For a lot of freelancers, making as much money as possible in the least amount of time is often the main goal. I’m not going to lie and say money isn’t something I think about often, but there’s one thing that attracts me even more – long-term stability.
When you grow up in a crazy country where life conducts itself like a soap opera, you come to value security quite a bit. That’s why I’ve made it my goal over the past few years to not only make enough money to be comfortable, but to gain a solid footing in my overall work life.
Stability may sound like a foreign term to many freelancers – particularly those of you starting off. In this post, I’ll firstly discuss what economic stability looks like and how to know when you’re there, then offer three steps you can use to find it.
Let’s get started!
Leaving work behind often means we’re in charge of our own schedule. Unfortunately, we’re not all naturally adept at managing our own workload. Left to our own devices, this often leads to terrible time management.
I think it’s safe to say everyone struggles with procrastination to some degree, but finding a structured system that fits your personality and way of thinking can do wonders for your productivity. Usually, it involves tricking ourselves into action. In my case, this system is the ‘anti to-do’ list.
No solution is perfect, but finding one that’s suitable (as well as practicing it) is important. In this post, I’ll explain what an anti to-do list is, then teach you how to set up your own.
Let’s get started!
So you want to quit your day job?
Good for you! It’s exciting, isn’t it? But a bit nerve wracking, scary and overwhelming too.
Since it’s kind of a big deal, I think it deserves proper consideration. So I’ve compiled a list of five questions you should ask yourself before giving your boss the pink slip.
1. How Much Money am I Making from My Freelance Business?
And frankly, how predictable is it?
I started my own freelance business as a side hustle, and I’d recommend you do the same. Start building while you’re working full-time if at all possible. This will enable you to make sure it’s viable, use the income to pay down debt (or save it) and make sure it’s something you enjoy.
Tom: The following is another guest post from Gina Horkey – she’s filling in while I’m sunning myself in Sri Lanka. This week she’s focusing on productivity, and has given me a few things to think about! If your days aren’t as productive as you would like, keep reading for some simple solutions.
Organization is great. But then so is flexibility.
I was attracted to the whole concept of leaving work behind in part because of the latter. Even though I have a bunch of systems in place that help me to be more organized, I try not to be overly rigid. This is to make my work as easy and enjoyable as possible. It’s also important that I’m keeping clients happy by meeting (or exceeding) deadlines.
However, I don’t want my days to be so so precisely planned that I’m feeling suffocated or stifled by my work. This is a rather creative business, and you can’t really force creativity. There is a balance to be struck.
With the above in mind, in this post I’m going to share with you four steps that enable me to plan successful days before they’ve even happened. Keep Reading
I’m incredibly fortunate. I’ve got to a point now where I make enough money to support me. At this point, my day-to-day contentment with what I do is more important to me than making me more money.
That puts me in a rather interesting position where I don’t want to set myself strict goals.
The thing is, ambitious goals are brilliant for pushing you and getting you to places you wouldn’t otherwise have gotten to. But they can also be a source of stress. They can put pressure on you. That’s the nature of goals.
Richard Koch says you should impose tight deadlines to force you to do more in less time, which is great in theory. But in reality, that creates stress.
All of this can be a good thing when you’ve got a big goal in mind. For instance, setting tough goals and really pushing yourself when you’re trying to quit your job can all be worth it. Quitting that job can be worth the stress and hassle.
But I’ve got myself into a position where the stress of strict goals is no longer worth it. I want to feel that I can wake up in the morning and do precisely what I want to do — I can’t do that if I have goals looming over me. I want to only do those things that I find most rewarding; those things that align with my moral principles. I still have goals — I just don’t set myself arbitrary deadlines or put myself in a position where I feel pressured to do something I don’t want to do.
Consider my experience with Clear Blogging Solutions. I started off by trying to attract every client under the sun. I soon discovered that I didn’t like dealing with people who wanted to pay $50 per article, and that my original core client (who would pay a good price for good value) was someone I wanted to stick with. There might be less of them, and I might make less overall by dealing only with them, but it is sure more rewarding. Screw the extra money — I don’t need it. I’m happy.
Depending upon your current situation, this may come of something as a revelation to you, or you may be sitting there telling me that it’s all well and good for me. Fair enough, but I’m not here to hate on goal setting (far from it) or gloat that I can afford not to set goals. My point is that goal setting is a tool; one that should be used with forethought. As such, you should always ask yourself why you are setting a goal and whether it is worth it — not simply set goals blindly because you feel it is the done thing.
I’m not saying you shouldn’t set goals — after all, without goals, we are highly unlikely to ever reach our true potential. But perhaps reaching our true potential involves sacrifices that are too great. That is the equation you have to consider.
Photo Credit: Marcel Oosterwijk