2019 by the numbers

First, let me start by saying, I am so freaking grateful to enter this new decade still doing the work I love. Since 2010 especially, I’ve realized that for me, self-employment is a moving blessing. It ebbs and flows. Some years I make more money, others I make less. Some years I work harder, other years, I let life take more of a front-row-seat to work. Sometimes I have huge projects, sometimes my roster is comprised of smaller ones.

Self-employment is always changing.

It’s not a steady paycheck like when I wore golden handcuffs in corporate land.

But what stays the same is this: Because of Ilise, and the principles I’ve learned from her over the years (since we met in 2006!), I know that I have the tools I need to ramp up my work when I need to. I know how to do marketing and outreach. I know I have accountability when I need it. And this gives me confidence!

My goal for 2019 was overall to have “my best year ever, physically, financially and emotionally.” Did I? No! But without a goal—there’s nothing to aim for. :) But truly, I did okay. Physically I kept my relationship with the gym going strong. Financially, I made a little less than 2018, but it’s all good…some money I expected in December came in early January—so while it didn’t make the 2019 deadline, it’s still in the bank. (And things were looking much bleaker until a mid-September infusion of referrals.) Emotionally, I felt more spirited, and I made time for some beautiful things in life that brought me lots of joy.

As I’ve done in 2013201420152016, 2017, and 2018, here is my 2019 by the numbers:

  • Years in business – 13
  • Total clients – 26 (that’s 1 more than last year)
  • Clients who are designers – 13
  • Client websites written – 12 (a few landed here)
  • Client blogs + newsletters written – 80+
  • Clients for whom I write monthly or bi-monthly blog posts, newsletters or case studies – 8
  • Times my car AC broke and it made me love life even more – 1
  • Clients who came from referrals – 6
  • Times I looked into co-working, and decided to stay reclusive – 1
  • Un-newsletter subscribers (sign up here) – 688 (that’s up 56 from last year!)
  • Un-newsletters sent (read them here) – 5 (that’s 2 less than last year, but it makes 71 since 2010!)
  • Total prospects I reached out to – 35 (That’s 20 more than last year, but my efforts fizzled out after April, because work got really busy and I didn’t make outreach a priority. But it was definitely working—here’s my outreach script.)

What’s my plan for 2020?

Most years, my goal has been to make more money. This year, I’m trying something a little different. It’s all about balance and efficiency for me in 2020. Because if I make, let’s say, 100k, but spend recklessly, is it really better than making 50k and spending wisely? If I make 100k and am a stressed out human who is working too much, is it really better than making 50k and being in balance, loving what I do, and making time for the joy in life? This year I’m going to try to keep what’s most important at the front-and-center, and trust that by being more intentional about my time and money, work and life will be great this year. Here are my intentions for 2020:

  • To consistently use the percentage method (sometimes known as Profit First) that works well for me (when I use it)! For every payment I receive, I send dedicated percentages to specific accounts. For example, 25% of every payment gets sent to my taxes account. My other accounts include savings, spending, mortgage/bills, retirement, etc.
  • To give myself plenty of time to work on projects and not wait until the last-minute—because it’s not worth the mental stress! Sometimes I’m better at tapping away at projects for multiple days or weeks before the deadline. Other times, I cut it close and put lots of pressure on myself to deliver without the cushion of time. The former feels so much better! I’m dedicated to making that a priority this year.
  • Acceptance! It’s my word of the year. This means embracing my own sensitivity and nuttiness, and also appreciating that although I’m not in control of very much, I can choose to accept what happens and riding the wave of life.
  • To continue to refine my own definition of working smarter, and push guilt out of my mind!
  • To listen to my body, especially when it needs rest.
  • To spend more time listening to music and trying new recipes.

How are you approaching 2020? What perspectives have you gained over the past decade?

Hi, I’m Deidre. In my posts, I talk about my voyage down the road of self-employment as a web copywriter, my achievements and roadblocks along the way, and what I’m learning as I go (with Marketing Mentor as my guide). To keep in touch, sign up for my un-newsletter here and get my freebie download, 12 Sparks to Write Sizzling, Audience-Attracting Website Words.