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Today my cousin posted on her Facebook profile: “Thanking the Lord for my second year in freelance editing.”
I congratulated her, and then realized that my own two-year anniversary had recently come and gone without notice.
I had been too focused on tracking my income, that I had lost sight of this milestone in my freelancing career. This is not good.
Sure, money is a big reason behind why I freelance, and I’m sure it is for you too. However, I’m also in it for other reasons, such as:
- personal and professional development
- modeling an “alternative” lifestyle for my children and those who dream of leaving their cubicles
- work-life balance
Certainly there are more “metrics” I should be looking at other than the bottom line.
Such as the fact that I’ve been freelancing for 28 months and am thriving!
Another Way to Track Your Progress
One good advice I read somewhere says something like, “To see how far you’ve gone, compare where you are today with where you were, say, a year ago. Or two years ago, five years ago… and so on.”
Unfortunately, I can’t remember where I heard this advice. (If you know, please share in the comments section below.)
Please indulge me as I share with you how I fare when doing this exercise.
Compared to two years ago, I now…
- know exactly what kind of services I want to provide and to whom
- charge at least four times what I used to, for the same or similar service
- have steady work month after month
- have a list of prospects for my freelancing services
- have a marketing plan to ensure that I get myself “out there”
- get a lot more done in one day
- feel overwhelmed a lot less often
- feel much more confident about my skills, experience, and ability to help my clients
- have information products I created and am selling, with more coming
- a number of networks to meet prospective clients and joint venture partners
- wake up raring to get to work!
More Challenges Ahead
I have to admit, though, that I still have a long way to go in terms of achieving work-life balance. It’s not that I spend a lot of time working.
On the contrary, because I have a preschooler at home with me, I have very limited time to work… which means I work every time I have the opportunity.
This means I’ve been neglecting those parts of me I wish I could nurture more, such as physical exercise, reading for pleasure, and crafting. Not to mention my children’s scrapbooks. And, uh, what’s a social life?
I hope this picture will improve when my youngest child starts Junior Kindergarten in the Fall. My biggest worry is that, I’ll get so caught up in my work that I’ll still neglect all these other things. It’s hard to achieve balance when you’re enjoying your work so much, isn’t it?
Of course, there’ll always be room for improvement in every area of our lives. If not, what would motivate us to keep growing?
How Far Have YOU Gone?
All right, enough about me. I’d really like to hear from you: How far have you come since you first started freelancing? Or if you’ve freelancing for a long time, then how do you compare right now to where you were two years ago?
Please share by posting in the comments below.
photo credit: ginnerobot