2021 by the numbers

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Guest post by Deidre Rienzo:

This morning, my son was still snoring at 8:40 AM. I hate waking him up, but he’s supposed to be at school by 9. 

I patted his back. He opened his eyes and popped up smiling. 

I asked, “Do you want to go to school?” His eyes lit up.

Then he asked for his shoes (obsessed!) and as we went downstairs to get him dressed and fed, he started gleefully saying goodbye to his stuffed animals, the house and the dogs.

Moving into 2022, I’m not quite as chipper or eager. Heck, I think I’m sort of in shock. 

This is the first week Dominic will be at school 5 days. It’s also the first day my husband is back to work after 14 months of being at home. For half the year, my stepsons were here during the day, too, doing home school. Sitting here in my office with one dog snoozing on the chair, and the other dog playing outside in the snow, it's bizarrely quiet. I feel weird. Happy. Sad. Free. Lonely. All of them.

As far as work goes — it was a good year. My income has been about the same for the past four years. I feel calm and content. (I guess it only took 15 years!) I’m more confident. Less panic-driven. I finally believe that I can sustain this business. I see how this business flexes around me. I have clients who like me and I know how to find more.

This doesn’t take away any of the gratitude I have for self-employment and all of the things it affords me — but it does infuse some relief. 

What does a relief-bearing year look like? As I’ve done in 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020, here is my 2021 by the numbers:

  • Years in business — 15 (I really can’t believe this)
  • Total clients — 26 (same amount as last year)
  • Clients / partners who are designers — 10 (This is 16 fewer than last year; my mix of other clients has gone up!)
  • Client websites written — 11
  • Client blogs + newsletters + case studies written — 80+
  • Clients for whom I write monthly or bi-monthly blogs, newsletters or case studies — 5
  • Clients who came from referrals — 3
  • Clients who’ve been on my newsletter list for a while and took the plunge to work together — 2
  • Proposals created — 15
  • Proposals accepted — 13 (I talk about money during the consult so they know what to expect)
  • Un-newsletter subscribers — 1005 (up 49 from last year)
  • Un-newsletters sent — 4 (Eh, it’s one more than last year — and that makes 78 since 2010! Read them on my blog.)
  • Weeks off recovering after getting hit by a car — 6 (I’m okay, and I’ll share my insights soon)
  • Weeks of actual vacation — 2
  • Random weekdays I was able to take off — plenty
  • Times I stalked someone from high school to get a fruitcake recipe for my mother  1
  • Grace I gave myself when it wasn't my first instinct — handfuls
  • Times the ice cream truck came to our house - 3 (not enough)
  • Podcast episodes I did with Ilise — 2 (how to handle tricky client situations and how to get your new business off the ground)

What’s my plan for 2022? 

Intention. Gratitude. Efficiency. Rest. 

When childlike glee isn’t possible, I’m good with calm contentment!

The roads are covered in snow. This afternoon, I’m skipping the gym. Instead, I might take a nap. 

Wishing you a 2022 that lets you exhale and shape your best life.

Hi, I’m Deidre. In my posts, I talk about my voyage down the road of self-employment as a copywriting partner to web designers , 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.

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