When December wrapped itself up, and you began to think about the New Year, you likely did what almost every freelance writer does:
You thought about the coming 12 months, and everything you’d achieve. You dreamed of what you’d do and accomplish. You’re probably still thinking of all that good stuff right now.
You’re full of good intentions. You’re determined! This year, you’re going to work harder. Write more. Get organized. Start that big project, launch that cool idea, and land those new clients.
If you’re like most freelancers, these glorious plans aren’t going to happen.
Six months down the road, you’ll have forgotten about the hopes you had way back in January. That was ages ago. Now you’ve procrastinated too long, got too busy to follow through with your plans, or couldn’t get yourself organized to see them through. You’re now discouraged that you’re so far behind, that your dreams didn’t magically come to life the way you planned.
Instead, everything fell apart. Nothing turned out right. In fact, you don’t even remember that “I’m going to rock it” feeling you once had. All you feel now is poor, tired, worn out and fed up. Your sparkling dreams of yesteryear are just the shattered glass shards of dashed hopes.
That desolate future I just predicted? It could very well be your future this year.
But it doesn’t have to be.
Right now – thankfully – you’re looking ahead to the future. Let this be your crystal ball of what may come to pass… and what you can avoid. Right now, today, you can begin preparing a preventative maintenance plan that shields and protects you from future disaster. Implement the three strategies used by the most successful freelancers and entrepreneurs and add them to your life, and you’ll be in full control, working towards that bright future this year.
Get Smart about Your Money
There’s a reason so many freelance writers often complain they’re poor, struggling to make ends meet or can’t earn a decent salary:
They don’t know a damned thing about managing their money.
Actually, most people are in the same boat. Financial stupidity is more common than you’d think, and it touches everyone from the cash-strapped to the lucratively wealthy.
Stay ignorant of good money management basics, and no matter how much you earn, you’ll always be teetering on the brink of disaster.
Learning about how to manage your money, properly and in a healthy way, is rarely at the top of people’s ‘Fun Things to Do’ list. Some consider it boring, many feel frustrated by it, and most approach it with dread.
But when you embrace the concepts and start applying them to your financial situation, and you can make angels sing.
- The Money Book for Freelancers, Part-Timers, and the Self-Employed: The Only Personal Finance System for People with Not-So-Regular Jobs
- Debt-Free Forever: Take Control of Your Money and Your Life
- The Total Money Makeover: Classic Edition: A Proven Plan for Financial Fitness
Get Smart about Your Action
Ever have one of those friends who always complains? His relationship sucks, his clients suck, his work sucks, his pay rate sucks, his bank balance sucks… you get the picture.
Ever notice this person never does a damned thing to change his situation? At best, he’ll make a vague, halfhearted attempt that’s guaranteed to fail, and then complain when it doesn’t work out. “See, James?! I tried, and nothing happened!”
This year, don’t be that person. Figure out what you have to do to get where you want to be, and take decisive, determined, dogged action to turn things around. Sink your teeth into your situation. Shake it like a rag and rip it to shreds.
Take action. Create change.
You’ll always win. You can’t possibly fail, because action always instigates change – action is change. It gets problems resolved. It gets projects completed. It gets dreams fulfilled. It sweeps away struggles, busts through obstacles and helps you achieve your goals.
- The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business
- 168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think
- Eat That Frog!: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time
Get Decisive about Your Goals
Let’s say you’re doing okay. Your bank account is pretty good, you’re getting your work done, and you’re generally happy with life. Fast-forward 5 years. Notice anything different?
Most freelancers live this way. They have a goal of being generally happy with what they do, and their life. They work hard at first to get to a point where they’re no longer struggling, and then… they just stay there. They’re not working towards anything else but maintaining status quo.
It’s a good life, sure. But it isn’t better than it was 5 years ago.
This year, choose some goals that actively improve your lifestyle long term and that create tangible, positive change. Work towards making your lifestyle better than it is right now, even if right now is just fine.
For example, what about paying down $400 a month on your $10k line of credit so that you’re debt-free within 5 years? Or completing 3 daily tasks on that new project you’ve been planning, for a period of 3 months? Or focusing solely on marketing activities for your business one hour per day, for 30 days?
It doesn’t take much to achieve freelancing success – it just takes a smart mindset and clear goals with positive outcomes that help you change your life. Just imagine how much you could accomplish this year, if you set your mind to it!
- S.M.A.R.T. Goals Made Simple: 10 Steps to Master Your Personal and Career Goals
- Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us
- Get Out of Your Own Way: Overcoming Self-Defeating Behavior
I’m turning this one over to you. What goals will you work towards this year? What will you decide to set on the back-burner in favor of something better? What will you learn, do, create, or begin? How will you make this year better than the last?
It may just be your best year ever.