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 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 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.