egging on John Rambo. But John Rambo didn't do anything. Heck, these were the guys who were going to help him even though Lewis kept pushing him. If someone is pressuring you or forcing you to get fired up, just keep this in mind: Most leaders keep their cool in hot situations and stay level-headed to make the right decisions. Don't let someone push you into making a rash decision. You may not like the outcome.
  4. Step up and take action! As residents of Burma were being forced to run across a water landmine-ridden field, most of the mercenaries were worried that they would be found out if they started attacking. This was the fear factor setting in. They were there to do a job and, in my eyes, they failed at that point. If you are there to do a job or have a project that you even think will start making you money, don't sit around and wish the problems away or think you can't do it. You attack and start the ball rolling (even if the loudmouth doesn't start doing anything). Remember, action speaks louder than words.
  5. Know when to pull out the big guns. Near the end of the movie, John Rambo got out the big guns. He saved the mercenaries who were near the boat because he knew he needed help. When you are knee-deep in bad guys or projects, know when to ask for assistance instead of trying to take on everything yourself. If you need help, pull out your big guns (your contacts in your network) and see if anyone can help with your projects.

I watched the movie last night (Sunday) and I thought it was pretty good. A LOT of killing, so make sure you don't take your 10 year old to go see the movie (which I saw a couple bring their 9-10 year old to watch it).

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Picture of Jonathan Danylko

Jonathan Danylko is a freelance web architect and avid programmer who has been programming for over 20 years. He has developed various systems in numerous industries including e-commerce, biotechnology, real estate, health, insurance, and utility companies.

When asked what he likes to do in his spare time, he replies, "Programming."

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